Re: [humanism-174] re definitions

From: Mason
Sent on: Friday, August 10, 2007 12:07 AM
--- Marni Tiborsky <[address removed]> wrote:

> I am glad we changed the group name though- please
> correct me if I'm wrong,
> but "Humanist" seems like a term for those who are
> afraid to stand up and be
> recognized as Atheists and Agnostics.

Hello folks,

I'm new here, my name is Mason and I live in Parma. 
I've never really thought much about the meanings and
implications of the term "Humanist" and over the years
I have never really referred to myself as one.  Though
if someone would ask me if I was a Humanist, I would
probably say something like: I'm a Humanist in that I
think it's more important for us to look inwards to
ourselves than outwards to a higher power.  However,
how that relates to Atheism or Agnosticism, I'm
unsure.  I've considered myself an Atheist for most of
my adult life, even back into my childhood.. I was
raised in a Methodist church and I remember even as a
child, thinking all this stuff was pretty
preposterous.  I spent many years doing the arguments
and staying up late talking about "god" with my
friends.  I've been in more message board arguments
about the existence of God than I care to admit to. 
I'm 37 years old, and to be honest, I think I've said
just about all I can say about God, at least the
Christian flavor of God.  

That being said, I've recently become more open to the
idea that there might be something "beyond us" - I
can't put a word to it, I'm not sure I want to put a
face on it.  I have no idea what it is.  I have no
idea if it is truely "beyond us" or "part of us" - at
least, part of us that choose to look for it or even
develop it.  

Is this some kind of magical epiphany?  Not really,
more like just something I've been kicking around,
based on several books I've read recently about the
mind and using the mind in new ways.  Also, being an
Atheist all these years, while opening me up to many
great thinkers and views, has also left me feeling
somewhat empty.  And, more and more, many Atheists are
coming across as angry and bitter.  Now, I know they
have reason, I've had my reasons and I've been one of
those angry atheists.  I think that now, however, it's
more healthy for me to not hold onto all that
bitterness and cynicism.  No sense beating a dead
horse, so to speak.  If I can bring something positive
into the world, why not choose that?  

So, back to Humanism, yes, I'd associate my world view
with Humanism.  But I guess I don't relate it that
much with Atheism or Agnosticsm.  One can be a
Humanist, but also believe that Humans are capable of
discovering and achieving things that an Atheist would
not consider.


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