INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Promoting Humanism

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
Message
Author
stevenw888
Posts: 694
Joined: July 16th, 2010, 12:48 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

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

Latest post of the previous page:

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"

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#22 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » May 14th, 2012, 1:49 pm

stevenw888 wrote: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?
I would be very surprised if anyone didn't know that there are alternatives to religion. Even if they haven't heard of humanism, people are aware that they don't have to be religious. In fact, I think it's precisely because so many people are perfectly happy simply not being religious and trying to live a good life that there isn't a great perceived need for organised Humanism. Where Humanism does offer something over and above that, like the weddings and funerals, then there is a need for promotion, but I think there are subtler and more effective ways of doing that than shouting about it.
stevenw888 wrote:There is far too much "Not being prepared to discuss religion" in British society ...
Personally I think that's a blessing. :D
steven2888 wrote:... which is why not many people know about humanism or the British Humanist Association.
Possibly, but I'd rather live in a country like this one than in the US, where people talk about religion much, much more, and where humanism is portrayed by religious people as an evil ideology that's taking over society and causing great harm.
stevenw888 wrote: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.
Maybe not, but I have a problem with them doing it. I have a problem with anyone actively trying to promote their religion to me (as opposed to just talking about it). Therefore I wouldn't do the equivalent to others.
stevenw888 wrote:I have no problem, therefore, in promoting the word of "Godlessness" at every available opportunity.
So you're more of a "do unto others as they do unto you" than a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" kind of guy, are you? :wink:

Emma

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#23 Post by Dave B » May 14th, 2012, 1:51 pm

So you're more of a "do unto others as they do unto you" than a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" kind of guy, are you? :wink:
:popcorn:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

stevenw888
Posts: 694
Joined: July 16th, 2010, 12:48 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#24 Post by stevenw888 » May 14th, 2012, 5:07 pm

I don't think so. I certainly like to argue with the Jehovahs Witnesses when they come a-knocking at my door, but I've never yet been round to one of their houses.
I don't try to force other people to adopt my point of view. I just like to make them aware of alternatives to "christianity". A number of my friends claim to be "christians" but don't have the slightest idea of the belief system that underlies this statement. They just say it because its a fairly safe path. Its like someone saying "I'm church of England", which normally means "I have no real belief in any particular sky-fairy but I go to church to sing some carols once a year, just in case."
I want people to come off the shelf and commit to an ideology. Sometimes that means asking them questions which make them feel uncomfortable.
"There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots." - From the film "Top Gun"

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Promoting Humanism

#25 Post by Compassionist » May 28th, 2012, 6:01 pm

I am currently reading about the work of Christian missionaries in India. The missionaries have been converting Dalits from Hinduism to Christianity. Dalits suffer a great deal due to the caste system of Hinduism. I was wondering why there aren't any Humanist missionaries converting people to Humanism. Shouldn't there be Humanist missionaries who would work to bring the light of truth amid the darkness of ignorance, misinformation, superstition and delusions?

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#26 Post by Dave B » May 28th, 2012, 6:16 pm

Perhaps it is a matter of vocation for some. I would view a person who said they had a "vocation" to spread Humanism with some concern. Like belief vocation does not require rationalisation, spreading Humanism does - but there are just not enough Humanists to go around, even if such prosetylisation were deemed acceptable - which I doubt.

I would be happy to support a Humanist organisation working there and offering people the idea that Humanism was as much a positive force as religion by simple example, but you don't have to sign up for it to qualify for help.

Why are they picking on such possibly vulnerable people? Is converting them going to make their life better? Will they be allowed to qualify as doctors or accountants instead of shit shovellers or undertakers because they wear a crucifix? Will they be allowed to work at all? Are the missionaries really trying to save souls or just build the numbers of their sect up?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Emma Woolgatherer
Posts: 2976
Joined: February 27th, 2008, 12:17 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#27 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » May 28th, 2012, 6:58 pm

Compassionist wrote:I am currently reading about the work of Christian missionaries in India. The missionaries have been converting Dalits from Hinduism to Christianity. Dalits suffer a great deal due to the caste system of Hinduism. I was wondering why there aren't any Humanist missionaries converting people to Humanism. Shouldn't there be Humanist missionaries who would work to bring the light of truth amid the darkness of ignorance, misinformation, superstition and delusions?
Surely the Indian Rationalist Association has been working "to bring the light of truth amid the darkness of ignorance, misinformation, superstition and delusions" for over sixty years. I suspect they're much better at it than any humanist "missionaries" would be. They're not the only ones, and they're not the first. Apparently, "India has a long and distinguished rationalist tradition which is considerably older than that of the west" (Caspar Melville, "The debunkers", New Humanist).

Emma

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Promoting Humanism

#28 Post by Compassionist » May 28th, 2012, 7:22 pm

Dave B wrote:Perhaps it is a matter of vocation for some. I would view a person who said they had a "vocation" to spread Humanism with some concern. Like belief vocation does not require rationalisation, spreading Humanism does - but there are just not enough Humanists to go around, even if such prosetylisation were deemed acceptable - which I doubt.

I would be happy to support a Humanist organisation working there and offering people the idea that Humanism was as much a positive force as religion by simple example, but you don't have to sign up for it to qualify for help.

Why are they picking on such possibly vulnerable people? Is converting them going to make their life better? Will they be allowed to qualify as doctors or accountants instead of shit shovellers or undertakers because they wear a crucifix? Will they be allowed to work at all? Are the missionaries really trying to save souls or just build the numbers of their sect up?
There are missionary schools which educate the new converts and their children which would lead to better job prospects.

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Promoting Humanism

#29 Post by Compassionist » May 28th, 2012, 7:25 pm

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
Compassionist wrote:I am currently reading about the work of Christian missionaries in India. The missionaries have been converting Dalits from Hinduism to Christianity. Dalits suffer a great deal due to the caste system of Hinduism. I was wondering why there aren't any Humanist missionaries converting people to Humanism. Shouldn't there be Humanist missionaries who would work to bring the light of truth amid the darkness of ignorance, misinformation, superstition and delusions?
Surely the Indian Rationalist Association has been working "to bring the light of truth amid the darkness of ignorance, misinformation, superstition and delusions" for over sixty years. I suspect they're much better at it than any humanist "missionaries" would be. They're not the only ones, and they're not the first. Apparently, "India has a long and distinguished rationalist tradition which is considerably older than that of the west" (Caspar Melville, "The debunkers", New Humanist).

Emma
I didn't know about the Indian Rationalist Association. Thank you for telling us about it. Why has there been centuries of oppression of the Dalits despite the "long and distinguished rationalist tradition in India"?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#30 Post by Alan H » May 28th, 2012, 7:35 pm

You may not have seen this about the trouble the President of the Indian Rationalist Association, Sanal Edamaruku, is in at the moment:
Dripping crucifix sparks India blasphemy row
Sunday, 27 May 2012

President of the Indian Rationalist Association, Sanal Edamaruku, has been accused of spreading "anti-Catholic venom" during televised debates on the crucifix in India. (File photo)

By AFP
MUMBAI

Angry Catholics have accused an Indian skeptic of blasphemy after he argued a dripping crucifix was caused by faulty plumbing rather than divine intervention, leaving him facing a possible prison term.

Thousands of believers flocked to a suburban street in the west of Mumbai in March, when drops of water began to fall from the feet of Jesus on the cross, drinking the prized liquid in the hope that it had holy powers.

Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, suggested otherwise. He said he inspected the site and found the source of the water to be leaking toilet drainage, making it dangerous to imbibe.

"It's a case of miracle-mongering," Edamaruku told AFP from his home in New Delhi. "Any kind of miracle-mongering is ultimately to get money and power."

Accusing him of spreading "anti-Catholic venom" during televised debates on the crucifix, outraged religious groups in Mumbai have filed police complaints that could see Edamaruku jailed for up to three years under India's blasphemy law.

"Don't try to bring dark ages in India," Edamaruku had warned in a TV discussion.

One complaint was lodged with police by Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Catholic-Christian Secular Forum, who objected to the rationalist's "very obvious and stridently anti-Christian bias".

In a statement emailed to AFP, Dias denied the dripping crucifix had been hailed as a miracle -- a status that requires an official Church pronouncement -- but he also dismissed Edamaruku's theory.

"A plausible explanation which makes sense is still elusive," he wrote.

Superstitious beliefs are still widespread in India, a fast-developing and officially secular country where Hinduism dominates but a diverse range of ethnic groups, religious practices and languages co-exist.

As a prominent skeptical campaigner Edamaruku is no stranger to controversy.

His association, which claims 100,000-plus members, was set up in 1949 to campaign for scientific reasoning over superstition -- a job that has become his mission in life.

The 56-year-old has spent the last three decades exposing what he says are fake miracles and fraudulent gurus across India, whose top mystics and yoga masters have amassed huge followings and fortunes.

Edamaruku's targets have included powerful spiritual leaders such as the late Sathya Sai Baba, who was revered by millions and famed for producing baubles out of thin air.

Now Edamaruku welcomes the moves against him as "an opportunity, not a thing to be afraid of", he said, and is challenging India's blasphemy law.

The legislation bans "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs" -- a rule Edamaruku believes runs counter to freedom of expression.

His lawyers are preparing to lobby India's Supreme Court to overturn the colonial-era section of the penal code, as well as asking a court in Delhi to prevent his arrest.

Edamaruku said the Catholics' response had been "like Islamic fundamentalists speaking" and drew parallels with the opposition to Mumbai-born British author Salman Rushdie.

Rushdie's 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" remains banned in India for allegedly insulting Islam and the writer withdrew from a literary festival in January this year after death threats and angry protests.

"I always think there are two Indias," said Edamaruku. "The 21st century, which is progressive, modern, scientific" and "17th-century India, which is pulling us back to the dark ages of intolerance, bigotry, superstition".
http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2 ... 16761.html
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Promoting Humanism

#31 Post by Compassionist » May 28th, 2012, 7:52 pm

I admire Sanal Edamaruku's courage in speaking out. I will watch out and see how the story progresses. Blasphemy laws are absurd even from a religious point of view - surely, an omnipotent and omniscient deity can handle pesky blasphemers without requiring human intervention?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#32 Post by Alan H » May 28th, 2012, 7:54 pm

Compassionist wrote:I admire Sanal Edamaruku's courage in speaking out. I will watch out and see how the story progresses. Blasphemy laws are absurd even from a religious point of view - surely, an omnipotent and omniscient deity can handle pesky blasphemers without requiring human intervention?
Quite.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#33 Post by Dave B » May 28th, 2012, 7:56 pm

There are missionary schools which educate the new converts and their children which would lead to better job prospects.
That is good, in its way, Compo - but I ask the question, "Will they be allowed to take decent jobs" out of ignorance as to how these newly educated people will be accepted. My understanding is, "Once a Dalit always a Dalit," are they allowed to work in offices with those who consider themselves "higher caste"?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Fia
Posts: 5480
Joined: July 6th, 2007, 8:29 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#34 Post by Fia » May 28th, 2012, 7:57 pm

In a statement emailed to AFP, Dias denied the dripping crucifix had been hailed as a miracle -- a status that requires an official Church pronouncement -- but he also dismissed Edamaruku's theory.

"A plausible explanation which makes sense is still elusive," he wrote.
:pointlaugh: :hilarity: :pointlaugh: :hilarity:

sorry, just wanted to share how fabulously ironic that is... back to the thread....

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Promoting Humanism

#35 Post by Compassionist » May 28th, 2012, 8:01 pm

Dave B wrote:
There are missionary schools which educate the new converts and their children which would lead to better job prospects.
That is good, in its way, Compo - but I ask the question, "Will they be allowed to take decent jobs" out of ignorance as to how these newly educated people will be accepted. My understanding is, "Once a Dalit always a Dalit," are they allowed to work in offices with those who consider themselves "higher caste"?
India now has laws preventing such discrimination against Dalits. In fact, there are positive discriminations which uses a quota system to ensure historically underprivileged people get a leg up. Although, Dalits are still discriminated against by certain private sector employers. Rural areas have much more problems with caste based segregation and discrimination than cities in India.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#36 Post by Dave B » May 28th, 2012, 8:05 pm

India now has laws preventing such discrimination against Dalits. In fact, there are positive discriminations which uses a quota system to ensure historically underprivileged people get a leg up. Although, Dalits are still discriminated against by certain private sector employers. Rural areas have much more problems with caste based segregation and discrimination than cities in India.
That's good, Compo, there is some hope for India getting into the current century then!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Compassionist
Posts: 3527
Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Promoting Humanism

#37 Post by Compassionist » May 29th, 2012, 4:33 pm

Dave B wrote:
India now has laws preventing such discrimination against Dalits. In fact, there are positive discriminations which uses a quota system to ensure historically underprivileged people get a leg up. Although, Dalits are still discriminated against by certain private sector employers. Rural areas have much more problems with caste based segregation and discrimination than cities in India.
That's good, Compo, there is some hope for India getting into the current century then!
There seems to be two conflicting yet concurrent Indias - one is modern, scientific, urban and secular while the other is traditional, rural, religious and superstition-based.

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#38 Post by Dave B » May 29th, 2012, 5:33 pm

One sub-continent, hundreds of countries.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
jaywhat
Posts: 15807
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:53 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#39 Post by jaywhat » May 30th, 2012, 6:19 am

Cannot promote humanism, so waste of time trying - it is already at the top of the list. :laughter:

Maria Mac
Site Admin
Posts: 9307
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:34 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#40 Post by Maria Mac » June 3rd, 2012, 10:54 am

stevenw888 wrote: 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!
Every time I say, 'I have been invited as a celebrant of the British Humanist Association to conduct this ceremony of farewell for x', followed by an explanation that we will focus on paying tribute to the life that was lived and stuff about living on in hearts and minds, I feel I am promoting humanism. It's the same when I'm invited to schools to speak about it. I certainly don't 'evangelise' on these occasions. In the latter, I just give a simple explanation of what we believe/don't believe and in the former I reckon that as long as I make it clear it's a humanist ceremony I'm conducting and do the best job I can, anyone interested in knowing more will find out for themselves. I can't know if I personally have won 'converts' from ceremonies but I do know that a lot of people joining the BHA, first came across it at a humanist ceremony.
robcurry wrote: How would you prefer Humanist leaders choose to increase public awareness and understanding of Humanism?
I think the atheist bus campaign, promoted by the BHA, was quite effective too. I am very satisfied with the BHA's broad campaigning work.

User avatar
animist
Posts: 6522
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: Promoting Humanism

#41 Post by animist » June 3rd, 2012, 11:15 am

Compassionist wrote:
Dave B wrote:
India now has laws preventing such discrimination against Dalits. In fact, there are positive discriminations which uses a quota system to ensure historically underprivileged people get a leg up. Although, Dalits are still discriminated against by certain private sector employers. Rural areas have much more problems with caste based segregation and discrimination than cities in India.
That's good, Compo, there is some hope for India getting into the current century then!
There seems to be two conflicting yet concurrent Indias - one is modern, scientific, urban and secular while the other is traditional, rural, religious and superstition-based.
sounds a bit like the US?

Post Reply