Friday, April 27, 2007

Humanists

I found this article quite interesting. I quote a Mr. Dennis Griebenow of Minneapolis, “Everyone is saddened by the violence that is taking place in our schools. Humanists abhor such violence. Religious people are not any kinder toward each other, as we can witness in numerous stories from all over the world. Humanists are as moral as believers.” The writer then quotes from a statement of humanist principles, “We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest. We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence. We respect the right to privacy. We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, responsibility, honesty and truthfulness. Humanistic ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.”

He closes by saying “These are the principles that build up society, not tear it down.”

The Roman and the Greeks were on to something back in the 14th century. Seems like many of us got lost along the way.

7 comments:

Brad Carter said...

You forgot to mention Humanists want to destroy the RIGHT of religious freedom. As Humanism has increased in the public arenas, so has violence and lack of respect. Any correlation? Maybe, maybe not.
"Moral principles are tested by their consequences"
I ask what good are the stated morals of "altruism, integrity, responsibility, honesty and truthfulness" if there are no consequences for breaking those morals? Mr. Dennis Griebenow is doing a good job of double speak here. Morals and consequences are tied together to religion, they cannot be seperated. The Founding Fathers believed the same. James Madison had this to say: "The belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources." And John Adams: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people." The problem is We The People have forgotten this and let those who do not believe in FREEDOM cloud our minds. Mr. Griebenow and others should remember we have the freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.
And for a final thought, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas was speaking on the House floor in 1999 about violence in schools and had this to say: "Ultimately, though, only a moral society, with the family its key element, will make the citizens and the government less violent." For the full speech http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec99/cr061599.htm

merle widmer said...

Brad,

I 100% agree that only a moral society, with the family as a key element, will make this country less violent. That Humanists want to destroy the right of religious freedom? I looked up the description of Humanism and I do not see that in print. Send me your sources of information. Are you saying the Taliban, the Al-queda, the Hamas, the Shia, the Sunni and the Fatah are Humanists?

Are you saying all secular families are violent and have lack of respect?

Are you saying that the writer doesn't have freedom of speech? And that I shouldn't repeat his editorial?

Brad Carter said...

Hi Merle,
Sources to follow
I'm glad we can agree that morality and family are key to curbing many problems facing our country. I would also admit many religions have extremists views and they are just as hurtful to a society as those who have no morals. I would not say that all secularists are violent and disrespectful, but I would suggest that they unknowingly play into the hands of humanists, for better or worse. As one who considers himself as a Constitutionalist, I would not try to restrict someone elses freedom of speech. In this case I was just making a counterpoint.

Humanism sounds good at face value.
“Humanism[1] is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationalism. Humanism is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems, and is incorporated into several religious schools of thought. Humanism entails a commitment to the search for truth and morality through human means in support of human interests. In focusing on the capacity for self-determination, humanism rejects the validity of transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on faith, the supernatural, or divinely revealed texts. Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of human nature, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial.” - Wikipedia.org
“ethical philosophies”, “ability to determine right and wrong”, “rationalism” who can argue that these are bad things?

The Humanist Manifesto (1939) clearly states religion, as it used to be known, has no place in society. http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto1.html Humanism denies the existence of any supernatural being, or creator. Those of faith consider this a direct assault on religion. How can I say that? Thanks to the Scopes “monkey trial”, public schools now only teach evolution, which has no room for a creator. Redefining marriage, which is first a religious, then a lawful contract. Graphic sex education to children as young as five years old. Taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. All part of the Humanist agenda.

I don't care what religion, or lack thereof, one prescribes to as long as they are a good person. My biggest point I was trying to make was the First Amendment specifically restricts the government from denying religious freedom, which Humanism is clearly trying to do.

If all that is not enough for you, The United Nations is pushing Humanism on America through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
This and this alone should be enough for anyone to reject Humanism.

I hope this information gives you more insight to my argument, and I was not trying to offend you if I did.

Merle Widmer said...

Brad,

I have been told by many community leaders that the ACLU is the greatest threat to our society, in fact. I was pleased when a Seven Day Adventist transfered from Bradley to play basketball elsewhere. I don't care at all for their religion and the ideas they put in their kids heads in the name of religion. I have never in all my years heard anyone talk of Humanist religions. I've heard plenty of talk about repsonsibility and integrity. Sounds pretty good to me as it sure is lacking in this world we live in. Not to speak of honesty. I'll even throw in a missing work ethic.

The principles stated in the "letter to the editors" mention nothing about a Humanist Manifesto. Nor do I know anything about this Manifesto and have no desire to look it up.

Do we paint all of Islamic faith with the same brush?

Personally, I'm satisfied with my own beliefs, morals and faith.

As to your comments that morals and consequences are tied together to religion? Anumber of years ago I was told by a mother of a daughter in a religous high school here in Peoria, that this religous school her daughter was attending, had more teenage pregnacies than a couple of prominent public schools in the area.

Anyway, I do not want to turn this site into a debate on religion. Continue if you will.

As to quoting famous people, well known or famous people said many things; leaders like Bill Clinton and a guy named, I believe Jerry Falwell and Jesse Jackson. I never paid much attention them.

Merle Widmer said...

Sorry, but I do not know how to correct errors in my own comments so will make a new comment. The Bradley ex-basketball player was a Jehovah's Witness. (If you recall, he was the guy who ducked into the tunnel when the National Anthem was played) This is a free country but when won't support the country that gives us the freedoms we have, I have no repect for you. When someone who takes advantages of our freedoms so hard won, doesn't agree with the actions of our electorate, there are many civil ways to show dissent. But if you do not respect the country you live in, I expect you to be honorable enough to "move out".

Substitute Jehovah's Witnesses for Seventh Day Adventists. I know little about Seventh Day Adventists except that they represent a small segment of this country. This is a free country and as far as I know they respect it. Being free allows religous pursuit without intervention. However, we should all draw the line for those who show no respect for the country they live in and no respect for those who protect and support them.

ben said...

Brad,
You say that we should have "freedom OF religion, but not freedom FROM religion." We should have _both_. You can worship Yahweh, I can worship the FSM, my neighbor can worship no-one, and none of us is worse for wear! In response to some of your comments...

1. Humanism's denial of the supernatural is not an attack on religion. Humanism is already alive and well within religion. We don't still stone adultresses or commit many of the other atrocities recommended in holy texts; our inherent humanism has overriden the 'directives of God'. This is the point of humanism. If you hear God tell you to slash someone's throat, you should judge the merits of that action independently of its 'divine' origin.

2. Evolution leaves plenty of room for a Creator. Ever heard of the Big Bang?? What could be a more perfect time of Creation? A 'God of the Gaps' is a weak God, indeed. Denial of evolution is pure ignorance, and acceptance of evolution is orthogonal to a belief in the supernatural.

3. Marriage is not "first a religious, then a lawful contract"; it is both religious and lawful, with each aspect independent of the other. The government is not redefining the religious instution of marriage. To do so would horribly violate that whole church/state separation thingamajig. The government should not, however, base the definition of _legal_ marriage on _religious_ principles. There is no logical reason that homosexuals should be denied the right to [legal] marriage, and no reason that any individual religion should have to grant them a spiritual marriage. If a particular religion wants to deny them that relationship _within their particular church_, that's their perogative.

4. God was not part of the Pledge of Allegiance until we had to show those damn, pinko commies whose side He was really on!! It's a pledge of allegiance to the USA, not to God, and the latter has no place in it.

After all that, you might be surprised to know that I think churches are immensely helpful to our society. The catch is that I think they're helpful in a secular way; they serve as a rare community-building endeavor and source of charity in a country trying to strangle itself on soap operas and credit card debt. What is _not_ helpful is the religious people who do their damndest to force people to live by the word of [their particular] God ['s early followers] instead of by kindness and reason.

Brad Carter said...

Ben,
My original post was more to defend the First Amendment more than religion, but it is hard to separate the two. I disagree with all five of the points you made, even though they are well thought out. I would prefer to continue the discussion in private and not on Merle's blog as he is not interested in the discourse. There are two sides of this discussion here that others can read and make up their minds if they agree, disagree, or need more information. Please, if you would, contact me through my site so we can continue our debate. Thanks for discussion so far.