In my last article I said I was going to be focusing a little more on why humanism is good. A philosophy as broad as humanism has many great things about it. (Why Humanism Part 1 and Part 2 ) Here are three more reasons why humanism is the philosophy I embrace:
Humanism is a philosophy rich in human thought. The best of what the human intellectual has to offer is reflected in it. Thinkers as far back Aristotle have their philosophy reflected in humanism. This makes humanism based on reason and only changing given rational reason to do so. A philosophy that is thought out, reasoned, rationalized, debated, discussed and changed thousands of times of the course of human history is, at the every least, a philosophy worth looking at.
Humanism puts people first. Even its name reflects this. It just makes sense to put our energies into what’s best for ourselves and humanity as a whole. No time and money wasted on pleasing one or more of the thousands of unprovable Gods. No psychics and quacks taking advantage of the bereaved. No suppressing scientific advances that can only help us. In my about page I say ‘Imagine what kind of world we would live in if everyone put all their time spent worshiping, fighting, killing and hating into making the world a better place instead’ That is exactly what humanism hope to accomplish.
Humanism embraces this life. Even with all its ups and downs humanism makes the life we know we have its primary concern. Humanism rejects the mind-body dualism of religions. The body is not filthy and the mind is not a locus of sinful desires. Neither is the physical something to disconnect from (as in Buddhism). The idea of heaven undermines the beauty and the wonder of the world we live in. Humanism rejects all of this and instead strives to make this life and this world a better place to be.
Humanism is certainly not perfect. In fact some complain that it is too broad and unstructured. Organizations like the Council for Secular Humanism, IHEU and the American Humanist Association has attempted to address this and bring humanism some more formal structure. There are other complaints and criticisms about it that are certainly valid. However upon examination humanism certainly, in this author’s opinion, has a far greater chance of saving humanity from itself then anything else we have so far.