Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 General Skepticism
 Do you consider yourself a humanist?
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Previous Page
Author  Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2016 :  22:13:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Philo

Sorry for taking so long time to reply!
No sweat.
Originally posted by Dave W.

I don't have enough data to confirm your use of "many," "seem to always" and "seems in many cases." Can you provide analyses of a decent sample size of humanist groups' pronouncements-vs-practice ratios?
Have you visited humanist websites, read humanist statements and interviews with people in leadership positions within humanism? It seems pretty clear to me what they are about.
So the answer is "no," you don't have the data or analysis, you just have an impression and expect me to agree.

Perhaps I read too much into a Facebook "like". Especially since the AHA "likes" a lot on Facebook, and thus might not be particularly selective.

Still, the obvious reason they "like" Bill Maher is due to his criticism of religion.
Maybe, but that's not what you said. You made a much stronger claim. You said, "Clearly opposition to religions trumps everything else for them."

Besides which, since when did a Facebook like become the sine qua non of showing support for the entirety of someone's positions? It's not like the AHA established a chair at a university in Maher's name or donated a million dollars to Maher's PAC. No, someone in the organization clicked a single damned button on a Facebook page. Let's try to keep some perspective here, shall we?
And his pseudoscience was not an isolated. unknown event, but pretty public. And he has been called out for it (not by the AHA, though).
No, but I'll ask you again if you have inside information on how the AHA polices its Facebook likes.
How does a Facebook "like" not represent... liking?
I gave you a clear example. I don't like that Kil's clients have screwed him over. I liked Kil's Facebook posts to show support for Kil. Do you not understand the difference?
Ok, let me put it this way: Bill Maher is known as an opponent of religion. He is also known as a promoter of pseudoscience. Clearyl AHA did not consider his pseudoscience problematic enough not to "like" him.
Yes, there is nobody who you'll agree with 100% of the time. I think my wife (whom I liked enough to marry) has horrible taste in ice cream flavors. We all run calculations in our heads regarding whether someone's positive aspects outweigh their negative aspects when it comes to supporting them (even over something as inconsequential as clicking a like button on Facebook).

I ran the calculations regarding Michael Shermer and felt strongly enough to quit supporting Scientific American because they pay Shermer to run his mouth. I ran the calculations regarding Orson Scott Card and decided I didn't need to buy any more of his books. I ran the calculations regarding Lynyrd Skynyrd and realized that even if the implicit racism in "Sweet Home Alabama" was an inside joke with Neil Young, I don't enjoy their music enough to purchase any of it anyway.

Maybe (maybe) the AHA has run the calculations regarding Maher and decided (as you suggest) that his anti-religion stance "trumps" his other negatives (or perhaps the math came out to 50.00001% in favor - hardly "trumping"). I doubt they've given as much consideration to the matter as you have. I still think you're simply giving far too much meaning to a Facebook like.
Originally posted by Dave W.

I don't know the demographic breakdowns. That's what you were asking about in the OP, was it not?
Yes.
Well, I still don't know.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2016 :  06:57:06   [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
"Likes" on facebook can often mean that the post is acknowledged, only. That it's of some interest. When I hit "like" on a post it's often to let the person who posted know that the post has been read by me. Now they have added a few more emoticons that help us to express our real feelings about the post, but they are limited and to me, somewhat annoying. There is no way a "like" on FB should be considered even causally related to any meaningful survey. I don't think I've met a person from the AHA or the Dawkins Foundation that isn't at least somewhat conflicted over Mahar being a spokesperson for rationality.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2016 :  07:33:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have seen one skeptic, who is also a humanist, express the view that skepticism gave her a way to knowledge, and humanism gave her positive values. Would you agree with that take?

This seems to be somewhat at odds with Novella's take as posted earlier in the thread. He seems to view humanism as little else than a synonyme to atheism. Of course, this particular topic is not Novella's expertise, and I doubt he has thought very much about it.
Edited by - Philo on 10/02/2016 07:34:07
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2016 :  10:14:59   [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

I have seen one skeptic, who is also a humanist, express the view that skepticism gave her a way to knowledge, and humanism gave her positive values. Would you agree with that take?
Seems about right. The thing is, I don't think about humanism all that much. What I mean is that the values that are promoted as humanist values I already agreed with, without their help. I also think activist skepticism helps in promoting positive values. It's that consumer advocate aspect of skepticism. The idea isn't to just knock down bogus ideas and walk away. There is that side of skepticism that promotes better ideas and of course, a better way to evaluate ideas in general. I think that's a positive in terms of values. Promoting vaccination is a good example of the other side of skeptical activism. The positive side.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1418 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2016 :  14:46:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Philo, I agree. Science and skepticism is about reasoning and trying not to be fooled. But we can reason ourselves into atrocities without positive values.
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2016 :  21:01:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's what got to me about all the "keep politics/religion out of skepticism" stuff a few years back. Consumer advocacy is a political/moral position, and does not at all follow from a full and accurate application of reason and critical thought. Pure skepticism would be to "knock down bogus ideas and walk away." Thinking "we should publish so that others won't get fooled by this scam" necessarily comes from some other philosophy.

And so long as people continue to hand over money to mainstream churches, the application of skepticism to religious ideas is also a form of consumer protection. Sure, it's sometimes easy to see that the faith healers and televangelists (who have been targets of organized skepticism for decades) don't believe the cons they're pushing and so definitely deserve to be taken down, but from a consumer point-of-view, it does not matter that the run-of-the-mill priests and pastors believe their own bullshit. That doesn't make the financial and other harm they do any less harmful. There are plenty of alt-med fanatics who sincerely believe that the tinctures they hawk work, and skeptics don't seem to have a problem with calling "baloney" on that.

(And, of course, the irony never escaped me: "the skeptical movement should avoid taking political positions" is itself a political position. I think the fact that those making such a proclamation the loudest were libertarians is due to nothing more than the desire to avoid having the light of skepticism shone on libertarianism.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

john21wall
New Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2016 :  03:21:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit john21wall's Homepage Send john21wall a Private Message  Reply with Quote
humanistic theory is all about of psychology..?
Go to Top of Page

Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 12/25/2016 :  05:32:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems that to many people, humanism refers to ethics and morality. But when I look at the websites of humanist organizations, they are (mostly) about providing political representation for the non-religious in society and fighting for secularism. These two things are not the same thing. What, if anything, am I missing?
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2016 :  06:36:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't know, Philo. Any organization with an active website will have hundreds or thousands of individual webpages, and I don't know that anyone has classified each of them as political or ethical for purposes of making a "mostly" statement.

After all, there no rule that an organization can't be both, with some percentage of a website devoted to simply describing humanism and others seeking donations to help defend First Amendment rights. To me, a large-enough organization should do both, because a humanist who ignores the political plight of others isn't much of a humanist, but not every organization will have deep enough pockets to hire decent lawyers and/or lobbyists.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Abigail Evans
New Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2017 :  12:19:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Abigail Evans a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I'm a humanist especially to animals and children)
Go to Top of Page

Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2017 :  12:02:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wonder if Daniel Loxton's take on the relationship between skepticism and humanism is common, valid, or if it's bogus? See some quotes:

To begin with, I identify as a secular humanist in my private life. When people ask me what I personally believe, what my values are, or even what my “religion” might be, “secular humanist” is the answer I give them—humanist, rather than “atheist” or “skeptic.”

...

When people ask who I am as a person, I tell them that I am a humanist. When I say that, I mean that my values and my portfolio of personal beliefs are very much in alignment with the Kurtzian tradition of the Council for Secular Humanism. In my private life, I feel part of that tradition.

...

“Skeptic” is not my personal identity, or at least not the whole of it; it is my professional task.

Link: http://www.skepticblog.org/2013/12/03/loxton-speech-at-cfi-summit-2013


Daniel Loxton: humanist is my identity, skeptic is my profession #CFIsummit

https://twitter.com/center4inquiry/status/393784293769506816


@stephenross I usually self-identify as a humanist in my personal life. It says more about the portfolio of beliefs that most matter to me.

https://twitter.com/Daniel_Loxton/status/292342517960155137


I AM an atheist; I IDENTIFY as a seclr humanist; I DO skepticism. (For me, "skeptic" describes a discipline, like "dentist" or "folklorist")

https://twitter.com/Daniel_Loxton/status/266268154739712002


I AM an atheist bc I have no belief in gods; I IDENTIFY as humanist bc of trad of seeking commonality&valuing diversity of shared human exp

https://twitter.com/Daniel_Loxton/status/266255351710638081


As should be clear from these quotes, Loxton views skepticism as an discipline or occupation (like dentistry, as he himself gave as an example), and identifies on a personal level with humanism. Do you share Loxton's views on this?
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2017 :  15:59:42   [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
Philo:
As should be clear from these quotes, Loxton views skepticism as an discipline or occupation (like dentistry, as he himself gave as an example), and identifies on a personal level with humanism. Do you share Loxton's views on this?

I do. Yes. Skepticism is a tool. A method. Atheism and humanism are beliefs. Skepticism sometimes informs beliefs but it does so as a tool.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  13:34:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Philo:
As should be clear from these quotes, Loxton views skepticism as an discipline or occupation (like dentistry, as he himself gave as an example), and identifies on a personal level with humanism. Do you share Loxton's views on this?

I do. Yes. Skepticism is a tool. A method. Atheism and humanism are beliefs. Skepticism sometimes informs beliefs but it does so as a tool.


That's surprising. Didn't you previously write that you are more interested in skepticism than in humanism, and don't really think about humanism very much? Now you seem to affirm humanism as your primary identity, as per Loxton.

Personally, I think that Loxton's set-up is rather strange. I'd assume that one identifies most with the movement/philosophy one is involved in, rather than with a movement/philosophy that one is not partiuclarly involved in (to my knowledge, Loxton is not involved in any humanist activism). But to each his/her own.

I also personally agree with Steven Novella that one should not identify with any conclusions or beliefs, but rather with the methodology (i.e skepticism).

See: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/convincing-antivaxxers/

The one thing that is clear from all of this scientific evidence is that humans as a species are rather pathetic on average. We are emotional creatures that, by default, can easily render ourselves immune to logic and facts whenever our emotions are at stake. It is hard not to feel that this is the source of endless mischief and sorrow for humanity. How do we fix it?

The ultimate solution, in my opinion, is to promote scientific skepticism. The skeptical outlook is to consciously remove oneself from any emotional investment in any particular belief. Instead we align our identity with the process of science, listening to facts, and following valid logic and sound arguments.

Part of this is being transparent and engaging intellectually with others. The critical analysis of others will keep us honest. We must be our own harshest skeptic, for if not others will expose any flaws in our process. We will then be under pressure to examine our methods and change our conclusions if necessary. Essentially being a skeptic and being part of a community of skeptics harnesses inherent human psychology toward being logical and scientific, rather than irrational and emotional.

As a skeptic my primary motivation is getting it right (not defending any particular position), and if I don’t I know that other skeptics will point out my error, and if I don’t properly engage with their criticism, or if I dig in my heels, I will lose credibility.


Novella gets my vote for being the greatest skeptic currently living. I am very happy that he will (hopefully) be able to go on for decades ahead.
Edited by - Philo on 11/29/2017 15:29:04
Go to Top of Page

Philo
New Member

48 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  16:28:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Philo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And as always, please correct me if I'm wrong or if I have misunderstood something.
Edited by - Philo on 11/29/2017 16:30:12
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13382 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  17:12:09   [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
Philo:
That's surprising. Didn't you previously write that you are more interested in skepticism than in humanism, and don't really think about humanism very much? Now you seem to affirm humanism as your primary identity, as per Loxton.

I am a secular humanist. I just don't put much energy in that direction. If you asked me how I view myself, I'd probably say I'm a skeptic, which is not the answer Daniel would give. Nevertheless, like Daniel, I would not conflate Skepticism with humanism because they are not the same thing. Maybe I'm confused but I thought you were wondering if Daniel's clear separation of humanism and skepticism is common. I'd say it is, if that's the question. Again, maybe I didn't understand what you were asking. But I think I've been consistent.

http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16341&whichpage=1#216310

http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16341&whichpage=2#216358

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3  Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.48 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000