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Florida Atheists, Critical Thinkers & Skeptics. Message Board › Can we clearly associate Humanism philosophy with Atheism?

Can we clearly associate Humanism philosophy with Atheism?

user 25917562
Orlando, FL
Post #: 11
Atheism to me is just a dictionary definition for "without god, without belief" After that I have all different thoughts about politics, ideas, society. I prefer to describe myself as agnostic atheist, meaning I don't believe in gods, but I don't know if there is anything godlike in the universe.

I understand Humanism to be an approach to philosophy and world view that focuses on human values and concerns, including freedom of belief, there is active humanism, and even theist humanists.

Thoughts please.....
Drake W.
Orlando, FL
Post #: 5
You are right. Almost by definition an atheist will be a humanist. The thing I hear most is either "isn't it depressing to think this is all there is and there is no afterlife" or "atheists can't have any morals without a god" both of which I reject.

I think being an atheist will make you treasure life that much more and possibly want to make other's lives better.

Since we clearly believe in humans I know my moral "compass" doesn't come from some guy made up by superstitious people 2,000 years ago. Certainly the bible does not provide any positive standards to live by. I came across those on my own.
A former member
Post #: 1
I have included below a definition of Humanism that I really like. I agree with Sir Drake almost completely, but I believe the Bible provides a number of good moral lessons that a person can adopt as standards to live by (as I have chosen to do). That is one reason the Bible is so popular. Of course there is also a lot a stuff in the Bible that is morally wrong by almost any standard, but, that is one reason I'm excited about joining this group, we can discuss and learn from each other.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without super-naturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
The following manifests a consensus of what we believe:
§ Knowledge of the world is derived by observation,
experimentation, and rational analysis.
• Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.
• Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.
• Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
• Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
• Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.
We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and find that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.
Jean M.
Clearwater, FL
Post #: 15
One can be atheist and not a humanist.

One can be humanist, and not an atheist.

It's two different things.

Although most atheists are awesome people,
sadly, there are atheists who are self-absorbed dicks. We can not assume all atheists are humanists.

I self-label as atheist,
although, technically, i am very slightly agnostic, only out of respect for the word "know", only out of respect for the burden of proof req'd to say it is a "fact" no gods exist.

Using Dawkins's scale of atheism, on 1 to 7,
I slide in at 6.9999999999,
same as Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc.
out of respect for the word "know".

Atheism/theism/deism, refer to what we think or believe.
Agnostic/gnostic refers to what we know.

I don't use the word "agnostic" in my own self-label, unless asked, because the word "agnostic" is commonly misunderstood in general usage. It has multiple meanings and tends to give wrong impression in common day to day speech, imo.

me, i am plain ol atheist.

A former member
Post #: 2
Hey, JeanMarie, I self-label as pantheist; I believe god is the universe and the universe is god. That means everything, including ourselves, is a part of god; therefore we are all sons and daughters "of god." I said "I believe" so that makes me, like you, an "agnostic" versus a "gnostic" or one who knows. Really we are all agnostic since mankind has not yet reached the level of "knowing" - I assume what the Buddhists call nirvana.
A former member
Post #: 196
Generally speaking, I will go along with Jean Marie. I rarely use the verb 'to know', I have more 'beliefs', and I have a heck of a lot of 'opinions'. And, I'll stick with the Neuro Scientist. And of course, considering the religious back ground from which I escaped, my attitude is, 'If you disagree with me, then you are wrong'. love struck I think of my self as a ''99.9999999999' Atheist and a 100% Agnostic, simply because I can not prove or disprove the existence of a 'thinking-divine-creator'. Homo-UpRight has been suffering for thousands of years, on his way to being Homo-Modern, and he is still suffering. If that is the best Great Plan that this 'thinking-divine-creator' can come up with, then I do not want to go to his heaven and kneel down at his thrown with the 'four and twenty elders', and repeat, "Hoooooly Hoooooly Hoooooly", for ever and ever and ever. And any 'God' who threatens to torture and kill me if I fail to love and worship him, that ***-**** has already lost my respect. If he exist, I want nothing to do with he/she/it.

Now, Humanism --- Since I have on my plate Atheist, Agnostic, Non-Deist, Non-Theist, Taoist, carefully sprinkled with Buddhism, and dedication to Cosmicism, that provides me with a Full Plate. ThereFore, I very rarely think of Humanism. Joseph is not willing to march in a parade and carry a sign in support of Humanism, nor in support of any thing else. I know how to behave myself and how to treat my fellow human,,, I don't need another title. But, I agree with the goals of the Humanist and I wish them good luck.
user 4301035
Palm Coast, FL
Post #: 3
I absolutely hate the word "agnostic" because I believe firmly that every sane human being would admit to being agnostic if truly pressed. Thus saying "I'm agnostic" conveys no more information than saying "I'm human." What value then is a word that conveys no useful information?
It's worse because it conveys (rightly or wrongly) a connotation that the speaker is unwilling to take a stand for some reason.

As to humanism, it's not clearly associated with atheism other than in that it is extremely common among atheists. It's not necessarily related, and one does not arise from the other. Atheism only asserts that you reject one particular postulate, but what postulates an atheist does accept vary from person to person. Many espouse humanist postulates, but several don't.
A former member
Post #: 64
I am an atheist, but I reject the often haughty tone of too many atheists towards religion and our religion-soaked history. Religion is the sea in which our race swam for 99% of its existence.

Many are still floundering in it, and some of those 'theists' are better people than me in almost every way.

Religion's exesses and flaws are all too often ours, but its glories and poetry constitute many of our greatest moments as a species.

I also think that we need to be careful with statements like "Almost by definition an atheist will be a humanist", because history tells us that Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini, and Stalin all rejected religious training to become atheists. Oh Yes they Did. Many of the best people who ever lived shook off religion and became rationalists...but alas a few of the worst did as well. That suggests that our atheism is a good jumping off place as far as crafing superior ideas and institutions for our children...rather than a destination.

A former member
Post #: 65
Religion is an often tragic---but occasionally magic---mirror of the human experience.

The Old Testament God is so cruel because we were cruel back then. Confcuious and Buddha are so cool because in the Axial age many of us tried to grow up.

Our wonderful English language, which we use to mock God effectively :) would simply not exist without the Bible, which conditions Chaucer and through the King James version, gives the immortal Shakespeare his toolbox.

Our ways of arguing and doing science, which are Greek, were transmitted to the West through Christianity. Plato is an intellectual godfather of Christianity, and his ideas about the afterlife, ethics, and lotsa other topics which we think of as Christian are cribbed from him.

As one critic wrote, "...attacking Plato while affirming Christianity is the intellectual equivalent of operating on conjoined twins"

So, while I utterly reject magic, virgin births, and ressurection from the dead (unless they are repeatable in controlled lab experiments, of course)
A former member
Post #: 3
I disagree - to say I am agnostic is to be honest by saying that I don't "know." This is the opposite of fundamentalists of all religions who say they "know" they are going to heaven (or hell). You can hardly call suicide bombers and the 9/11 hijackers "agnostics" even though they certainly were human.

As a pantheist I "believe" god and the universe are synonymous but I'm not a fanatic who claims to "know" that is "the truth."
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