Poll: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
Yes, I'm a secular humanist
I agree with what it stands for, but I don't think of myself as a secular humanist
No, I disagree with what secular humanism stands for
I don't know
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Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
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03-09-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(03-09-2013 08:50 AM)No Mere Ape Wrote:  Nope.

Human "morality" is a hodgepodge of rules of thumb and some intuitive emotional mechanisms— very imperfect on its own. I'm with Steven Pinker on this one; any group that tries to moralize ("my morals are superior to yours") will ultimately cause a lot of damage.

Interestingly, Pinker considers himself a secular humanist.

Also, every society originates from a culture, which has some sort of moral values or moral system. It simply couldn't function otherwise.

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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03-09-2013, 02:32 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(03-09-2013 09:32 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  However my views are probably a little more grim than "humans are capable of forming ethics and morals without religion".
IMO, humans are inherently selfish creatures. In fact I think all living organisms are inherently selfish. Why? Because the sole purpose of life is to survive and reproduce. Survival is by far the strongest human emotion. Even religious people cannot deny that they don't wanna die..

You should read up on evolution. Natural selection takes place at the genetic level, and selfish genes can (and do) produce altruistic behavior. You sound like those people who only read the title of The Selfish Gene.

The fact is that humans, like other social animals, have both selfish and altruistic sides.

(03-09-2013 09:32 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  How this relates to morals is that it's part of primitive survival. Cooperation is how humans survive. We're not bears, we're not big hairy creatures (Girly excluded) with claws and sharp teeth. We're fragile ape-like creatures with a large brain and thumbs. A small group of cave men could gather more food, they could take care of each other, they could breed, they could do more tasks (ie: one person make a fire, one person hunt etc..). How this relates to morals is that it would be unwise to than slit everyone's throats while they slept. Not because your knife was made out of a stone and it'd take you ages with chance of screaming and everyone waking up, but because those very people help you survive. It's mutually beneficial.
This is where I believe our "morals" come from at their base core. They're human created for sure, but for our own selfish survival.

Again, natural selection takes place at the level of genes, not individuals. And most humans are not sociopathic calculators. Most of us would feel very emotionally uncomfortable to stumble upon a corpse.

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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03-09-2013, 05:37 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(03-09-2013 02:32 PM)Loki Wrote:  Again, natural selection takes place at the level of genes, not individuals. And most humans are not sociopathic calculators. Most of us would feel very emotionally uncomfortable to stumble upon a corpse.

No, selection occurs at the level of the phenotype - the organism. What is selected are the genes.

You might want to re-read The Selfish Gene and then read The Extended Phenotype. Big Grin

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-09-2013, 09:42 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
I don't consider myself a secular humanist - although I agree with some of it's aspects.
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12-10-2013, 02:12 AM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(03-09-2013 05:37 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(03-09-2013 02:32 PM)Loki Wrote:  Again, natural selection takes place at the level of genes, not individuals. And most humans are not sociopathic calculators. Most of us would feel very emotionally uncomfortable to stumble upon a corpse.

No, selection occurs at the level of the phenotype - the organism. What is selected are the genes.

You might want to re-read The Selfish Gene and then read The Extended Phenotype. Big Grin

Fair enough, but that humans are just selfish and don't have empathy or altruism is empirically false.

Other animals have also demonstrated altruism and even a sense of fairness in experiments.

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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12-10-2013, 02:45 AM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
Other - I love my Gwynnies! Heart

I have faith that morality has evolved from chemical intelligence, from which follows that all life has morality. So "humanist" is kinda out the window. Thumbsup

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04-03-2014, 04:08 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
Stephen Law wrote a seven point description of humanism. It is interesting but long, loooong.

"Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men's dreams." - David Hume
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04-03-2014, 06:26 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
I'm a secular humanist. And what?
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04-03-2014, 06:26 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
generally no, for political reasons. Same reason I don't identify as a feminist. I prefer individualist. I believe that the term secular humanist and feminist have been hijacked by people who don't share my beliefs.
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05-03-2014, 02:13 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2014 02:20 AM by Dee.)
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
Knock, knock:

A while back I was visited by two Jehovah's Witnesses. Before, I could say hi, one launched in asking me if I believed human beings, alone, were capable of fixing the messes we have created. I did not have to think about an answer. I immediately brightened, smiled and said, "Oh, we are capable of so much, great philosophy, art, kindness, brilliant knowledge on how the world and the cosmos works. Oh, my yes. It will take a while, but I believe in us--that we will strive to get there." Without any response from them, they said thank you and left; they did not offer to leave any pamphlets.

Now my response was spontaneous, not contrived to "show anyone up".

When I shut the door while they were leaving, I had a big smile on my face and thought, now that is a secular humanist response.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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