humanism
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10-02-2013, 11:26 PM
RE: humanism
Hi Fluffy.

I'm originally from Winnipeg, but been living in Southern California for 12 years now.
Unless you're near the Hutterites or Mennonites, it's not likely that this guy's kid is going to be running into hardcore theists at every turn once she gets to high school.

Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong by Dan Barker, and Humanism, What's That? by Helen Bennett are two books for kids around her age on the topic of humanism.

Here is an article on secular humanism for families that you can forward to him: http://www.americanhumanist.org/What_We_..._Humanists
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11-02-2013, 12:03 AM
RE: humanism
(10-02-2013 10:55 PM)Fluffy Wrote:  thanks, but it's a bit heavy for kids Wink

True. But I think it would be a better idea to give her a complex and accurate explanation that will spark her curiosity and drive her to explore it and understand it. Nothing worth having is gained without struggle, knowledge included. Even if she doesn't get it right off the bat, if she wants to figure it out, she will; and she'll be the better for it.

I can't help but wonder how many less theists there would be if children were taught the actual Bible, and not the dumbed down and sanitized version they teach in Sunday school to little kids.

Then again, she isn't my kid, and this isn't my decision. Her parents are probably the best judged of what she can handle, and it will be their decision what to expose her to and to what depth. Regardless it sounds like she's off to a good start, and I hope for the best for her.

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11-02-2013, 06:17 AM
RE: humanism
At a ten year old level? How about:
Humanism is the idea that people can work together to solve human problems. Humanists think about issues like poverty, crime and war. They try to find out what really works to solve those problems. They try to find out whether putting people in jail reduces crime or whether we need to change what we are doing to get better results. They try to figure out better negotiation techniques so that people can find ways to keep peace between people who want many of the same things but can't both have it. They try to figure out how to let people see each other as people rather than bad guys and good guys.
Humanists try to live by a moral code that cares about people. They try not to hurt people and they do their best to help people.
Some people believe that we should keep doing what we have always done to solve our problems, but humanists want to find the best way even if it means taking things in a new direction. They care about people and they care about evidence and they care about what solutions really work.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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11-02-2013, 07:56 AM
Wink RE: humanism
hey, that Humanism for Kids looks good - thanks. Our group has the book by Dan Barker, haven't heard of the other one but will look.

Two hands working accomplish more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
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11-02-2013, 09:46 AM
RE: humanism
Hello all! I'm a long
time listener to the podcast but have never been in the forum before.


Let me introduce myself:
I am the father in the original post.


Thank you so much for your contributions.


I should make a small correction in the original post: my daughter is 8 (nearly 9) but not 10. This makes some difference I think but not a
lot.


My family is not religious and never has been. Our extended family on both sides (grandparents,
uncles etc) are not religious either.
OK, some may say they are
religious if asked explicitly but on outward appearances and practice I would
equate most to NOT being religious for my purposes. There are some extended family members who
are religious but it's not a topic of conversation ever.


I would not say that I am protective or controlling in my
opinion. I make no effort to hide things
- it's just not a part of life. I don't pretend
that religion doesn't exist. I don't hide it.
There has been little talk with school friends about god lately and so
we talked about how to know what is real, the fact that there are a 1000 gods to choose
from, and that most will simply believe what their parents tell them - with no
real good evidence. We equate it with
her past fascinations with ghosts and fairies so we talk about it. Her position is that she doesn't believe in
god but I know opinions at that age are never set in stone. I'm not exactly qualified to take her to
church (never gone myself) but that doesn't mean that I've made a decision to
hide religion from her. We talk as
topics come up slowly over time - and she's smart enough to come up with GREAT
questions.


For an evening out with my girl (and my wife too), I brought
her to the Humanist meeting. She's been
to the family BBQ before. I thought that
she would be bored but incredibly she listened to a hour long astronomy
presentation with incredible fascination to the degree that she wants to join
their club. She's been talking a lot
about how amazing it is that the planets were made and people are here and the
fact that she was even born. She found
the "Walking with Monsters" documentary on Netflix about the first
life on earth and LOVES learning about that stuff. We watched the History Channel "The
History of the World in 2 Hours" and love the cosmology aspect and the evolution
of life and society ideas. This is all
her own curiosity and by no means a pressuring by myself (no doubt some influence even if by modelling).


In my own experience, if you are not brought up in a world
where Christian ideas are normal, Christian ideas just sound plain CRAZY as the default
position. In that way, I don't think I
need to heavily expose her to religion (regularly take her to churches, etc) in
all it's details and experiences - at least not yet.


Do you really NEED to use lack of god talk to speak about
and explain Humanism? Is it really like trying
to explain a wheel without knowing about circles (as per previous poster)? I would say a more accurate comparison
(rather than wheels and circles) is like explaining capitalism without having
to necessarily explain socialism or communism to understand capitalism. The philosophy should work on it's own and standby
it's own merits. It IS helpful to
completely understand the alternatives to a specific philosophical position but
not a necessity - at least at 8 years of age.



I don't think I need to discuss specifics of the Holocaust
or the history of slavery to understand the concept of being kind to others
regardless of differences. Again, these
things are valuable to know but all in due time (and she no doubt already knows
a lot about how terrible people have been to each other).


To add one other thing:
it is true that we don't have a predatory religious environment here in Manitoba that I understand exists in parts of the USA.
I'm not too concerned at this point but, as mentioned, we talk and
things are going pretty well I think so far.
Ultimately, I wasn't sure exactly how to answer what should be a simple question: "So what exactly is that club all about anyway???"


Thank you so much and I will certainly listen to
more of your ideas if you have them!
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