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Humanist Hopes

Dale McGowan, editor of Parenting Beyond Belief, wrote about the definition of humanism that he gave to his six-year-old.

A humanist is somebody who thinks that people should all take care of each other, and that even if there is a heaven or a god, we should spend our time making this life and this world better.

I’m not there yet, but every day sees me care a little bit less about metaphysics except for this one question that crops up whenever someone makes a metaphysical assertion: How do you know that? In other words, I’m becoming a strident apatheistic agnostic.

I hope that I will rewrite my character as the kind of humanist Dale described. I want my attitude to become “I can’t know and you can’t know, so why pretend it matters? Let’s sit down and reason together. When we’re done, let’s be kind to each other and try to remake the world the way we both want it to be. At the end of the day, that must be enough because we can’t do any better.”

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  1. Lincoln Cannon said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

    Some forms of theism assert we should transform this world into heaven and this life into godhood. So far as I am concerned, any other faith is merely wishful thinking.

  2. Kullervo said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 6:55 am

    Maybe this is the way to go.

  3. Jonathan Blake said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

    I’m trying really hard these days to reconcile myself to the human situation with all its limitations. I’m also trying to push against those limitations.

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