Humanism As A Necessary Component of AtheismSubmitted by Murphy1844 at 2010-09-29 13:49:06 EDT
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I was chatting with a friend of mine while we were on our way to our favorite bar about Atheism. He wants to return to school to study graduate work to build on his knowledge of religious studies. The school, and I kind of got a kick out of this, is called “Divinity School.” It’s not religious or biased in any way, that’s just what’s it called. He mentioned that he wanted to do more with Atheism... contribute more to the social movement we’ve both witnessed in the United States.
I suggested that in order to make any difference the term needs to change. The word Atheist or Atheism or Atheist-Movement stirs within many people who don’t know what this is all about a certain disdain (at worst) or complete misunderstanding (in some cases, at best). There’s already an established and, unfortunately unorganized and unfocused group of people, that are Humanists. Please note the capital “H” in Humanist. To avoid semantics and distraction, the lower case humanists had its roots in religious thought. The capital “H” version, Humanist, is the, as one respected (by many) leader summarized “Godless do-gooders.” I liked this part, even though the rest of what she had to say about Humanism was bloated and pretentious. In my view, she hasn’t been able to get out of her own way.
He didn’t like this term. He thought it meant the watering-down of what Atheists are. I disagree completely. After all, there are horrible Atheists out there. Before I give examples, please keep in mind that Atheists are not attached to any moral or political orientation. To be an Atheist simply means that you don’t believe in invisible friends, you don’t believe that the universe was designed with you in mind, and you don’t believe that you live under a supernatural dictatorship that you can never escape from - for all of life living and all of life after life - forever, for eternity. Beyond this, it’s totally fair game. Atheists can be pedophiles. Atheists can be mass-murderers. Atheists can form communist governments based on the misinterpretations of Marx economics and lower the happiness of many, many people. Do these people do this *because they’re Atheists? No.
To be an Atheist simply means, to repeat, that you’ve brushed away the superstitious in favor of reason. Some would argue that reason alone requires faith. I agree. But reason has evidence to support itself. For example, when you are driving and approach a light that is red, it’s reasonable to stop your fucking car. Why? Because there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that there will be cars coming from a perpendicular direction who won’t be stopping their car. Are you CERTAIN that it’s reasonable to stop your car at a red light? Well, to be scientifically objective, certainty doesn’t exist -- but it’s a pretty good fucking idea to step on your brakes if you want to survive and live another day to compete in a multi-player match of Starcraft 2, the most balanced RTS game to ever hit the market, and hopefully get promoted to fucking something besides the bronze league with every god damn opponent ranked as “slightly favored” or even just plain “favored.” Sorry about that.
As I understand, Humanism is an off-shoot (and I argue necessary) component of Atheism. Since Atheism alone doesn’t suggest anything about ones world-view, and since every single Atheist I’ve met is also a Humanist, then we Atheists need a more marketable term. That term would be Humanist.
As Vonnegut has said, and he’s my favorite Humanist of all time, we’re pretty much all in this together. None of us have any idea what the fuck is going on, and many of us are scared to death. Let’s be reasonable, and learn and practise to love anyone around us who is there to be loved. Some Atheists do this and some don’t. But every single Humanist does do this, or at least gives a shit and tries.
Except for the douche-bag Terran MMM motherfuckers who do nothing but spam marines and mauraders and medivacs to rush your base before you can even get comfortable. Those assholes need to burn in hell.