Atheists Catechism/ or

4 Jan


Humanism Adrift at Sea

Contemporary Humanism appears to have lost mooring and become adrift without compass and heading for a reef. Is it because the Ship’s Surgeon, Dr. Kantbe True, clutching his copy of The Atheists Catechism has seized the wheel, proclaimed his Captaincy, switched from an historically valid course and is fast headed towards the dangerous reef marked… redundancy?

This infamous Catechism ignores the tenets of historical Humanism and negates centuries of hard earned progress. The existence of God or Gods was not at issue in antiquity. All the lyricism and scholarship of Lucretus; his homage to Epicurus and the resultant spreading enlightenment is now held to be mere paganism or worse, deism, and dismissed. Even, perhaps slightly addled, Sir Thomas Moore, before his ignoble end, could call himself ‘a Christian Humanist’, with impunity; but not anymore. Not in this brave new era of “HUMANISM UBER ALLES”.

The goal of historical Humanism was to secure equal value and pleasure for human life here on Earth now, and not postponed to any future life. Simplistic as that statement appears in light of our modern creeds and dogmas, our pleasant sounding paens to peace, happiness and goodwill (which abound in most social organizations anyway) that we ascribe to Humanism. But our de facto focus on anti-deism, anti-religion has proven counterproductive and limits our message being heard.

Are all those centuries of martyrdom; not a few involving the stake, now forfeit? The threat of apostasy is for us at the ready lest any reference to anything not measurable by ‘reasonable’ methods emerge: this our modern taboo. Dark and deeply superstitious is our Captain. Some among his strident crew proclaim “militancy” and await phantom legions to respond to their call. Hark! Do we hear a chorus of “Onward Humanist Soldiers” ringing out?

We have long been granted a surfeit of those earthly pleasures to which the ancients aspired. So in the interest of a higher purpose for modern humanism’s aspiration, why not at least encourage the switch to a long a in the word humanism; pronounce it humane-ism. Simple enough to enact and challenge providing, too. It’s good enough for the Humane Society for the other beasts; someday we too might be worthy of being called Humane.



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