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Promoting Humanism

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Compassionist
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Promoting Humanism

#1 Post by Compassionist » May 6th, 2012, 8:32 pm

Do Humanist organisations promote Humanism? Do Humanists promote Humanism? I don't know of any promotional activities for Humanism yet I know of lots of Christian missionary organisations which work all over the world promoting Christianity. They work hard to win converts and help the converts. Shouldn't we be promoting Humanism with equal or greater devotion?

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Tetenterre
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#2 Post by Tetenterre » May 6th, 2012, 10:44 pm

There is something about the notion of evangelical humanism that makes me shudder. OTOH, there is possibly an argument for making it wider known that there is an alternative to religious credulity....
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

Compassionist
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#3 Post by Compassionist » May 8th, 2012, 11:37 am

Tetenterre wrote:There is something about the notion of evangelical humanism that makes me shudder. OTOH, there is possibly an argument for making it wider known that there is an alternative to religious credulity....
Most humans don't know about Humanism. Out of more than 7 billion humans how many belong to a Humanist society? Very few. On the other hand, there are billions of religious people and they are trying to recruit more followers.

Nick
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#4 Post by Nick » May 8th, 2012, 12:12 pm

If it's any comfort to you, Compo, religion is in long-term decline around the world. To a certain extent, it is only because religion gets in the way that we need to have Humanist Associations at all. Otherwise, we could just concentrate on the humanist causes which interest us, except that they'd just be causes. :)

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Boxertwin
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#5 Post by Boxertwin » May 8th, 2012, 12:18 pm

However I recall a friend who told me he was a Humanist about 12 years ago and I didn't understand the term at all - I thought it was Buddhist related at the the time, as he was from a Hindu background and he discussed Buddhism frequently.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet"

Charles Dickens

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Tetenterre
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#6 Post by Tetenterre » May 8th, 2012, 12:22 pm

Compassionist wrote: Out of more than 7 billion humans how many belong to a Humanist society?
No idea. I don't belong to any humanist society, and I imagine that millions of us just get on with being humanists, not even thinking about it most of the time.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

Compassionist
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#7 Post by Compassionist » May 8th, 2012, 8:17 pm

Nick wrote:If it's any comfort to you, Compo, religion is in long-term decline around the world. To a certain extent, it is only because religion gets in the way that we need to have Humanist Associations at all. Otherwise, we could just concentrate on the humanist causes which interest us, except that they'd just be causes. :)
Thanks Nick. I guess with the spread of science education, religion will decline further. What I find strange is people who have had science education yet practice religion and claim that there is no conflict between science and religious worldviews. I know several Christian biologists who seem to compartmentalise what they know about evolution and still attend church.

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Boxertwin
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#8 Post by Boxertwin » May 8th, 2012, 8:46 pm

I've been toying with the idea of setting up a Humanist Bikers Group, I'm already involved in a couple of bike clubs and thought it would be a good way of meeting more like minded folk.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet"

Charles Dickens

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Alan C.
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#9 Post by Alan C. » May 8th, 2012, 10:02 pm

Boxertwin wrote:I've been toying with the idea of setting up a Humanist Bikers Group, I'm already involved in a couple of bike clubs and thought it would be a good way of meeting more like minded folk.
There are at least two bikers on this forum, Lifelinking, who hasn't posted for a while and our good Canadian friend Marian. :)
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Boxertwin
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#10 Post by Boxertwin » May 8th, 2012, 10:21 pm

I'll look out for them on the board... :D
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet"

Charles Dickens

Fia
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#11 Post by Fia » May 8th, 2012, 10:36 pm

I'm not at all sure I want to promote Humanism. Like TT I'm mighty uncomfortable about the thought of evangelising. I'd rather show my Humanism my life and my actions - admittedly I'm a Humanist Celebrant, but I never, ever preach. Some folk think we're funny -humourism- or naked -naturism- until they (mostly!) get the idea...

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Dave B
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#12 Post by Dave B » May 9th, 2012, 10:12 am

Fia wrote:I'm not at all sure I want to promote Humanism. Like TT I'm mighty uncomfortable about the thought of evangelising. I'd rather show my Humanism my life and my actions - admittedly I'm a Humanist Celebrant, but I never, ever preach. Some folk think we're funny -humourism- or naked -naturism- until they (mostly!) get the idea...
I assume, Fia, that you do not "advertise" your status as a celebrant but rely on referrals by word of mouth or via the local humanist organisations? If so I wonder whether there might be others who would value your services but who are not actually "in" with the local humanist community? There again you do have the day job . . .

I also feel uncomfortable with blatantly pushing humanism. I often think of buying some overtly humanist tee-shirts or sweatshirts but not ones that explicitly denigrate other cultural values. I would rather do that verbally if another reacts badly to the fact that I am a humanist.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Fia
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#13 Post by Fia » May 9th, 2012, 11:57 am

You are correct, Dave, I don't advertise. In fact, for legal Marriages we are individually specifically banned from doing so by the Registrar General for Scotland. I'm very basically listed on the HSS site - some celebrants have a big profile, I'm not interested in that. Most of my ceremonies come from word of mouth, or those who have been to a ceremony I have done and contact me for a ceremony of their own. As you say, celebrancy is not full-time work for me as it is for some. That's where I like it :)

Marian
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#14 Post by Marian » May 9th, 2012, 1:20 pm

I've got mixed feelings about promoting humanism. On the one hand, I don't like evangelizing either; leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I sure don't like to be on the receiving end of it so I don't want to do it. However, a lot of people have never heard of humanism. So I guess it's about finding a balance between explaining oneself and beating someone over the head with it. I like the idea of buttons ( I think you guys call them pins) or shirts that use humor to get the message across.
Transformative fire...

robcurry
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#15 Post by robcurry » May 11th, 2012, 3:29 am

Good questions and discussion!

As a new board member for the Humanists of Florida Association, I think it's worth considering carefully. Let me start with the easiest one. Do Humanist organisations promote Humanism? I should hope so, or else why would they even exist tin the first place? To me, this promotion should be educational (not evangelical), and should enlighten the curious without using the tools of denigration so often employed in, say, politics. No one has to be "pushy" to promote what they consider valuable, meaningful, and overall worthwhile.

So let me add a couple questions of my own:

What kinds of promotion are you familiar with? Which are effective? How would you prefer Humanist leaders choose to increase public awareness and understanding of Humanism?

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Tetenterre
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#16 Post by Tetenterre » May 11th, 2012, 9:57 am

robcurry wrote:...Humanist leaders...
Now there's a concept that doesn't rest at all easily with me.
Steve

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Dave B
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#17 Post by Dave B » May 11th, 2012, 10:07 am

Tetenterre wrote:
robcurry wrote:...Humanist leaders...
Now there's a concept that doesn't rest at all easily with me.
Well, I suppose some might view those that are prominent in the public eye, Polly Toinbee et al, as humanist "leaders" - 'cept they basically speak only for themselves or from BHA policy.

What about "prominent humanists"? I suppose if more of those names that are in the public mind had the opportunity (and the willingness) to speak more often in public places that could be one way of promoting humanism. Trouble is it is usually like political meetings and rallies - the speakers end up preaching to the, at least, already interested and knowledgeable.

Not like the church who had it made illegal not to attend church and get a regular top-up of the Word of God!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Compassionist
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#18 Post by Compassionist » May 11th, 2012, 12:50 pm

robcurry wrote:Good questions and discussion!

As a new board member for the Humanists of Florida Association, I think it's worth considering carefully. Let me start with the easiest one. Do Humanist organisations promote Humanism? I should hope so, or else why would they even exist tin the first place? To me, this promotion should be educational (not evangelical), and should enlighten the curious without using the tools of denigration so often employed in, say, politics. No one has to be "pushy" to promote what they consider valuable, meaningful, and overall worthwhile.

So let me add a couple questions of my own:

What kinds of promotion are you familiar with? Which are effective? How would you prefer Humanist leaders choose to increase public awareness and understanding of Humanism?
Thanks for your post. What are your answers to the questions you asked? I am a Life Member of the Humanist Society Scotland. One third of the Scottish population of 5,222,100 are secular yet only a tiny fraction are members (around 6,500) of the Humanist Society Scotland. That is a tiny 0.1% of the Scottish population are members. What about your society? How many members do you have? What percentage of the population of Florida are members?

The society has tried promoting humanism on its website, magazine and ads. I don't think these have been effective as the membership has not grown significantly. In fact, those who become members of the society in order to have humanist ceremonies e.g. wedding don't bother to renew their membership. There are only 7 Life Members (at least there was last year) of the society.

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Tetenterre
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#19 Post by Tetenterre » May 11th, 2012, 1:32 pm

Dave B wrote:What about "prominent humanists"?
No problem with that. :laughter: It's the notion of leadership I take issue with; in the social realm, I choose for myself if/when to follow someone. With my temperament, if someone is appointed to a leadership role, I am likely to ignore him/her as a matter of principle... :smile:
Steve

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stevenw888
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Re: Promoting Humanism

#20 Post by stevenw888 » May 14th, 2012, 11:10 am

I am an evangelical atheist and an evangelical humanist. If you don't shout about what you believe in, how will people know that there are alternatives to religion?

There is far too much "Not being prepared to discuss religion" in British society which is why not many people know about humanism or the British Humanist Association.
I only found out that the word existed when my wife came home from a funeral in 2009 and said it was a "humanist" funeral. I didn't even know there were such things!
I don't think undertakers go out of their way to explain that there are alternatives to religious based funerals.

Therefore, having discovered humanism, I am very vociferous (is that the right word?) about it.

When I meet people, maybe say, on our second or third meeting, I'll say to them "Do you believe in God?" and see what they say.
You'd be suprised at how many people say, when questioned "Well actually, no I don't, but it's not really the done thing to talk about it, is it?"
Then we may well have a discussion around the existence or non existence of god, and whether or not there is an afterlife.
The Jehovah's witnesses have no problem in ringing my doorbell and asking if I've seen the latest edition of The Watchtower and enquiring whether I'd like to be saved. I have no problem, therefore, in promoting the word of "Godlessness" at every available opportunity. I think many people have a problem discussing these concepts with others, as they sometimes feel that they may get alienated from peer groups. I've reached that age where I don't care any more - the truth is more important than peer or social groups.
Someone famous once said something to the effect of "Bad things happen when good men do nothing" and I take this to mean that I personally should spread the word as often as I get the chance.
"There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots." - From the film "Top Gun"

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