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 Do you consider yourself a humanist?
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Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2016 :  13:58:49  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Word on the street has it that there is a rather big overlap between humanists and skeptics. It was stated on some blog that if you go to a skeptic meetup, and then a humanist meetup, and then a science festival, you will tend to run into the same people on all three.

It is also my impression that it is more or less the case. But not all skeptics would consider themselves humanists. Some out of apathy, some out of disagreement with humanism.

Would you consider yourself a humanist, in addition to being a skeptic? Why or why not?

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2016 :  16:13:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Philo
Would you consider yourself a humanist, in addition to being a skeptic? Why or why not?
I consider myself a Secular Humanist, and a Skeptic.

Secular humanism is a comprehensive life stance or world view which embraces human reason, metaphysical naturalism, altruistic morality and distributive justice, and consciously rejects supernatural claims, theistic faith and religiosity, pseudoscience, and superstition.[64][65] It is sometimes referred to as Humanism (with a capital H and no qualifying adjective).


Why? Because to my thinking, Secular Humanism provides the most reasonable framework from which I derive my personal ethics from by pretty much insisting on an empathetic approach when considering my fellow human beings and a rational/responsible approach when considering nature and our relationship to it, because we can't logically separate ourselves from nature.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2016 :  11:09:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a little-H humanist because big-H Humanist groups (the formal ones) tend to hold positions I don't quite agree with.

Wracking my brain to remember even one, but I can't right now.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9648 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2016 :  11:27:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Originally posted by Philo
Would you consider yourself a humanist, in addition to being a skeptic? Why or why not?
I consider myself a Secular Humanist, and a Skeptic.

Secular humanism is a comprehensive life stance or world view which embraces human reason, metaphysical naturalism, altruistic morality and distributive justice, and consciously rejects supernatural claims, theistic faith and religiosity, pseudoscience, and superstition.[64][65] It is sometimes referred to as Humanism (with a capital H and no qualifying adjective).


This seems to fairly accurately describe me as well.

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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4823 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2016 :  11:29:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Philo

Word on the street has it that there is a rather big overlap between humanists and skeptics. It was stated on some blog that if you go to a skeptic meetup, and then a humanist meetup, and then a science festival, you will tend to run into the same people on all three.

It is also my impression that it is more or less the case. But not all skeptics would consider themselves humanists. Some out of apathy, some out of disagreement with humanism.

Would you consider yourself a humanist, in addition to being a skeptic? Why or why not?


I do not. I am a neopagan. I am now part of the priesthood.

I am a skeptic (except for my religion but it isn't a religion that dribbles over into science and logic) and a supporter of science.

But I can see that one would tend to see similar people at all three.

The big H humanism requires atheism.

Little h humanism is more the underscoring of placing worth on the individual and respecting differences instead of foisting morals upon them. I could get behind that.

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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2016 :  14:13:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In a word, yes!

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1418 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2016 :  14:51:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What Kil said, though I find the term "humanism" to be too human-centric. I care about non-human animals and the ecosystems upon which we stand.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2016 :  22:34:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

The big H humanism requires atheism.

Little h humanism is more the underscoring of placing worth on the individual and respecting differences instead of foisting morals upon them. I could get behind that.
Any philosophy that posits the will or morality of unevidenced beings as somehow greater than that of ordinary people is no form of humanism.

In other words, even little-H humanism necessarily rejects any purported deity - anthropomorphic, animalistic, naturalistic, mainstream, pagan or even science fictional - that refuses to argue for its position on equal footing with any member of humanity.

Humanism, organized or not, requires the idea that humans matter at least as much as anything else. Any religion which places its central focus on something non-human that is alleged even slightly more important that any other human is incompatible with humanism, and any religion which considers its object of worship or prophets below humans isn't much of a religion.

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Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2016 :  12:04:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Secular humanism is a loose belief-system. Skepticism focuses on method rather than conclusion or belief. Isn't there somewhat of a tension between them?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2016 :  19:11:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Skepticism, at least modern skepticism doesn't mean we must divest ourselves of all beliefs and conclusions. It just demands that our beliefs and conclusions must be held on a tentative basis, subject change if evidence demands it. I believe that homeopathy is a fraud, for example. Worthless. That's definitely a conclusion that is informed by a method of investigation into the claims that homeopaths make. I don't see the tension there. What claims does Secular Humanism make? As long as my beliefs don't become intractable, I don't see the tension there. It's kind of like saying that one epistemology can't inform another.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2016 :  21:29:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

What claims does Secular Humanism make?
Not so much claims as affirmations. Others might call them "tenets."

I disagree, for example, that "Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals." I have no doubt that some people can find fulfillment in other ways. Those people may not call themselves Humanists, but the Manifesto suggests that fulfillment is only possible through "individual participation in the service of humane ideals," which is obviously bullshit.

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2016 :  09:30:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Kil

What claims does Secular Humanism make?
Not so much claims as affirmations. Others might call them "tenets."

I disagree, for example, that "Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals." I have no doubt that some people can find fulfillment in other ways. Those people may not call themselves Humanists, but the Manifesto suggests that fulfillment is only possible through "individual participation in the service of humane ideals," which is obviously bullshit.
I've never belonged to that organization. If I had been writing that up back in 1933 I might have objected to the idea that fulfillment can only be derived in one way. In general, I'm a secular humanist by the definitions and reasons why I am that I offered above. While I agree with most of the tenants that they offer, I'm not bound by any manifesto. I am independent and I would suggest that belonging to organized secular humanism is not necessary to being a secular humanist. Secular humanism comes the closest to describing what I believe to be a reasonable and responsible life stance with regard to myself, my fellow human beings and nature itself.

By the way. On the site they offer this important disclaimer:

This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe.

I'm still not going to join.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2016 :  13:35:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, the link was to Humanist Manifesto III, published by the American Humanist Association in 2003. It's an update of the 1933 Manifesto. The AHA also owns the trademark on "Humanist Manifesto."

I missed the disclaimer. I'm still not in agreement.

Also:
...I would suggest that belonging to organized secular humanism is not necessary to being a secular humanist.
No, but it might be necessary to being a capital-S Secular capital-H Humanist.

(And one definitely needs to have a working shift key to Split These Hairs... )

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2016 :  15:41:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know, for years I subscribed to Skeptical Inquirer. I have issues dating back as far as the early eighties when it was called The Zetetic. At the same time, Free Inquiry was being offered. I took a pass on that one. I guess I'm just more interested in skepticism than I am in the freethinking movement, even though I am glad that there are people who champion that cause. This site morphed from an atheist/agnostic site into a skeptic site, not in a small part because it was skepticism that thrilled me the most. Of course, the overlap is obvious and welcome and has always been a part of SFN.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2016 :  04:56:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

You know, for years I subscribed to Skeptical Inquirer. I have issues dating back as far as the early eighties when it was called The Zetetic. At the same time, Free Inquiry was being offered. I took a pass on that one. I guess I'm just more interested in skepticism than I am in the freethinking movement, even though I am glad that there are people who champion that cause. This site morphed from an atheist/agnostic site into a skeptic site, not in a small part because it was skepticism that thrilled me the most. Of course, the overlap is obvious and welcome and has always been a part of SFN.




Yes, I'm well aware of the overlap between skepticism and various related movements. Do you agree with Steven Novella's definitions ( http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/scientific-skepticism-rationalism-and-secularism/ ) of the movements (and his characterization of humanism)?

Scientific skepticism the application of skeptical philosophy, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science and its methods to empirical claims, while remaining agnostic or neutral to non-empirical claims (except those that directly impact the practice of science)

Secularism Atheism, agnosticism, and humanism promoting a secular society and taking a critical view of faith and religion.

Rationalism Essentially a combination of the above two promoting reason and critical thinking in all spheres without focus or specialization.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2016 :  09:18:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes. And I like that essay.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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