Humanists of Greater Portland Meetup Message Board › What are Humanist books that teach a system of morals?

What are Humanist books that teach a system of morals?

Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,216
Gavin said in reply to Marsha:

Hi Marsha, thanks for your comments. I am glad you can relate to what I am going through. Regarding those words of yours which I quoted above and regarding other statements of yours about disturbing passages in the Bible, I agree those are indeed examples of disturbing biblical teachings. But I don't use the Bible in an uncritical fashion. I use my power of discernment (which is partially shaped by liberal modern western cultural values) to discern which statements in the Bible are morally good and which are morally bad. I recognize the Bible as consisting entirely of the thoughts of fallible humans, instead of a god or gods. As such the Bible is capable of containing both good and bad teachings. When I look for insight from the Bible, I focus on those biblical teachings/ideas which appear good, wise, and helpful to me. I see the Bible as containing some morally good and wise statements which I first learned from the Bible instead of from other sources. I evaluate each biblical teaching on its own individual merits and demerits. I think it is silly to let recognition of the bad teachings of a book cause one to ignore and reject the good teachings of that same book.

In a similar way, when I read Charles Darwin's 1859 book called "On The Origin of Species" I don't feel I must agree with everything in it, nor do I feel I must disagree with everything in it. I recognize that some of what it says is correct and that some of what it says is incorrect. I use my power of discernment when I read it. In so doing I derive much value from that very old book. From that book (and two other ones written also by Darwin, namely "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex" and "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals"), despite it being fallible (as well as the other two) I have discovered much evidence and argumentation which strongly supports the teaching that biological evolution (including macroevolution), instead of creationism, has taken place.

Some good biblical teachings which I first learned from the Bible are the Golden Rule, the parable of the good Samaritan (which is about being a humanitarian and a good neighbor), the parable of the prodigal son (which is about forgiveness of someone who lead a debauched life but later came back to his senses), Paul's words about the value of love (in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, but as an atheist I ignore the supernatural claims of that chapter), much of what Paul said in Galatians 5: 13-23, much of what Jesus says in Matthew chapters 5 through 7 but with modifications from an atheistic perspective, the 5th through the 10th commandments of the 10 commandments (but with realizations of their limitations from a Humanistic perspective), etc. In a way what I am doing is what the Unitarian Universalist church/fellowship has done, except I explicitly believe and teach atheistic Naturalism rather than believing in a god and rather than teaching the existence of a god.

It appears that my experiences as a former Christian (both as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and later as an independent Christian) were much more positive than your experiences as a former Christian who had belonged to a hyper strict fundamentalist-conservative denomination. That probably greatly contributes to the much more positive view I have toward parts of the Bible than you do. It is also why I am working on luring liberal Christians to adopt an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity (and I am trying to create such a so-called "Christianity" for that very purpose). It is Christian only in two senses: 1) of adopting those teachings of Christianity which are morally/ethical good and wise, but from an atheistic philosophical Naturalist Humanist point of view; 2) of adopting those Christian cultural elements (such as educational instruction in a congregational setting with emotionally stirring music and singing) which are good and harmless while also being compatible with Humanism. As part of that project of an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity, I am writing a book which is a Humanistic derivative work of the Bible (in other words I am rewriting the Bible as a Humanist guidebook but without calling or representing that book as a Bible). See my Yahoo Group called "Educators of Naturalism" at http://groups.yahoo.c...­ for more information. Likewise for the purpose of luring liberal Christians to become atheistic Humanists I am writing an atheistic Humanistic "Christian" commentary on the Bible. It shows how Humanistic ideas can be gleaned from the Bible while also pointing out how atheistic Humanists disagree with a number of other biblical ideas.
Gavin further said:

Here is an article called "Christian without belief in God? No problem". The article mentions people who "... share a very modern trend in religion: they are Christians who don't believe in God." The article speaks of "... going back to basics and acknowledging that every idea of God is a human creation - and human creativity lives on. In the modern world it is therefore open to us to reconceive God as a powerful symbol - indeed the most powerful symbol we are capable of - in a way that reflects not only core elements of every major religion, but also a secular understanding of the world."
I have been trying to think of the best name for my idea of an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity. Past tentative names were "Humanistic Christianity" and "Humanistic Biblicalism", but now I am using the name "Atheistic Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" and I might shorten it to "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity". The word "Quasi-Christianity" is much more accurate than the word "Christianity" since my idea doesn't fit most definitions of the word "Christian". That is especially since its Guidebook is derived from the Bible by rewriting the Bible from an atheistic Humanistic perspective, rather than merely editing the Bible.

In addition to thinking of myself as an atheist, a philosophical naturalist, and a Humanist (both in the general sense and in the specific sense of a Secular Humanist), I am now also thinking of myself as a Quasi-Christian. That is in harmony with me thinking of my idea of "Atheistic Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" as being quasi-religious instead of being religious. I think of myself as a Quasi-Christian because I still study the Bible and still appreciate considerable parts of the Bible and because my current ethical and morals standards are nearly completely (or a least mostly) the same as the ones I had while I was formerly a believing theistic Christian (both as an independent Christian and as one of Jehovah's Witnesses).
Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,223
Gavin said:
...

I have been trying to think of the best name for my idea of an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity. Past tentative names were "Humanistic Christianity" and "Humanistic Biblicalism", but now I am using the name "Atheistic Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" and I might shorten it to "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity". The word "Quasi-Christianity" is much more accurate than the word "Christianity" since my idea doesn't fit most definitions of the word "Christian". That is especially since its Guidebook is derived from the Bible by rewriting the Bible from an atheistic Humanistic perspective, rather than merely editing the Bible.

In addition to thinking of myself as an atheist, a philosophical naturalist, and a Humanist (both in the general sense and in the specific sense of a Secular Humanist), I am now also thinking of myself as a Quasi-Christian. That is in harmony with me thinking of my idea of "Atheistic Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" as being quasi-religious instead of being religious. I think of myself as a Quasi-Christian because I still study the Bible and still appreciate considerable parts of the Bible and because my current ethical and morals standards are nearly completely (or a least mostly) the same as the ones I had while I was formerly a believing theistic Christian (both as an independent Christian and as one of Jehovah's Witnesses).

Update:

As stated above I said I might shorten the name of my idea of an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity to "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity". On January 5, 2014 I did make that change. My Yahoo Group for "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" is located at at this link.

Earlier this month I completed a list of those portions of the Bible (including the Apocrypha) which I deem useful for the purposes of "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" when they creatively interpreted (including deliberately misinterpreting some verses to the exact opposite meaning of what those verses actually mean). However part of my list is not easily accessible due to computer hardware problems.
Jill
user 67913592
Portland, OR
Post #: 10
I just saw this, and though it cost them $5000. to put it up, and I personally am super strapped, thinking back to 2012 I saw a billboard on S.E. 17th and Powell that beckoned atheists, was when it got me to find groups in Portland. Didn't think about it before that, really.. I was adrift in a sea of believers 'til then. I think it was Christopher Reeves saying he lived his life "as if". Or 'this is what atheists look like". Inclusive.
Thanks folks for the ideas. I have a Jesus-like saying (for an atheist Bible-like handbook that I am writing) that is "Happy are the atheists, for they are in greater touch with reality." Interestingly there will be an atheist billboard in California that says "Atheism: A personal relationship with reality." See http://www.kpbs.org/n...­ for more information.

An alternate Jesus-like saying of mine is "Happy are the atheists, for they are in touch with reality."

Gavin
Atheistic-ExJW
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 2,226
Gavin said:
...

I have been trying to think of the best name for my idea of an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity. Past tentative names were "Humanistic Christianity" and "Humanistic Biblicalism", but now I am using the name "Atheistic Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" and I might shorten it to "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity". The word "Quasi-Christianity" is much more accurate than the word "Christianity" since my idea doesn't fit most definitions of the word "Christian". That is especially since its Guidebook is derived from the Bible by rewriting the Bible from an atheistic Humanistic perspective, rather than merely editing the Bible.

In addition to thinking of myself as an atheist, a philosophical naturalist, and a Humanist (both in the general sense and in the specific sense of a Secular Humanist), I am now also thinking of myself as a Quasi-Christian. That is in harmony with me thinking of my idea of "Atheistic Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" as being quasi-religious instead of being religious. I think of myself as a Quasi-Christian because I still study the Bible and still appreciate considerable parts of the Bible and because my current ethical and morals standards are nearly completely (or a least mostly) the same as the ones I had while I was formerly a believing theistic Christian (both as an independent Christian and as one of Jehovah's Witnesses).

Update:

As stated above I said I might shorten the name of my idea of an atheistic Humanistic version of Christianity to "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity". On January 5, 2014 I did make that change. My Yahoo Group for "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" is located at at this link.

Earlier this month I completed a list of those portions of the Bible (including the Apocrypha) which I deem useful for the purposes of "Humanistic Quasi-Christianity" when they creatively interpreted (including deliberately misinterpreting some verses to the exact opposite meaning of what those verses actually mean). However part of my list is not easily accessible due to computer hardware problems.
News: Richard Dawkings is now saying he can rightly be called a "Secular Christian". See the article called "Atheist Richard Dawkins: ‘I Am a Secular Christian’" for more information. It includes posts I made on the forum/blog on that web page.
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