Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3478316 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

SVS: Aren't You Just a Secular Humanist?
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (2)

Objection: Aren't You Just a Secular Humanist?

No, although there is a great deal of overlap between the value system presented here and what Secular Humanists say they value. Here is a link to the Secular Humanist Declaration, which advocates an ethical approach based on reason, endorses freedom and democracy, the separation of church and state, and so on. Much of it I agree with.

However, my main criticism of humanism stems from the name itself, and the conceptual underpinnings centered around humans and human experience. From The Humanist Manifesto II:

We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life.

This just strikes me as solipsistic and self-centered. It seems to be using human life as the yardstick by which ethical principles are derived.

This also smacks of the moral innateness position, most recently espoused by Christopher Hitchens, the idea that morals are simply an innate part of human nature. We know that murder and thievery are wrong without having to learn it or be told. However, relying on our innate dispositions, as opposed to rigorously reasoning everything out, simply defers control to our genetic heritage. Relying on our basic impulses to guide us is lazy and mindless, and makes us no better than instinctual creatures.

What is needed is an ethical system that transcends the narrow confines of human interests and could universally apply to any thinking agent anywhere and anytime. Whether or not the system presented here accomplishes furthers that goal is an open question. But while much of the stated ideals of Secular Humanism are laudable, its underlying foundation and its overarching conceptual approach set it apart from the system presented here.

Read/Post Comments (2)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.