A course developed and presented by Frederic March, Humanist Society of New Mexico for the University of NM – Osher Lifelong Learning Institute The Kochhar Humanist Education Center of the American Humanist Association presents THE MANY FACES OF HUMANISM CONTACTS Frederic March [email_address] Kochhar Center firstname.lastname@example.org
<ul><li>Humanist values are mainstream American values. </li></ul><ul><li>Humanists believe in and value love, equality, peace, freedom and reason - values shared by moderate and liberal religious people. </li></ul><ul><li>Although religious texts can teach good lessons, they can also advocate fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance. </li></ul><ul><li>Its time for moderate liberal people to stand up against the assertions of certain fundamentalist movements that claim to possess a moral monopoly. </li></ul><ul><li>We must reach out to those people in every corner of the U.S. raising the flag for humanism to show that they have more in common with us than with biblical literalists. </li></ul>ROY SPECKHARDT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Kochhar Humanist Education Center <ul><li>Our vision is to become our nation’s most effective organization for educating people about how humanism enhances personal lives, enriches our diverse cultures, and strengthens democracy – without promoting or denying any particular religious belief. We have: </li></ul><ul><li>Published Guides for adult and child humanist education </li></ul><ul><li>Developed the “Curriculum Resources for the Life Span” for all ages </li></ul><ul><li>Established the Humanist Teacher Corps to develop curricula, make presentations, and review state standards for historical accuracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged AHA members to share courses on all aspects of humanism such as “The Many Faces of Humanism” </li></ul>BOB BHAERMAN, DIRECTOR
In memory of Harry Willson (1932-2010): Passionate humanist philosopher, author, educator and friend. <ul><li>Myth and Mortality: Testing the Stories </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom from God: Restoring the Sense of Wonder </li></ul><ul><li>Vermin: Humanity as an Endangered Species </li></ul><ul><li>Duke City Tales: Stories from Albuquerque </li></ul><ul><li>This’ll Kill Ya : and Other Dangerous Stories </li></ul><ul><li>Souls and Cells Remember : A Love Story </li></ul><ul><li>A World for the Meek: A Fantasy Novel </li></ul>
Merriam Webster Web Dictionary 1 Devotion to the humanities: literary culture 2 The revival of classical letters , individualistic and critical spirit , and emphasis on secular concerns characteristic of the Renaissance 3: A doctrine, attitude , or way of life centered on human interests or values 4 A philosophy that rejects supernaturalism . 5 A philosophy that stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason .
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, (without theism and other supernatural beliefs,) affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) Amsterdam Declaration 2002 1. Humanism is ethical 2. Humanism is rational. 4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with responsibility. 3. Humanism supports democracy & human rights. 5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. 7. Humanism is a life-stance aiming at the maximum fulfillment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living. 6. Humanism values artistic creativity & imagination.
1. DIGNITY: Proclaim the natural dignity & inherent worth of all human beings. 2. RESPECT the life and property of others. 4. SHARING with those less fortunate & who need help 3. TOLERANCE of others’ beliefs, choices & lifestyles 5. NO DOMINATION OR EXPLOITATION Use no lies of secular or spirit doctrine to deny freedom & equality to others. 7. CONSERVE and improve the Earth’s environment – Land, Soil. Water, Air, Space and Living Systems 6. NO SUPERSTITION: Rely on reason, logic & science to understand the Universe & to solve life’s problems. 8. NO WAR: Resolve conflicts cooperatively without war or violence 9. DEMOCRACY Organized public affairs though political and economic democracy 10. EDUCATE to develop intelligence & talents for personal fulfillment and for the betterment of humanity & future generations Summarized from Global Ethics by Rodrigue Tremblay 10 Principles for a Global Humanism
Paul Kurtz: Humanist Philosopher; Fellow, AAAS; President, International Academy of Humanism President, Prometheus Books
<ul><li>Appeal to both non-religious and religious humanists and to religious believers who share common goals; </li></ul><ul><li>Are skeptical of traditional theism; </li></ul><ul><li>Are defined by what they are for, not against; </li></ul><ul><li>Use critical thinking, evidence, and reason to evaluate claims to knowledge ; </li></ul><ul><li>Apply similar considerations to ethics and values; </li></ul><ul><li>Are committed to key values: happiness, creative actualization, reason in harmony with emotion, quality, and excellence (of human life); </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize moral growth, empathy, and responsibility; </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate the right to privacy; </li></ul><ul><li>Support democratic way of life , tolerance, and fairness; </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the importance of personal morality, good will, and a positive attitude toward life; (continued) </li></ul>Paul Kurtz advocates that neo-Humanists:
<ul><li>Accept responsibility for the well-being of society by guaranteeing the rights of: women, racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; supporting education, health care, gainful employment, and other social benefits; </li></ul><ul><li>Support a green economy ; </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate population restraint, environmental protection, and the protection of other species; </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the need for Neo-Humanists to engage actively in politics; </li></ul><ul><li>Take progressive positions on the economy ; </li></ul><ul><li>H old that humanity move beyond ego-centric individualism and chauvinistic nationalism to develop transnational planetary institutions to cope with global problems: a strengthened World Court; an eventual World Parliament; ; a Planetary Environmental Monitoring Agency to protect the global environment. </li></ul>Paul Kurtz advocates that neo-Humanists:
AHA HUMANIST MANIFESTO III 1 Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life ( that, without supernaturalism,) affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. 2 The Life-stance of Humanism —guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. 3 Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies.
AHA HUMANIST MANIFESTO III 4 We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience —each subject to analysis by critical intelligence. 5 Humans are an integral part of nature , the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. 6 Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. 7 Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond.
AHA HUMANIST MANIFESTO III 8 We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity , and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility. 9 Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death.
AHA HUMANIST MANIFESTO III 10 Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture …to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty. 11 Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. 12 We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability , and we support a just distribution of nature's resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.
AHA HUMANIST MANIFESTO III 13 Humanists are concerned for the well being of all , are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. 14 We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature's integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure , sustainable manner. 15 The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone .
* Social Order issues dominate humanism. HUMANIST THEMES & SUB-THEMES QUALITY OF LIFE Human Progress Ethics/Morals Personal Fulfillment Artistic Creativity Freedom & Security Tolerance Relationships Social Order* SCIENCE Empiricism No Supernatural Humans as Part of Nature Integrated Mind & Body EVOLUTION Emergence of Man Humans as Part of Nature Cultural Evolution RELIGION Free from Authoritarian Myths & Dogmas Supports Human Fulfillment Supports Human Freedom REASON Human Progress Ethics & Values Emotional Maturity Mental Health
THE HEART OF HUMANISM Above all Humanism seeks to improve the Global Social Order by advocating the highest possible Quality of Life for humanity as a whole through democratic institutions in governance, the economy and in education.
American Humanist Association American Ethical Union British Humanist Association Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Council for Secular Humanism Danish Humanist Society European Humanist Federation Humanist Association of Canada Humanist Association of Ireland Icelandic Ethical Humanist Ass. India Humanist Union Humanist Society of NZ Humanist International Humanist Movement Humanist Political Parties Humanist Society of Scotland Institute for Humanist Studies International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists North East Humanists, UK Norwegian Humanist Ass. Rationalist International Society for Humanistic Judaism Swedish Humanist Ass. HUMANIST ORGANIZATIONS
Argentina Brazil Canada (Ontario) Chile Denmark France Hungary Humanist Political Parties Italy Portugal Spain Switzerland United Kingdom India
RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR HUMANISM Religious Humanism grounds ethics/morality on theology Religious Humanists include theists, deists & pantheists. Secular Humanism grounds ethics/morality on philosophy. Secular Humanists include non-theists: atheists, agnostics, deists and pantheists. Deists and pantheists may consider themselves religious or secular according to how they define God and religion. Few issues create as much confusion as discussions about God and religion because of the many different ways people understand the terms employed. In these lectures I will focus on the aspects of ethics/morality that both groups have in common.
AHA’S HUMANIST EDUCATION STRATEGY (1) Educating humanists and the general public about our goals, values, principles, commitments, and the many dimensions of humanism: cultural, philosophical, historical, political, religious, etc. (2) Joining forces with progressive religious groups to promote mutual understanding, respect and trust so as to enable cooperative social and political action The Paths to Humanism Project - Investigating Shared Principles & Values will be a report on 11 Western & Eastern religious traditions to explore how each expresses universal humanist principles and values, and how they cope with internal challenges to them. (3) Advocating on behalf of shared humanist social concerns and interests – especially theocratic threats to our American Democracy.
DISCUSSION Is Humanism a hostile threat or a constructive challenge to Religion? Can Religion be compatible with Science, Evolution and Reason? In what ways does Religion work for and against Quality of Life? Can a humanist have supernatural beliefs? Is atheism equivalent to humanism?
HUMANISM & DEMOCRACY <ul><li> Above all Humanism seeks to influence the Global Social Order. </li></ul><ul><li>First we review Democracy as the humanist framework for the Global Social Order. </li></ul><ul><li>Then we review the evolution of human Governance Ideologies. </li></ul>
WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? <ul><li>“ THE ECONOMIST” SCORING CRITERIA </li></ul><ul><li>Electoral Process & Pluralism </li></ul><ul><li>Political Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Political Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Liberties </li></ul><ul><li>Functioning Government </li></ul>
HOW DEMOCRATIC ARE WE? 1 Sweden 2 Norway 3 Iceland 4 Netherlands 5 Denmark 6 Finland 7 New Zealand 8 Switzerland 9 Luxembourg 10 Australia 164 Uzbekistan 165 Turkmenistan 11 Canada 12 Ireland 13 Germany 14 Austria 15 Spain 16 Malta 17 Japan 18 USA 19 Czech Rep 20 Belgium 166 Chad 167 N. Korea 9.88 9.68 9.65 9.53 9.52 9.25 9.19 9.15 9.10 9.09 1.74 1.72 9.07 9.01 8.82 8.49 8.45 8.39 8.25 8.22 8.19 8.16 1.52 0.86
WHY DID WE ONLY RANK 18 th? <ul><li>Electoral Process & Pluralism? </li></ul><ul><li>Political Participation? </li></ul><ul><li>Political Culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Liberties? </li></ul><ul><li>Functioning Government? </li></ul><ul><li>Wealth Inequality? </li></ul>
SOURCE: UNICEF, The Children Left Behind ,Released December 2010 As reported by Charles Blow in America’s Most Vulnerable New York Times OP Ed, December 11,2010
Nations in: Inequality & Social Dysfunction (2009) Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate E. Pickett Div. of Epidemiology & Public Health, U, of Nottingham UK The Equality Trust: http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/
Because of extreme wealth inequality the U.S. ranks low among developed nations in socio-economic wellbeing The Equality Trust: http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/
CORRUPTION THREATENS DEMOCRACY <ul><li>Dysfunctional and corrupt political culture </li></ul><ul><li>Huge tax cuts to the wealthy </li></ul><ul><li>Assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice </li></ul><ul><li>Lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture </li></ul><ul><li>False front organizations largely financed by a handful of ultra- wealthy families. </li></ul><ul><li>Job havens for conservative political figures not currently in office.” </li></ul>Paul Krugman New York Times Nobel Prize Economist
A HUMANIST VALUES LITMUS TEST OR JUST A CHEAP POLITICAL SHOT? Repealing the “Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” The modern G.O.P. has been taken over by an ideology in which the suffering of the unfortunate isn’t a proper concern of government, and alleviating that suffering at taxpayer expense is immoral, never mind how little it costs. Top Republicans weren’t interested in…any real policy analysis — in fact, they’re basically contemptuous of such analysis, something that shines through in their health care report. All they …wanted were some numbers and charts to wave at the press, fooling some people into believing that we’re having some kind of rational discussion. WHAT DO YOU THINK? New York Times January 17, 2011
Case of Corruption: How Democracy Dies According to political journalist Chris Hedges the death of democracy in ancient Athens and its decline in modern America are parallel: 2400 years ago playwright Aristophanes portrayed ruling tyrant Cleon, as a dog. He warned Athenians in his plays that political leaders who shout “I shall never betray the Athenian!” or “I shall keep up the fight in defense of the people forever” plan to control state funds and enslave the citizens DO YOU SEE ANY PARALLELS TO TODAY’S USA? Aristophanes 448 – 338 BCE Chris Hedges 1956 –
THEOCRACY THREATENS DEMOCRACY C. Peter Wagner, Presiding Apostle http://www.apostlesnet.net/
THEOCRACY THREATENS DEMOCRACY “ We all agree that the society to be transformed is not just one big conglomerate, but a unified whole that is made up of several vital pieces, each one of which must take its own path toward transformation. These segments of society should be seen as apostolic spheres.” C. Peter Wagner, Frances Swaggart Site www.francesandfriends.com/Apostolic-Spheres www.reclaim7mountains.com
The Seven Mountains are warfare strategy. If the world is to be won, these are the Mountains that mold the culture of the Minds of Men. Whoever controls these Mountains controls the direction of the World. C. Peter Wagner, Presiding Apostle The Church in the Workplace p 114 Quoted on: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/06/seven-apostolic-spheres.html THEOCRACY THREATENS DEMOCRACY
Arts and Entertainment should reflect the glory and majesty of our Creator. Business should be viewed as a place to worship God through the area of our calling. Education should reflect the truth about God and man so that the truth shall make us free. May we seek and promote the true meaning of life through education. Government: God gave man government to establish freedoms and boundaries. … Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Romans 13) www.reclaim7mountains.com/ THEOCRY THREATENS DEMOCRACY
<ul><li>Just a Few Examples </li></ul><ul><li>US Air Force Academy coercing Christian worship. </li></ul><ul><li>Texas textbook industry co-opted by sectarian groups that dumb down and falsify history teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>Reversal of the intent of Roe Vs Wade. </li></ul><ul><li>Bush’s Justice Department was staffed with recent graduates of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. </li></ul><ul><li>Persons with sectarian Christian agendas have come to dominate many school boards across the USA. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. sectarian Christians are instigating capital punishment in Uganda for the crime of homosexuality. </li></ul><ul><li>Donald Rumsfeld cites Scripture in secret meeting advocating invasion of Iraq as punishment for 9/11. </li></ul>THEOCRACY THREATENS DEMOCRACY
Source: GQ’s Robert Draper Reported by ABC News” The Note” May 17,2009 Rumsfeld's Biblical Message-Laden Intelligence Briefs http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/05/rumsfeld-gave-b.html Secretary of Defense – Worldwide Intelligence Update Donald Rumsfeld, March 31, 2003
Excerpts from BBC’s Iraq Timeline since 9/11 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/737483.stm 2001 September 11 . Saudi national terrorists destroy the World Trade Center. 2002 September - Bush tells skeptical world leaders at a UN General Assembly session to confront the "grave and gathering danger" of Iraq - or stand aside as the US acts. 2002 November - UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq backed by a UN resolution which threatens serious consequences if Iraq is in "material breach" of its terms. 2003 March - Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix reports that Iraq has accelerated its cooperation but says inspectors need more time to verify Iraq's compliance. 2003 17 March - UK's UN ambassador says Iraq diplomatic process is over; arms inspectors leave; Bush orders Saddam & sons to leave Iraq or face war. 2003 20 March - US-led invasion topples Saddam Saddam, followed by years of violent conflict with different groups competing for power. 2003 31 March - Rumsfeld World Wide Intelligence briefing to the President
Onward, Christian Soldiers! In the days surrounding the U.S. invasion of Iraq, cover sheets such as this one—and those on the following pages—began adorning top-secret intelligence briefings produced by Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon. The sheets juxtaposed war images with inspirational Bible quotes and were delivered by Rumsfeld himself to the White House, where they were read by the man who, just after September 11, referred to America’s war on terror as a “crusade.” GQ MAGAZINE http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/donald-rumsfeld-pentagon-papers NEW YORK DAILYNEWS http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/galleries/intel_it_on_the_mountain_rumsfelds_bush_briefings/intel_it_on_the_mountain_rumsfelds_bush_briefings.html
THEOCRATIC THREAT – a secular perspective America is full of good people but something dark is loose. There’s a free floating anxiety that easily metasticizes into paranoia and hatred from the same enemies always targeted by totalitarian populist movements – homosexuals, urbanites, intellectuals and religious minorities. Rationality is losing its hold; empirical evidence is discounted as the product of a secular world view or a scheming liberal elite… All truth except biblical truth becomes relative, and biblical truth is entwined with American history and national destiny. Democracy suffers in this atmosphere and space opens up for something else to supplant it… As Christian nationalism gains influence, its changing our country in troubling ways, and its leaders say they have only just begun. Its up to all Americans to decide how far they can go. Michelle Goldberg Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism W.W. Norton & C. 2007
THEOCRATIC THREAT – an evangelical perspective My thesis is this: I believe a significant segment of American evangelism is guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry. To a frightful degree, I think, evangelicals fuse the kingdom of God with a preferred version of the kingdom of the world (whether its our national interests, a particular form of government , a particular political program... I believe many American evangelicals have allowed our understanding of the kingdom of God to be polluted with political ideals, agendas and issues. For some evangelicals, the kingdom of God is about “taking back America for God,” outlawing abortion, outlawing gay marriage, winning the culture war…keeping God in the Pledge of Alliegance, prayer in the public schools and fighting to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings…This perspective is misguided. Gregor A. Boyd President, Christus Victor Ministries The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church Zondervan 2006
THEOCRATIC THREAT – an independent Republican’s Perspective Reckless dependence on shrinking oil supplies, a milieu of radicalized religion, and…ballooning national and international deficits – now constitute the three major perils to the U.S. in the21st century… war and terror…are one step removed… Both derive much of their impetus from the incendiary backdrop of oil politics and religious fundamentalism in Islam as well the west. The excesses of fundamentalism in turn are American and Israeli, as well as the all too obvious depredations of radical Islam. The rapture, end-times and Armageddon hucksters in the United States rank with any Shiite ayatollahs and ,and the last two presidential (i.e. Bush) campaigns mark the transformation of the GOPinto the first religious party in U.S. history. Kevin Phillips American Theocracy: The Peril of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21 st Century Viking 2006/2007
<ul><li>I: Congress shall make </li></ul><ul><li>no law respecting an establishment of religion, </li></ul><ul><li>or prohibiting the free exercise thereof </li></ul><ul><li>or abridging the freedom of speech </li></ul><ul><li>or of the press </li></ul><ul><li>or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. </li></ul></ul>HUMANISM IS COMMITED TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS…
Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. … AND THE UN DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
THREATS TO DEMCRACY GLOBAL SOCIAL ORDER <ul><li>1 Escalation of Wars – nuclear/biological weapons </li></ul><ul><li>2 Escalation of attacks on the global environment – depletion and despoliation of the natural environment on which humanity depends </li></ul><ul><li>3 Corruption of governments and corporations that foster their power and wealth unconstrained by laws and rules at the expense of the rest of us. </li></ul><ul><li>The consequent ever-growing gap between the ultra-rich and the poor which elicits frustration, anger, hatred, terrorism and all out war. </li></ul><ul><li>Theocratic threats by fundamentalist political zealots - especially by Christian and Islamic Nationalists. </li></ul>
DISCUSSION Did the Defense Department violate the U.S. Constitution? How real are the corruption and theocratic threats to our Democracy? How do such threats affect the wellbeing and religious freedom of the rest of us? How can we counter those threats with due regard for the U.S. Bill of Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights? What assets and tools are available to the humanist movement?
Health ECONOMY Natural Resources Goods & Services Allocation Ownership INFRASTRUCTURE Shelter Food Storage Communicate Materials Education Production <ul><li>Transport </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul><ul><li>Waste </li></ul><ul><li>Energy </li></ul><ul><li>Legal </li></ul><ul><li>Defense </li></ul><ul><li>Records </li></ul>CULTURE Beliefs Attitudes Customs Religion GOVERNANCE Leadership Management Regulation Enforcement SOCIAL ORDER
SOCIAL ORDER IDEOLOGIES Hunter-Gatherer Social Order (50,000-8,000 BCE) Small kinship tribal groups led by family elders with egalitarian sharing of all resources. Agricultural Social Order (8,000–2,800 BCE) Cooperative multi-group clusters with urban service centers, centralized administration, diversity of crafts and trades, and high degree of local autonomy gradually ceded to central authority. Pre-Hebrew Temple-States (2,800–900 BCE) Sumer, Egypt, Akkad, Assyria, Babylon: Complete centralized authority, inherited royal and priestly houses, strong social stratification from elite landowners and independent craftspeople to servants and slaves. Constant imperial wars.
HEBREW TEMPLE-STATE (850 BCE- 70 CE) Stage 1: Classic Imperial Temple States (850-586 BCE) dominated by Egypt, Assyria & Babylon Stage 2 : Persian Puppet Temple-State (537-332 BCE) governed by a High Priest. Stage 3: Greco-Roman (332 BCE- 70 CE) Hellenistic influence eroded Hebrew priestly political power and created mutually hostile camps of Temple-State Traditionalists, Messianic Zealots, and Hellenized Jews. Stage 4: Diaspora (70 – modern era) Self regulating communities led by rabbis who worshipped their lost Temple-State enshrined in Hebrew Scriptures.
Temple-States except for Athens and Roman Republic ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY Athens Fledgling Democracy (594-546 BCE) Solon outlaws enslavement of Athenians; enables legal redress against aristocrats; grants political status on other than noble birth; opens ecclesia (people’s assembly) to all adult males to enable all classes to participate in governance. Democracy Lost (546-404 BCE) “Tyrant” governance. Democracy Reborn: 480-445 BCE Military & external affairs run by the 10 elected strategoi who planned military expeditions, met envoys and directed diplomacy. GRECO-ROMAN SOCIAL ORDER (800-4 BCE)
ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY 445-404 BCE Pericles’ Democracy Upon his election as stratagos, the strategoi greatly expanded democratic principles: enabling people without wealth to hold public office; paying jurors and public functionaries; finding work for the poor; granting lands to dispossessed villagers; providing public assistance for invalids, orphans and indigents; other welfare; making lottery appointments for most public offices. 404-338 BCE: Democracy Eclipsed. Sparta defeated Athens in 404 and Phillip of Macedon annexed Athens to his Pan-Hellenic Empire. GRECO-ROMAN SOCIAL ORDER (800-4 BCE)
ROMAN TRANSITION TO CHRISTIAN IMPERIUM Roman Temple-State Kingdom 753-509 BCE Roman Republic 508 BCE-27 CE Pagan Empire 27-325 Western/Eastern Empire Split 285 East Christian Temple-State 325-1453 West Christian Temple-State 325-1517
Perhaps we should set up some simple form of government.
DISCUSSION <ul><li>How do extremist Moslem, Christian and Jewish Temple-Statists threaten the Global Social Order? </li></ul><ul><li>How do corrupt or failed Social Orders breed religious and political extremism? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any solutions? </li></ul>
PART IV A VERY SHORT HISTORY OF HUMANIST THOUGHT
QUALITY OF LIFE SCIENCE EVOLUTION RELIGION REASON RECALL HUMANIST ISSUES
Spirit Causality Spirits with human-like thoughts and feelings are the primal sources of all material reality, Material Causality Only the impersonal properties of nature are the primal sources of material reality. WHAT IS CAUSAL THOUGHT? Popocatepetl Volcano A Popocatépetl volcano & god
For Neolithic Hunters there are not two worlds of persons (society) and things (nature), but just one world - saturated with personal powers embracing humans, animals and plants on which they depend, and the landscapes in which they move. NEOLITHIC HUNTER CAUSAL THOUGHT: 50,000 10,000 BCE Stephen Mithen, The Prehistory or the Human Mind
By 8,000 BCE People had settled in river valleys, farmed land, and constructed irrigation works By 3,000 BCE Hieroglyphics in Egypt, cuneiform in Sumer, and number symbols in both. POST-NEOLITHIC CAUSAL THOUGHT:10000-2800 BCE
TEMPLE-STATE EMPIRE CAUSAL THOUGHT 2800-800 BCE By 2800 BCE The 1st Temple-State Empires, Sumer & Egypt had complex spirit cosmologies & theologies. Temple-States had mythic histories, defined roles for rulers, priests, warriors, farmers, craftsmen and slaves – and morphed cult centers into grand imperial temples. Sumer Scribe-Priest
Temple-States envisioned intimate connections between spirit and material worlds Gods created that world, enabled eternal life, and priests were god-experts. Gods punished community transgressions with natural disasters and military defeats. Priests knew the wills of gods , and enforced laws against those who offended the gods. TEMPLE-STATE EMPIRE CAUSAL THOUGHT: 2800-800 BCE Asssyrian God Nefrosh
TEMPLE-STATE EMPIRE CAUSAL THOUGHT:2800-800 BCE <ul><li>Material Thought was devoted to crafts of infra-structure, economy, trade and warfare. </li></ul><ul><li>Ebla (1800 BCE) was a manufacturing and export center producing: </li></ul><ul><li>Linen, wool and damask. cloth. </li></ul><ul><li>Jewelry, Gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, woodwork, ceramics. </li></ul><ul><li>Olive oil, wine and beer </li></ul>Ebla Goddess Queens
TEMPLE-STATE EMPIRE CAUSAL THOUGHT:2800-800 BCE Spirit Causal Thought Priests wrote cosmologies and theologies . Temple-State Kings were empowered by the gods. Israel & Judah 800 BCE were Assyrian-model fledgling Temple States. Assyrian King Adad Naranica. 1295–1263 BC
ISRAEL/JUDAH CAUSAL THOUGHT (900-400 BCE) Spirit Thought Jehovah is the only real God, God favors Israel & Judah in prosperity & wars for utter loyalty to God, Priest and King. Priests enforce purity/loyalty code to ensure strict compliance as the price of God’s protection. God inflicts mass murder for lapses in loyalty or cultic purity. Material Thought: Temple-State economy & governance.
<ul><li>Thales of Miletus 624-546 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Studied Astronomy and speculated on the nature of matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Anaximander of Miletus 610-546 </li></ul><ul><li>There is a primal substance, infinite, eternal and ageless. </li></ul><ul><li>Fire, water and earth compete with each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Worlds were not created. There was evolution in the animal kingdom. </li></ul><ul><li>Man and all other animals are descended from the fishes. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Science & Reason
<ul><li>Aneximenes of Miletus 550-528 </li></ul><ul><li>Earth evolved from previously existing matter. </li></ul><ul><li>The sun circles the earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Lightning and thunder result from wind and clouds; rainbows result from rays of the sun falling on clouds </li></ul><ul><li>Hail is frozen rainwater. </li></ul><ul><li>Pythagoras of Samos and Croton 570-490: </li></ul><ul><li> Discovered importance of numbers in music </li></ul><ul><li>The world is built up from atomic particles </li></ul><ul><li>arranged in various shapes. </li></ul><ul><li>The earth is round. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Science & Reason
<ul><li>Protagoras: 490-420 </li></ul><ul><li>Founder of linguistics and the social sciences. </li></ul><ul><li>Claimed no knowledge about gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on human customs, laws and language. </li></ul><ul><li>Compared human law with nature to show the absurdity of tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>Empedocles of Acragas, Sicily: 495-435 </li></ul><ul><li>Nature contains four material elements: fire, air, earth, and water </li></ul><ul><li>Nature works without purpose and by survival of the fittest. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Science & Reason
<ul><li>Xenophenes: Early 5 th Century BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Homer and Hesiod have ascribed to the gods all things that are a shame and a disgrace among mortals: stealings and adulteries and deceivings of one another. </li></ul><ul><li>Mortals deem that gods are begotten as they are, and have clothes like theirs, and voice and form. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, and if oxen or horses or lions had hands, and could paint with their hands and produce works of art as men do, horses would paint the forms of gods like horses, and oxen like oxen, and make their bodies in the image of their several kinds. </li></ul><ul><li>The Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion
<ul><li>Philolaus of Thebes, Late 5 th century </li></ul><ul><li>Planets move in circles round a central fire. </li></ul><ul><li>The sun itself reflects the central fire. </li></ul><ul><li>Extraordinary emancipation from anthropomorphism. </li></ul><ul><li>Democritus of Abdera, b. 460 </li></ul><ul><li>Motion is a mechanical phenomenon only. </li></ul><ul><li>Causes stem from nature and not divine purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Random motions of atoms produce cosmic order by forming masses of distinct types. </li></ul><ul><li>Nature relies on tendency “like to like.” </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Science & Reason
<ul><li>The Triumph of Spirit Causality </li></ul><ul><li>The common people remained committed to folk superstitions and official temple-state beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>While Greek scientific causal thought prefigured modern science, Plato and Aristotle taught metaphysical and supernatural notions that would find their way into Christianity. </li></ul><ul><li>Plato’s philosophy treats material existence as illusion and regards only spirit existence as real. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Plato (429-347) & Aristotle (384-322) </li></ul><ul><li>Evolved a more sophisticated spirit causality. </li></ul><ul><li>Heavenly bodies, while not Divine were moved by the will of a Divine Being who loved Hellenic aesthetics and geometric simplicity. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The metaphysical supernatural notions of Plato and Aristotle would be adopted and extended by Christian theologians. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Plato (429-347) & Aristotle (384-322) </li></ul><ul><li>Their brilliant synthesis of religion & reason: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Nurtured the theology of the great Christian thinkers, most notably St. Augustine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitated transmitting the mysticism of mystery religions, enabling their merger with Hebrew messianic and apocalyptic thought. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulated medieval Christian scholars like Saint Thomas Aquinas to strengthen the boundaries between Science & Religion. </li></ul></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Plato (429-347): Ideal (disembodied) Forms </li></ul><ul><li> The ideal “CAT” that God created is both unique and real. </li></ul><ul><li>Any Earthly “cat” is an illusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Material existence is an illusion; only spirit existence is real. </li></ul><ul><li>Plato fuses intellect and mysticism but at the end mysticism clearly has the upper hand. </li></ul><ul><li>The combination was a powerful synthesis that influenced most great philosophers down to Hegel. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Plato (429-347): The Fate of the Soul </li></ul><ul><li>The soul of the true philosopher will after death depart to the invisible world, to live in bliss in the company of the gods. </li></ul><ul><li>But the impure soul which has loved the body, will become a ghost… or will enter into the body of an animal, such as an ass or wolf or hawk. </li></ul><ul><li>A virtuous man without being a philosopher will become a bee or a wasp or ant, or some kind of animal of a gregarious and social sort. Only the true philosopher goes to heaven when he dies. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Aristotle (384-322): The Soul </li></ul><ul><li>We may fairly ask whether time could exist without the soul, since there cannot be anything to count unless there is some one to count. </li></ul><ul><li>Time is uncreated. But Aristotle’s Christian followers dissent since the the Bible’s Universe had a beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>The soul is what makes the body have unity of purpose, and constitutes an “organism.” </li></ul><ul><li>The eye’s purpose is to see, but cannot when parted from its body. It is the soul that sees. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Aristotle (384-322): God </li></ul><ul><li>God is pure form and pure actuality; in Him therefore, there can be no change. </li></ul><ul><li>There are three kinds of substances: those that are material (i.e sensible) and perishable, those that are material but not perishable, and those that are neither material nor perishable. </li></ul><ul><li>The first class includes plants, the second includes the heavenly bodies, the third includes the rational soul of man and also God. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Aristotle (384-322): God </li></ul><ul><li>The main argument for God is the First Cause: ”God is pure thought…Life also belongs to God.” </li></ul><ul><li>We say that God is a living being, eternal, most good, so that life and duration are continuous and eternal and belong to God; for this is God. </li></ul><ul><li>God Is the the unmoved mover. </li></ul>Ancient Greek Humanism: Religion & Reason
<ul><li>Imperial Roman Era (67 BCE – 325 CE) </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing deterioration of Hellenistic humanism because of social turmoil as the Roman Empire declined and fell. </li></ul><ul><li>Imperial Christian Era (325-1500) </li></ul><ul><li>Essentially dark ages for humanism because of low levels of literary culture, the high intensity of authoritarian governance, dogma, superstition, and exploitation by Royalty, Nobility and Church Authority of all lower classes. </li></ul>Roman & Christian Humanism
Continuation and decline of Hellenistic culture. Imperial Roman Humanism (67 BCE – 325 CE)
Magnificent religious art and architecture facilitated the skill that would be applied to agriculture, urbanization, and the evolution of science and technology. Imperial Christian Era (325-1500) Chartres Cathedral 1260
IMPERIAL CHRISTIAN MATERIAL GRANDEUR (325–1500) GOTHIC CATHEDRAL INTERIOR
REKINDLEING THE SPARKS HUMANISM (325–1500) <ul><li>4 th century: St. Augustine’s idea of shared authority of science and scripture. </li></ul><ul><li>11 th Century: Widespread rebellion and reforms of Church abuses: selling Church offices, selling indulgences. keeping concubines and passing offices to their sons. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholastic Philosophers who translated texts from ancient Greece and Rome educated the clergy and that lay aristocracy. </li></ul>
The Church at the time of Galileo (1564-1642) not only kept closer to reason as defined then and, in part, even now; it also considered the ethical and social consequences of Galileo's views. Its indictment of Galileo was rational and only opportunism and a lack of perspective can demand a revision. Imperial Christian Thought (325 – 1500) Cardinal Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI
European Humanism 1500 - 1900 Renaissance Art
European Humanism 1500 - 1900 Enlightenment Art
European Humanism 1800-1900 Enlightenment Music as Social Protest THEMES: Liberation, Freedom, Oppression, Authoritarianism, Corrupt Nobility, Women’s Rights BEETHOVEN: Fidelio, 9 th Symphony MOZART: Don Giovanni, Idomoneo VERDI: Rigoletto, Aida, Nabucco PUCCINI: Tosca, La Boheme, Madame Butterfly DONNIZETTI: Lucia de Lammermoor
European Humanism (1500 -1900) Reformation, Renaissance & Enlightenment Reformation culture spurred violent changes: Catholic – Protestant wars that transformed European governance, society and religious norms. Rebellion by A growing population against oppressive authoritarian regimes in favor of democratic reforms. The Church diminished as Protestants flourished , In 1870 an Italian secular revolt seized the 16,000 sq mi Papal States, relegating the Vatican to its now 109 acre enclave. Three giants of humanist philosophy emerged : Spinoza (1634-1677), Hume (1711-1776) and Darwin (1809-1882). By the period’s end s lavery had been abolished but democracies were established in just a few nations. Economic prosperity spurred universal literacy and higher education became grounded on humanist values.
Religion, Science & Reason Nature always observes laws and rules involving internal necessity and truth although these are not all known to us, and thus it always observes a fixed and immutable order. A miracle is that which cannot be explained on scientific principles known to us by the natural light of reason. Miracles were wrought according to the understanding of the common people who were quite ignorant of the principles of science. Baruch Spinoza (1634-1677): Theological-Political Treatise European Humanism (1500 -1900)
Religion, Science & Reason You find certain phenomena in nature. You seek a cause or author. You imagine you have found him. You forget, that this superlative intelligence and benevolence are entirely imaginary, or, at least without any foundation in reason; and that you have no grounds to ascribe to him any qualities, but what you can see he has actually displayed in his productions. David Hume, Natural History of Religion, 1711-1776 European Humanism (1500 -1900)
European Humanism (1500 -1900) Religion & Morality Of all the systems of religion there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than Christianity. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (1737-1809)
European Humanism (1500 -1900) Religion & Morality I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine. Charles Darwin, Autobiography,1809-1882
Modern Fundamentalist Humanism? The evidence in support of Darwin’s theory of evolution is overwhelming. We see evolution as God’s method for creation. Scientists who share my view do not see evolution as incompatible with the Bible. We see science as the way to understand the awesome nature of God’s creation. Dr. Francis Collins Director of National Institutes of Health and formerly of Human Genome Research Institute 11
DISCUSSION Why have most thinkers in history gifted in Science & Reason, including Isaac Newton, been deeply religious? Why are some modern scientists like Francis Collins committed to the most regressive models of religious belief? Could Dr. Collins’ view that evolution should be taught in public schools help the humanist quest for separation of Church and State?
PART V ARE SCIENCE AND REASON ALWAYS THE ANSWER? Richard Dawkins
What is Cognitive Science? A 20-year old effort to understand how human minds continue to evolve in response to constantly evolving environmental and social challenges. It applies concepts and methods from ecology, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, paleontology, philosophy, political science, history, art & other fields.
+ = EMOTIONS LOGIC REASON RELIGION & SCIENCE DRIVES CAUSAL THOUGHT THE HUMAN NATURE EQUATION A = π R 2 /2
Does the Universe have a purpose? If you are religious , you might declare that the purpose of life is to serve God. But if you’re one of the 100 billion bacteria living and working in a single centimeter of our lower intestine…you would give an entirely different answer. You might instead say that the purpose of human life is to provide you with a dark, but idyllic, anaerobic habitat of fecal matter. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Does the Universe Have a Purpose? http://www.templeton.org/purpose/essay_Tyson.html Religion: The Place of Humans in the Universe
Against the Rational Tide? Reason & Emotion The very fact that the totality of sense perceptions is such, that by means of thinking, it can be put in order, this fact alone leaves us in awe. The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility. The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle. Albert Einstein 1879-1955
Against the Rational Tide? Reason & Emotion Feelings are the expression of human flourishing or distress . Life being a high-wire act, most feelings are expressions of the struggle for balance , ideas of the exquisite adjustments and corrections, without which, one mistake too many, the whole act collapses. Antonio Domasio, Neurologist, Brain Researcher Looking for Spinoza
Against the Rational Tide? Reason & Emotion Reason is the process by which we order the world of feelings to create pro-social behavior – i.e. social intelligence. Reason includes mindfulness, reflection, contemplation, musing, pondering, rhetorical and literary ways of thinking. Jeremy Rifkin, The Empathetic Civilization
We evolved a moral instinct , a capacity that naturally grows within each child, designed to generate rapid judgments about what is morally right or wrong based on an unconscious grammar of action…our moral facility is equipped with a universal moral grammar , a toolkit for building specific moral systems. Marc D. Hauser, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right & Wrong Science & Reason: On Human Morality
Spirit Causality Hunter-gatherers’ landscapes are socially constructed and full of meaning. T hey encompass the landscape in a web of myths and stories that helps them to remember enormous quantities of geographic information. For them there are not two worlds of persons (society) and things (nature), but just one world - saturated with personal powers embracing humans, animals and plants on which they depend, and the landscapes in which they move. Stephen Mithen, Archeologist, Paleontologist The Prehistory of the Mind Science & Reason: Religion’s Natural Origins
People are born with innate instincts for learning the language and religion of their community. Like language, religion is a complex cultural behavior built on top of a genetically shaped learning machine. Because of the decided survival advantage of religion, the behavior had become written into our neural circuitry. Nicholas Wade: The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why Science & Reason: Religion Works Like Language
We are learning from our ancestors – which found its way into our biology. We may have learned wrong things from our ancestors . We inherited instincts for survival in the East African Great Lakes region, but these instincts are not well adapted to the present. Nassim Nicholas Taleb: “The Black Swan” Science & Reason: Our Minds Retain Stone-Age Instincts & Thoughts.
The mental processes of religious belief... represent programmed predispositions incorporated into the neural apparatus of the brain by thousands of years of genetic evolution. As such they are powerful, ineradicable and at the center of human social existence. Edward O. Wilson: On Human Nature Science & Reason: Is Religion is Ineradicable?
It is all the work of our brains - We use them to interpret the world. We use them to settle on decisions and to orchestrate actions. We use them to emote and dream and to share feelings and thoughts with others. We use them to debate questions of ultimate truth, such as whether gods exist or not. Ideas about gods and religion are not special kinds of thoughts; they are produced by the same brain structures and functions that produce all other kinds of thought. Todd Tremlin Minds & Gods – The Cognitive Foundations of Religion Religion & Science Share Cognitive Processes
<ul><li>Traditional Christian Model </li></ul><ul><li>We have a temporal body and an eternal soul. </li></ul><ul><li>We are born with Original Sin: lustful, greedy, selfish, aggressive and hateful. </li></ul><ul><li>We require God’s grace to become saintly: chaste, generous, compassionate, peaceful and loving. </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightenment Humanist Model </li></ul><ul><li>We retain emotional and barbarian instincts from the Stone Age reinforced by supernatural beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>We have since evolved “Reason” that rejects supernaturalism in favor of a rational scientific mind. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Reason” overcoming “Emotion” enables civilization. </li></ul>Models of Human Nature
Cognitive Science Model Learning Drives the Mind’s Evolution The Minds Resources Drives, Urges & Emotions Outcomes Causal Thought EMOTIONS: (Moods, Attitudes, and Feelings) bias REASON in Inferential and Causal Thought SCIENCE and RELIGION are systems of Reflective Thought. Causal Thought, that like all thought, depends on a balancing of Emotion and Reason and that have their own Darwinian Logic that enables survival. Resources Sensors Intelligence Memory Drives Moods Attitudes Feelings Causal Thought Reflexive Inferential Reflective Outcomes Decisions Actions Learning
Existential Feelings Identity Transcendence Meaning Social Attitude Authoritarian Humanistic Causal Attitude Spirit Causality Material Causality Causal Expression Myth vs Theory Ritual vs Method Sancta vs Values The Cognitive Elements of Religion & Science
Erich Fromm: Social Attitude There are two kinds of religion: Authoritarian and Humanistic . Human behavioral norms, cultures and styles of governance follow accordingly Erich Fromm Psychoanalysis & Religion
Erich Fromm: Humanistic Social Attitude Humanistic religion is centered around man and his strength. Man must develop his power of reason in order to understand himself, his relationship to his fellow men and his position in the Universe. The prevailing mood is that of joy, while the prevailing mood in authoritarian religion is that of sorrow and guilt. Inasmuch as humanistic religions are theistic, God is a symbol of man’s own powers which he tries to realize in his life, and not a symbol of force and domination, having power over man.
The essential element is the surrender to a power transcending man. The main virtue is obedience, its cardinal sin is disobedience. In surrender he loses independence and integrity but gains the feeling of being protected by an awe-inspiring power.. The submission of the mind is the very essence of authoritarian religions whether couched in secular or theological language. Authoritarian secular religion follows the same principle. The Fuhrer or the State or the Race or the Socialist Fatherland becomes the object of worship. Erich Fromm: Authoritarian Social Attitude
Humanistic & Authoritarian Political Gallery Bill Moyers Jimmie Carter Nelson Mandela Martin Luther King Howard Zinn Pat Robertson Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Idi Amin Adolph Hitler Dick Cheney
<ul><li>Pat Robertson Comments on Events of 9/11 http://www.gainesvillehumanists.org/attack.htm#robertson </li></ul><ul><li>We have allowed rampant pornography on the internet & rampant secularism on television. </li></ul><ul><li>We have permitted 35 to 40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered in our society. </li></ul><ul><li>We're going to take your commandments from off the courthouse steps in various states. </li></ul><ul><li>We're not going to let little children read the commandments of God. We're not going to let the Bible be read, no prayer in our schools. </li></ul><ul><li>We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. And, then we say 'why does this happen?' Well, why it's happening is that God Almighty is lifting his protection from us. </li></ul>
Humanistic & Authoritarian Political Gallery Harriet Tubman Margeret Sanger Dorothy Height Michelle Bachman Sarah Pailin Anne Coulter
Rev. Barry W. Lynn , United Church of Christ Religious Humanist & Ordained Minister Executive Director: Americans United for Separation of Church and State Civil Liberties Lawyer and Activist Former Legislative Counsel: American Civil Liberties Union Honored by the American Humanist Association A Champion of Religious Humanism
Humanistic Fundamentalists Harriet Tubman Dorothy Height Anne Coulter Jim Wallis: “Tell Glenn Beck: I’m a Social Justice Christian.” Tony Campolo: “Our call is to be God’s agents, to rescue not only the human race but the whole of creation. Today, some of the most spiritual people I know claim to be without religion.” Chris LaTondress: “ There is a cruel link between poverty, race, and abortion. We should spend more energy advocating policies that might actually reduce the abortion rate.” a
<ul><li>The First Dilemma </li></ul><ul><li>T he spirit causal thoughts of billions of people will continue to profoundly impact the quality of our Social Order and the health of the earth’s ecosystems. </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightenment Humanism depends on Reason alone to enable our Social Order to respond appropriately. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet Reason itself is a slave to Emotion for theist and atheist alike. </li></ul>Dilemmas of Enlightenment Humanism
<ul><li>The Second Dilemma </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightenment Humanism is often hostile to religion because it assumes that religion is merely an irrational impulse that only harms humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>By projecting a hostile social attitude toward the core beliefs of most of the world’s people, Enlightenment Humanism reaps what it sows and renders itself impotent to influence the Social Order. </li></ul>Dilemmas of Enlightenment Humanism
<ul><li>The Third Dilemma </li></ul><ul><li>Reason itself has been a tool to defend religious beliefs and impose them on others by force. </li></ul><ul><li>Theologians define God and use Reason to infer God’s nature, purpose and will for the Social Order. </li></ul><ul><li>Modern Humanism has yet to evolve a Social Order Strategy for humans as intensely social animals whose primary responses are grounded on Feelings and Emotions. </li></ul>Dilemmas of Enlightenment Humanism
Avoid the traps of human vanity that seduce many humanists to somehow feel superior to people whose humanism is tied to religious beliefs. Harness Reason & Emotion to improve the Social Order through meaningful relationships with people having inherently humanistic instincts that transcend authoritarian religious traditions. Partner with people of all faiths who oppose the many abuses of authoritarian religion. The Future Secular Humanism Will…
You and I are both humanists in the broadest sense: human welfare is at the center of our thought. But the differences between humanism based ion religion and humanism based on science radiates through philosophy and the very meaning we assign ourselves as a species. They affect the way we separately authenticate our ethics, our patriotism, our social structure, our personal dignity…When you think about our metaphysical differences have little effect on the conduct of our separate lives. E. O. Wilson, The Creation, 167,168 WILSON’S APPEAL TO A BAPTIST PREACHER
Fosters partnerships with religious organizations that share key elements of its humanist agenda. Actively supports freedom of religion for all denominations while opposing organizations and persons who impair that freedom for others. Advocates freedom from the dictates of authoritarian religion and opposes discrimination against or harassment of liberal and progressive religions, atheists, agnostics and pantheists. The American Humanist Association…
Is the traditional Christian Original Sin & Redemption model of human nature an impediment to a better world? Is the traditional Enlightenment model of Barbarian Emotion and Civilized Reason an adequate response to Sin & Redemption? Can Secular Humanism and Religious tradition accept and apply the Cognitive Science Model of Human Nature which balances Emotion & Reason? Can mutual tolerance enable atheists and theists to collaborate in healing the world? DISCUSSION
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