Showing posts with label humanism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humanism. Show all posts

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Ministry and Passion of the Humanist Jesus

As you know my sources are strictly biblical.  I studied most of the religious and scholarly translations of bibles scholastically and philosophically since an early age. I never was a believer. Most of my studies were to poke at believers of all faiths.  

The Synoptic Passions were probably fable designed to remove Jesus but not his messages from the public eye. The post resurrection meet-up stories were probably only to let in group know the truth. Then Paul hijacked the passions to deify his Christ and the fables became TRUTH™.

The passion was not a cover up in the modern sense, simply a punctuation to the radical humanist ministry of Jesus.  Most popular preachers of his time ended up being executed by secular or religious authorities. John the Baptist and most of the others you have heard about.  Martyrdom was the capstone of their career.  

"I am finished." there was nothing more to add and continuing to preach would have got him killed eventually. His cults could carry the subversive message without him better than with him and seem to have done a pretty good job. His radical humanism "Love thy personal God with all thy heart... and love thy hated neighbor as thyself." was both social and religious heresy subject to sudden death.

It has nevertheless stayed alive underground through the dark ages, and blew wide open in the Enlightenment. Still heresy both civil and religious but even in America half the population is compliant with it civilly or religiously. In Europe the numbers are even higher.

Jesus was certainly a married man with children and as such had obligations to stay alive to provide for them. My personal theory is that Mary Magdalene was an integral part of the creation of his message.  It has to me a definitely feminine slant to it. Defiantly opposed to civil and religious patriarchy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Humanism and Cancer.

From a friend's facebook post:

I have enjoyed this medium for a long time. I love you all including the asses, but no longer want to socialize here. I'm going to stick with my kind as suggested. God help you in the future with this mess.

Build your silo and kick out the asses. It is a social media. Social groups have standards of membership or they can't survive. "They drew a circle that kept me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout." (Edwin Markham) And I own that circle. They are not welcome. There are times when inclusiveness fails. I never liked the end of the complete quote, 

I am a radical humanist in that all people are initially included in the humanist circle. They can opt out if they wish by behavior incompatible with humanism. This does not mean they are not still human it just means that they may need to be controlled or eliminated humanely for the protection of humanism.

Humans and humanism are prone to cancerous growths. I did not hate the cancer that was destroying my vocal instrument. But it could not be allowed to do so. The only choice was to poison all rapidly dividing cells in my body, dangerous to be sure, and in fact nearly fatal, but it was a risk I had to take to continue to enjoy my instrument. 

The cancerous cells in humanism must be treated in the same way. Do what it takes to eliminate them even if it is dangerous. If they take over the body politic humanism will be dead anyway.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

You don’t have to like me. You just have to believe I’m a human being.

The article above is an eloquent exposition of one the major tenets of humanism.  Once anyone, for any reason, becomes the enemy, the adversary, or in some sense other, and they forfeit humanity in the tribe or movement mores all hope for reconciliation is lost.  

You don't have to like herm or herm cause, but if you decide that hesh is less than human all that is left is hate.  And hate always leads to self-destructive actions.  You may oppose herm and resist as possible, or even ostracize herm if some reconciliation is impossible, but it is critical to remember that all are human, doing the best they can as they see it for humanity. 

It may be that another human or group of humans may opt out of the humanist circle by their behavior and it may be necessary to isolate them or eliminate them as humanely as possible, but they are and must remain human. 

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes.  Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend.  If not you can kill him without hate -- and quickly.  Lazarus Long, Time Enough For Love, Robert A Heinlein, 1973. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why I Am Not a Feminist. Part 1: Feminists Ignore the Fundamental Gender Issues

I am a humanist. In the words of the UU first principle "The inherent worth and dignity of every person."

Feminism divides people by gender, and once you have us vs. them somebody is inferior. 

Why does that woman, cis trans or in transition, who is your equal in every way need your feminism? She needs your respect as a colleague and probably a promotion to your grade. Got that? Or is feminism enough?

Why does that man need to fundamentally change behavior that is socially, religiously, and genetically conditioned to creating children and providing a safe nurturing space for them against all the slings and arrows society can muster against him for that safe and nurturing space for his children.  

Admittedly certain aspects of this masculinity may not be appropriate in a modern society. But why are men and women together not trying to change the dysfunctional manifestations of masculinity: rape, assault, paternalism, and pillaging for resources; rather than trying to fiddle around with their basic natures with language and shaming of minor behavioral or dominance issues.    

I come from a family tradition of strong, independent, competent women.  In choosing women friends and partners I search out those same qualities. None to my knowledge call themselves feminists.  They are too busy being twice as good as the average man to achieve their goals in life.  (As more than one noted “Fortunately that is not difficult.")

My parenting partner was in a brutally misogynistic profession, and many times I needed my white male MBA privilege to change jobs and careers since she had no flexibility in hers.  I spent exactly no time trying to change the culture of her profession, nor mine, and neither did she until she was tenured, and even then she was more concerned with proving that even without professional support a woman could exceed the achievements of most men in her profession. 

N.B.    More reasoned essays on feminism and humanism can be found on Thinking on the Blue Roads

Monday, December 14, 2015

Users as People.

one thing that Mark [Zukerberg] said, a small note in the grand scheme of things, that still sits fresh in my mind every single week. “We need to stop calling peopleusers,” he said. “They’re not just there to use our products; we’re here to build things for them.”
People, not users.

I just drove off in my new car and I am parked in the pouring rain on the side of the freeway.  Where is the fucking defroster? 

Forgetting users were people almost cost Toyota their entry into the US Market. They designed an advanced, reliable, competitively priced car so different in all ways from Detroit that people couldn't use it intuitively. Similarly the BMW I-Drive. User satisfaction dropped to near zero. They had to solve the problem with a mandatory UX (human) trainer. 

In 1981 a salesperson (let’s call him Joe) in a big Toyota dealership at 57th St. and 11th Ave. in Manhattan tried to look busy at his desk as the suits from Toyota of N.  America came into the dealership and disappeared into the General Manager’s office to no avail as Joe was quickly called to come to the office.  Once there he was confronted by one of the Toyota execs with the question “What are you doing differently from all of the other salespeople here?”  The only thing he could think of was that he spent time at the next day delivery with the “User” to show them how everything on the car worked.  He knew this was different because he was criticized by the Sales Manager for being “Off the floor” at one point after spending more than an hour with a difficult customer.  The Corporate types had an “Aha moment” and dismissed Joe with a thank you. 

Shortly after they left the mystery was solved as Joe was called back to the GM office, and was asked if he could “explain how the car worked” to all the new car buyers.  The GM explained that the problem was the dealership’s location on one of the busiest intersections in the world was adversely affecting the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) which Toyota had recently implemented for all dealerships.  “Users” had no quiet streets to use to practice with their new car on and blamed the car for being unfriendly to people. 

The genesis of the “Delivery Experience” for new car “Users” seems to be at that time.  The volume at the dealership was too high for one person and Joe was given an assistant for overflow (“Ben”) who was “Too nice” to his clients to be a good salesperson.   A manual was written to guide his presentation but Joe’s follow-up showed that Ben’s too nice attitude was much more important than his inability to follow the manual he was given and Joe became the overflow delivery guy. Ben went on to make a nice career in the delivery position at several Toyota dealerships. 

Joe went on to different things but remained in new car sales as a moonlight position.  “Selling cars is like eating M&Ms for a sales and marketing professional.  Not much nourishment per close but you get a lot of them.”   Much later Joe applied as a salesperson at a Lexus dealership across the country and was told he was overqualified and besides salespeople had to deliver their own cars at Lexus according to “The Delivery Manual.” Joe asked what that was, and the SM sneered and said do you think you can follow this?  Joe skimmed through it and recognized it as essentially a copy of the manual written for his assistant.  I suppose I could since I wrote it, he replied. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Social Support for Deconverts.

The issue here between beliefs even buddhist and proper humanist will tell you.    It aint that a humanist is better then a buddhist or more logical then catholic or smarter then a bible thumper.  RCCan
A little too much projection there.  There is no humanist way.  Humanists aren't better than any other human, which is what the humanism is about.  At least conditional respect for all humans is part of humanism. Some humanists try to maintain radical respect for all.  Humanists are different however in that there is no belief, not even belief in humans that is required, and humanists are not a group. They do form social groups, that is a human trait, but the social groups are based on a common interest rather than a belief and generally are inclusive.

Many humanists have had a horrible experience in leaving a belief system and may for that reason condition their respect for others on not being a part of that particular belief system.  It is an non-rational condition, but humanists are human, and excommunication, disfellowshipping, shunning, and other denials of social support are the most painful experiences for any social animal, as it is frequently a death sentence, either by being incapable of self-support, depression or overt suicide.  This is especially true for GLBTs, etc. who are cast out as sinners. 

Humanists, in particular humanists who have left dogmatic religions can be especially helpful to the GLBTs who have been forced to leave friends and family over dogmatic differences.  Their inclusive interest based social groups provide major social support for those cast out.  Some are even non-dogmatic religious groups that provide a comfortable Sabbath ritual for former believers. 

Humanists generally separate themselves by not being able to believe any longer, but support groups are easier to find, sometimes within the faith, and the separation from the patriarchs while traumatic is not life threatening.  But trauma, even self-chosen trauma leaves scars, and avoiding additional scars by exposure to the shunning group is at least understandable. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Humanists With Children

Your thesis then, is "the very existence of religion is an affront to womens' progress", correct? IronLDS

Talk about misinterpreting a post and fighting a strawman! But to respond to the strawman, religious influence in Western society is an affront to women's progress, as it is the source of the property status of women and the concept that women should STFU and stay home.  All the talk of separate but equal roles is just more religious BS to justify keeping women barefoot, uneducated and pregnant. 

As noted earlier humanist men support women in all roles totally ignoring their haughty status as made in the image of God.  I even know of humanist men who assume the role of househusband to provide their children with proper nurturing while their wives work full+ time at their economic comparative advantage role in society.  She may well be a better mom than he is but her overall worth to society is higher as a medical professional e.g. than his as contract laborer.  More commonly they share both roles usually to the detriment of their careers, more so for the woman, due to the fact that she is working above her station, but both chose children and careers, rather than not having children.  Which by the way is a common choice for humanists as their service to their society as full+ time professionals may be more important to them than raising cannon fodder.  Their legacy is their social service rather than another mouth for the world to feed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Human Worth

I could suggest that such feelings of moral outrage offer survival value, which is why we have them; in which case they offer no insight into "the value of the human." My point, which was about the inconsistency between an evolutionary point of view and ascribing worth to humans, remains unanswered.Thoughtfultheist

Apologies for missing that.  The evolutionary point of view is ultimately the survival of the species.  Blather about selfish genes and selfishness notwithstanding.  For social animals like humans the welfare and worth of the group is paramount.  A group that breaks up leaving the weak (unworthy) to predators soon has no one left to defend the group.  In evolutionary terms extinction.  In human terms "First they came for the unbelieving humans. No one spoke up.  Then they came for idolatrous humans.  No one spoke up.  Then they came for believing humans.  No one spoke up."  What is the worth of humans?  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What is Humanism

The UU First Principle is about as good a definition as I can find:  

The inherent worth and dignity of every person.

I go a bit farther to the concept of: 

Radical respect for every person, until by their actions they prove to be unworthy of respect. 

This is merely a gloss on the first principle that admits the fact that not all humans are decent people. 

The Second Commandment of Jesus is, in context of his treatment by Samaritans and his parable of the Good Samaritan, another statement of humanism, and in conjunction with the first is an example of theistic humanism.   

The problem I have with most gods and God is that I have yet to find one that complies with the first principle.  There are always people that are of lesser worth in the eye of God, usually but not limited to women, and always those that do not grovel in worship to God. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Theistic Humanism

I am convinced by long studies of Jefferson and Jesus the preacher man that both were theistic humanists.  When I was a kid in the UU tradition both Jefferson and Jesus were revered forbears.  UU was theistic although I was not, but nonethe less the "Credo" I recited with everybody else was

Unitarians believe in the Fatherhood of God,

The brotherhood of Jesus,

Salvation by character,

And the progress of mankind (now humans) onward and upward forever. 

Theist humanism at its best:  God as a Father/mentor, Jesus as wise probably elder sibling, and humans as the driver of progress.  As most here know I resonated early with the Two Great Commandments struggling mightily to reconcile the first with my atheism.  The answer I came up with was "Thy God" was a reference for those who needed divine guidance, which is why I have no problem with celebrating any God with a believer.  It is not my God, but if Hesh works for them God bless them.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Gender in Language

 Roymond wrote:
Good point about the Hebrew.  It's worth noting that the same point essentially extends to all language; anything perceived of as personal is going to get either the masculine or feminine, because that's how we conceive of persons.  So deities end up with gender tags even though they may not be actually understood as having gender, at least not in any way we humans would understand.


And that applies whether God is real or not; it's a linguistic/philosophical problem.  So in actuality, the case is stronger that patriarchy or matriarchy were imposed on religion by the concepts and worldviews of the socities in question, not the other way around.

Languages differ.  Some languages do not even have a gender neutral term for any object let alone a person.  But one must understand that language is our understanding of the world and we must be aware of the more pernicious biases built into the language gender being the most important. 

One of the first things that offended me when I found out that other people believed in God was that Lord (masculine) and He/His were interchangeable with God.  I was still in the scatological humor stage at the time and gleefully referred to God as Sheheit.  Making myself unpopular in some circles, but most of my friends were at the most religious agnostics, so I didn't catch much flack.  And when I did I would always correct myself to She/he/it.  I outgrew the scatology but still refused to even think of God as He.  I invented the gender inclusive pronouns some of you have seen here Hesh and Herm very early in life, and discovered that they really helped me think about a supernatural power in a sympathetic way that was impossible with the testosterone poisoned "He."  Even trying to insert God in place of the male pronoun every time didn't work too well.  As I found out while working on the first gender neutral hymnal revision for the UUA.

By college I had learned to think of everyone as hesh rather than he or she even when it was important to tell the difference.  It was the first step to radical humanism as once I began to think of people as hesh it was hard to create differences along any lines since the major pervasive division on gender lines carried over from the patriarchal social system we inherited from God was obliterated in my mind. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Working With Theistic Humanists

 christine3 wrote:
... I wouldn't dismiss believers. They have a strong feeling that it is possible a man in first century Jerusalem was doing things that nobody else could, and I don't doubt that at all. .....

  There are many smart people within Christianity that are going back to the man that was doing those things and was a theistic humanist.  They aren't making much progress in changing the institution that depends on keeping people dumb and believing in the God man, but they are becoming a significant minority in both Catholic and Protestant Christianity.  They are still theistic, the meme of something more encompassing than the individual whether it be Gaia or God is well ingrained in the modern psyche. 

Perhaps working with rather than against humanistic theists would be a better strategy for atheists. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Atheist Value Development

Atheists find value in most of the world religions in formulating their social values.  Confucianism especially as it is basically humanistic.  Atheists must necessarily develop social, moral, and ethical values in order to survive in a fundamentally religious society.  Religions have had 2-3 millennia to develop those values, some useful and some disastrous.  When you remove the "God Sayeth" from them all it is easy to tell the difference between them.  This means that it is necessary for atheists to have an understanding of the dominant religious values, as well as alternatives for the bad ones.  Confucianism, Hinduism and Buddhism have been very successful for a couple of millennia +.  Christianity and Islam not so much.  Zen is a popular first step away from the modern Abrahamics.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Judging Religious Beliefs

I have spent a good part of a fairly long lifetime, studying religions as social systems.  I have come to the conclusion that anyone who chooses to remain in a religion deserves what hesh chooses. It is not my problem as long as it basically stays in the church.  I also have no standing to comment on how they are bringing up their children.  I may deplore it, but it has to stay in my church or lack thereof, as they are not my children. I can only hope that once the children reach their teens they will be exposed to enough other options that they can make an intelligent choice.  They may well decide to stay in the comfort of their church, and once again that is their choice not mine to make or even influence unless I have been chosen as a mentor.  As a humanist (lc"h") I can do no other. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Alive with Stories

 “When you’re ready to wake up, you’re going to wake up, and if you’re not ready you’re going to stay pretending that you’re just a ‘poor little me.’ And since you’re all here and engaged in this sort of inquiry and listening to this sort of lecture, I assume you’re all in the process of waking up. " Alan Watts

 I was born awake and never was put to sleep by dogma.  I never had that rude awakening to find out that God, the divine and everything else was just a story.  Stories to help me learn how to be a better person and contribute to my chosen society but stories nonetheless with some truth and lots of garbage. 

My society is relatively demanding, one must think rationally and independently, one must constantly be aware of the mores of the society and comply with them intelligently rather than dogmatically, and problems must be resolved reasonably for all involved.  The stories are there to help, even the religious ones, but none of them can tell me what is right or even what to do.