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Btw, I'm not sure why the link to CRISPR  appears above. I supplied the link in the text in passing, but now it looks like the basis of the post which is definitely not the case. If any moderators see this, please remove it if possible. Thanks.


Historically, the values of secular humanism originally derive from Judaeo-Christian religion and Greek philosophy, as I noted above. But it has since become a much broader tent. So broad, that it is fractured and contested. I'm trying to describe a crisis in the default value-system which undergirds liberal democracies and human rights discourse to this day. I've tried to show that much of what was humanistic philosophy and science have (for different reasons) become hostile to humanism. Further, the "New Humanists"
are basically the "New Atheists" and a few fellow travelers. They see conflicting civilizations and are no longer tolerant of religion as the original humanists were. Instead they are at war with religion and go around blaming religion for the lion's share of contemporary problems and imagining that a "scientific approach" can and should determine our values.
Far from being doctrinaire as most religions are, contemporary humanism is poorly defined. I've compiled a list of well known persons who have described themselves as Humanists in the 20th and 21st century and the sheer diversity is mind-boggling. Now I think that's good. It's what we/I want out of a movement with global aspirations such as human rights, environmental sustainability, peace, help for refugees and migrant workers in the third world etc. But it has come under fire largely (ironically) from within its own place of origin-- Western culture.
I  don't agree that humanism is academic in character. It is far more political than that. While academicians get excited about "texts" and "discourse formations" and condemn humanism as hopelessly "subject centered"-- activists in NGOs, UNESCO, the UN, The Hague, and more locally activists advocating for social justice here in North America (I wouldn't leave you guys out up to the north!) have rolled up their sleeves and accomplished a thing or two. Meanwhile much of the erstwhile  academic"New Left" faded out or became interested in post-structuralist and related theory.
What is worth noting is that for all the academic disapproval, and the looming problem of scientism in an age of genetic editing,
https://www.technologyrevie...   there is not one significant human rights victory or civil rights outcome that did not occur in the name of humanism through the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Issues of race, post-colonialism, poverty, hunger, genocide and international justice for war criminals, gender activists today and more... all of these have had no better vehicle with which to express their grievances and desires than the language of secular humanism of one form or another. Yet it is under fire as described in the post, not by one but several different sites.


Was there more to this? It cuts off randomly.


Also I left an original post. I'm kind of tired, and a wee bit buzzed, so I apologize if the quality is not the greatest.


It's not random, that was a typo.


Ok, I saw the comma and was confused for a second.


"Far from being doctrinaire as most religions are..."
Religion is diverse in practice, even within a single church such as the Orthodox Church. This diversity is due to it being large. The church is also attacked by Protestants and Catholics. It at times seems that they have had more historical beef with people in their umbrella of religion than even other religions.
Due you see where I'm getting at? This is natural among belief sets. It'll be fine either way. I don't really believe in crisis in any sort of serious sense. Crisis is momentary, and in the grand scheme of things, only exists because we perceive it so. Secular Humanism has not gone through the same struggles as the eastern churches and yet they still survive. I don't know of this is quite an issue more than history simply unfolding...


an essentialistically hollow approach to spirit, social life and morality---humanism is mere Rawlsian disembodied sloganeering....a reification of rootless liberalism


Orthodoxy and orthopraxy are different concepts. In practice, any large organization is going to be diverse as you state. However,  Roman Catholic Church (of which philosopher, Charles Taylor is a part) is extremely hierarchical and dogmatic. It issues and stands by metaphysical and supernatural decrees that in theory are incontrovertible truths. This bureaucratic and metaphysical heavy-handedness is in stark contrast to the ethical minimalism that underwrites secular humanism. It is also characteristic of many other religions and sects, if not the vast majority of them.
Yes, I do see what you are getting at with regard to all belief-systems. I'm familiar with your views and influences (including some of the anarchists). My response is that even some of them were humanists! Noam Chomsky is a self-avowed humanist and anarchist to take one example. Humanism's problem (opposite to religion in this regard) is it LACKS a metaphysical foundation. Natural rights, as discussed above, was once based on religion, on God. Not now. The "self-evident" nature of human equality and the right to liberty are not metaphysically sanctioned, nor ethically defensible.
This is why honest liberals like Taylor, Rawls and others have admitted that there is no grounding or foundation for humanism outside of itself. It's ethic is minimal enough, though, that as an empirical matter, much of the world agrees with most of 1 and 2 and A,B and C above IFF you conserve the principle of toleration of all non-violent religious beliefs and practices in the private sphere. People like Sam Harris want to strip that away (the "new humanists") and add some allegedly "scientific" basis for determining values. That is a mistake, I think. As for the others opposing humanism today,  I don't think posthumanist science and technologies are "temporary."  I don't think we can be complacent about valuing liberalism and democracy when much of Europe and my own country is in crisis in the name of some new-fangled intolerant "Populism" or Trumpism and when Europe has become convinced there's a "clash of civilizations" based on a tiny minority of terrorists (albeit dangerous as hell, but not indicative of the norm).


Fair enough... and I'm slightly worried myself, but at the same time, that's no way to lead a life. I do believe "this" to an illusion of sorts so I tend not to worry about it.
I agree Sam Harris' take on religion can be myopic at times... and I do agree the transcendent or "the principle" need be a part of ethics. I just don't know how to get people to see it can be transcendent in many different ways. People won't change in those regards though... stopped worrying about what I can't control I suppose.


Well, we can't save the world tonight-- so on this note of quasi-agreement perhaps we can leave things off for now (unless you have more to say right now).


No, get some sleep hahaha.


Whatever your belief or faith we can protect each other. People who hold morals and virtues of this world can unite and act to protect each other from those who lack morals and are willing to harm others, animals and ecosystems. We have the power to create a safer and more harmonic world if we work together. smile


"all human beings have a "divine spark" or a soul which gives them inherent value" Well said. ^-^


Well said. smile


2)  Yes
poor example.
From reading your blog it appears that you are knowledgeable and  comfortable with 'Humanism' and it's various forms, and Authors. 
For me a 'Gaia' philosopher I see the main backer of Humanism as, Christianity as it is preached today, and endorsed by the Pope.  The value's of liberal democracies are tied to this, and really need to be changed to embrace the value of the rest of the bio sphere and it's bio diversity.

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