Good afternoon, dear Readers…
I received a letter from #AHA (the American Humanism Association) today regarding the humanist plan of action for 2016. First off – yes, I am a Humanist. I believe in good without “god.” What that means to me is that I believe the individual is able to strive for good without supernatural threat, to “be good” purely because striving for betterment is improvement of the self. I understand my limits – all I can control is myself. This creates a heavy internal morality that guides my decision/action process. I am a Humanist because I think humanity is able to create many wonderful and terrible things. I also am a Humanist because of the whole philosophy-bit – the reading, researching, and learning. I am a stronger Humanist due to scientific theory and empirical data. Humans are amazing life forms, but humans are also only a fraction of species. The latest craze for evolution.
So…what’s my beef? Well….I do not care for negative action. I do not think that I will truly be better by discrediting, harming, or removing another. I do not think that negative action inside of Humanism is a good advertisement for “I believe in good without god.” What I mean is I do not think attacking the religious minded is fair play. Humanism will not be better by tearing down religious statues or decimating belief. I know – often matters are acted on in a defensive form, but still…becoming a monster will not rid the world of monsters. There must be another way of reducing the authority of religion than to declare war between secularism and theology.
No, tax payer dollars should not be spent on religious idols/statues/monuments – but that does not mean that already constructed works should be removed or destroyed. Tax payer dollars are a hot-topic for many issues. What it sounds like, behind all the gloss, is that Humanism has to be in direct opposition to religion. And that doesn’t sit well with me. Religion, like music and science, are expressions of humanity. Making another lesser will not make me better. Personally – NO, I do not “need/want” religion in my life…but that does not mean that other people cannot benefit from a religious message. Religion works at bonding society together, looking to one’s community for aide and support. I mean, I do not need/want to attend a sporting event but that does not mean that sports should cease to be. Seems rather limited. One of the reasons I look to secular education is to broaden my experience and understanding of the world. I do not do limits.
I will not limit another individual from living their lives – even if that means that they have to look to religion to answer their life questions. So…No, I will not donate funds to support the elimination of religion. I cannot support this because some people still need religion, or at least believe that they do. All I can control is myself. I have no interest in controlling other people, and I wish that message was echoed in Humanism. I feel that, at the heart of humanism, there is great good possible. We are looking for answers, see what all these human beings can do and create.
The Atheists, too, are hell-bent on decimating belief. I have called myself atheist for quite a while, yet I do not agree with the current Atheist-Hatred that is rumbling through society. Let us look at what an atheist constitutes: question everything, look for reason, note personal experience, question again. As Atheists, it is our job to keep searching. We are seekers. Again…there is no need to become a monster. In that we question everything and continually search for rationality, I would like to note that the answer has not yet been found. Atheists need to keep looking. That means that we do not have time to argue, aggravate, or attack “the believers.” Reason suggests that they have not read as much, nor questioned. – Why then waste precious moments that could be spent positively researching and thinking? I am not saying they are lost causes that should be abandoned – I think all life matters, each subjective person is important. But there is no reason to debate – both sides are convinced. Change the subject, walk away, ignore the post. Get back to contemplation. The moment one is “certain” I daresay belief still reigns.