An introduction to Humanism

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Humanism is sometimes mistaken for a form of religion, or something which is very complex. Here, some well known humanists explain that all humanism really is, is people wanting to live ethical and happy lives, thinking for themselves, without religion imposing its own morals on them which are not necessarily compatible with living ethically today.


Written By: British Humanists
continue to source article at youtube.com

21 COMMENTS

  1. “Science is the poetry of reality.” What a fantastic phrase Prof.

    I despair of the theists I have debated who have to spend their entire lives denying, with fingers firmly in ears, any scientific facts that challenge their absurd beliefs that the universe is only 6000 years old, that dinosaurs co-existed with man, that a world wide flood destroyed everything except Noah etc etc.

    It might be easy to say just let the idiots believe what they like but when the right wing in America and other countries also deny global warming because the science behind it is “only one opinion” or “science is just another form of religion” then the planet itself is put in jeopardy.

    To me the beauty and magic of science outshine by light years the so called beauty and magic that theists claim to see in their arcane bronze age religious myths. What could be more beautiful than the intricacies of DNA and how it builds bodies from a single cell, the majesty of atomic elements being created inside the fiery furnaces of stars and supernovae, the mystery of black holes and the enigma that is the light speed limit.

    Anyone who has to spend their lives in ignorance of these wonders or denying their truths is indeed missing out on the most profound poetry of existence.

    If the planet is indeed saved because man finally takes action about global warming in sufficient time we will surely look back and profusely thank Professor Dawkins for his inestimable part in promoting science and rational thinking over dogma and superstition. What a legacy to leave that in no small part you good sir might have been instrumental in saving an entire world.

    Know always Richard that although our own small voices can achieve little we’ve got your back in the good fight and thank you always for carrying it on with such vigour and determination in the face of stubborn opposition. When the going gets tough our shoulders are here to support you.

  2. Pretty good. Just a shame that they included the deluded Polly Toynbee in a video about reason and rationality. It’s like including Deepak Chopra in a video that advocates science. 

    Oh, and A.C. Grayling’s hands were the wrong way round at the start.

  3. Is it just me? Or is the term “Humanism” simply an awful descriptor. The beginning of the video even highlights this: “Humanism, is a focus on humans”.

    Huh?

    Don’t get me wrong, I do consider myself a “humanist”, but I’ll never call myself that. Saying a philosophical approach is all about humans, seems to exude the same illusions of grandeur that inhibit our religions. It’s NOT all about us. We are natural creatures and part of a natural mechanism … we share kinship to ALL life on this planet. And, in deed, the planet itself.

  4. “…rather than robbing life of its meaning, giving a finality to the story of your life imbues it with greater meaning.”

    I love that – there is a beginning and ending to everything, so naturally that applies to humans.
    When I croak, I want to be either cremated or put in an eco-pad, and nourish a prairie remnant.
    That’s all she wrote, move along folks!!

    “…science is the poetry of reality”.  *searching memory bank*  Ah yes, there is a Symphony of Science video, ‘Poetry of Reality’ ~ http://www.symphonyofscience.c

  5. Q: What could be more beautiful than the intricacies of DNA and how it builds bodies from a single cell, the majesty of atomic elements being created inside the fiery furnaces of stars and supernovae, the mystery of black holes and the enigma that is the light speed limit.
    A: Agnetha Faltskog’s bum.

    p.s. You can now join the I’m-an-atheist-and-I-find-the-universe-awesome Club. However, you did forget to mention the sense of awe and objectless gratitude you feel when looking though the Hubble telescope. This might count against your immediate acceptance into the club. We will watch your progress.

  6.  Q: What could be more beautiful than the intricacies of DNA and how it
    builds bodies from a single cell, the majesty of atomic elements being
    created inside the fiery furnaces of stars and supernovae, the mystery
    of black holes and the enigma that is the light speed limit.
    A: Agnetha Faltskog’s bum.

    30 years ago maybe.

  7.  Q: What could be more beautiful than the intricacies of DNA and how it builds bodies from a single cell, the majesty of atomic elements being created inside the fiery furnaces of stars and supernovae, the mystery of black holes and the enigma that is the light speed limit.

    A: Agnetha Faltskog’s bum.

    Isn’t that included in “how it builds bodies”

  8.  Wow, really? You don’t think our biological makeup is related to the terrestrial parameters of our celestial planet? Hmmm, that’s pretty interesting.

     

    That is not what kinship means.  

  9. No, men are programmed to find the 30-year-old Agnetha Faltskog’s bum beautiful. And her face, and her legs etc. This is not the same as finding the ‘idea’ of her strands of DNA beautiful. We aren’t programmed to find scientific ideas beautiful. We have to make more of an effort to do that.

    A professed sense of awe at the intricacies of the natural world is now de rigueur on this site and is worn like a badge which proclaims, ‘I am scientifically literate, sensitive to beauty and aware of my insignificance in the face of this huge universe’. But this is now trotted out equally by people who genuinely feel a sense of wonder and by those who are left cold by the thought of strands of DNA (me) and who can barely see past their own egos to make out Orion’s Belt. Like a Monty Python sketch, we will soon be having bragging competitions to see who feels the most awe.

    People who have read ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’ and ‘The Magic of Reality’ feel they have to fill the gap left vacant by the departure of a sense of religious transcendence. Religion must not out-do us in any department! Therefore the pressure to jack yourself up into an artificial sense of wonder at the natural world, something most of us had previously just taken for granted.

  10. Keith

    “It’s NOT all about us. We are natural creatures and part of a natural mechanism … we share kinship to ALL life on this planet. And, in deed, the planet itself.”

    “You don’t think our biological makeup is related to the terrestrial parameters of our celestial planet?”

    In my first reference, the context was quite clear within my point. We share kinship with ALL life on this planet (as well as the Earth itself). Contrary to your opinion, this isn’t a controversial statement. Unless you would like to point to a lifeform that has evolved outside the natural parameters of Earth’s biological limitations for life?

    I’m not really sure where/why/how this all seems to be so confusing to you, but I can only guess the reading comprehension just isn’t that strong?

    Or, maybe you regularly come into contact with people who literally believe the Earth shat out our ancestors? 

    “Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

  11. Simply because both I and my computer are made up of atoms forged in stars does not mean that I am kin to my computer. The idea of kin necessarily excludes something, anything, that isn’t kin. Under your definition everything that exists is kin. It excludes nothing. The word kin thus becomes meaningless.

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