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keithapm's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by keithapm

Comment 20 by  superbeanson :

From the Humanist Association of Ireland website:

Fáilte romhat go suíomh idirlíne Cumann Daonnachta na hÉireann. Tá súil againn go mbainfidh tú taitneamh as!

Humanism is an ethical philosophy of life, based on a concern for humanity, which combines reason with compassion. It is for people who base their interpretation of existence on the evidence of the natural world and its evolution, and not on belief in a supernatural power. This is why it is called a naturalistic life-stance. Humanism is an active philosophy in its own right and not simply a negative response to religion. It has existed for over 2,500 years and which still flourishes today.

A Humanist believes that the happiness of humankind depend on people rather than on religion and dogma. Morality is the recognition that good rules for behaviour have evolved from human experience. They are not the prerogative of religion. Humanist values give us rights, freedom and dignity, but they also give us responsibility for our own lives, for helping others and to achieve a better world. Humanism encourages open-minded enquiry into matters relevant to human co-existence and well-being.

Humanists are committed to the application of reason and science, to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems so that quality of life can be improved for everyone.

And the mission-statement from RDFRS:

The mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering.

To be honest I'd like to know just what you think humanism is. What makes it "laughable nonsense"?

I notice also you call it an ideology almost as if you regard having an ideological system as being a bad thing. I would argue that you cannot but have one if you are to form any kinds of beliefs about reality. What's your definition of the word?

Here's some dictionary definitions I pulled from here:

i·de·ol·o·gy  (d-l-j, d-) n. pl. i·de·ol·o·gies

  1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.

  2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

[French idéologie : idéo-, ideo- + -logie, -logy.] ide·olo·gist n.

So by those definitions humanism does meet the standard of an ideology but so too does the mission statement of RDFRS. In fact an acceptance of reason and science as the best way to guide behaviour and understanding, as well as it's application, is the acceptance and application of an ideological system. What makes these superior to religious ideologies is that they are founded on evidence and reason, guided by what can reasonably be accepted as true, and not based on evidentially unsupported  assertions.

Keith

Wed, 18 May 2011 01:34:12 UTC | #627744