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Author Topic: Brief primer on Humanism  (Read 24485 times)

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Hominid

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2013, 12:58:51 PM »
Well, there are some people that do indeed consider it a religion; some of those that penned the original Humanist Manifesto. Interesting shit dude:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanist_Manifesto

Humanist Manifesto III states in its opening sentence: "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.", emphasis mine. That's what I'm going with, not because it fits my argument, but because things do change over time. Even xtianity has changed over time as various rulers have rewritten the New Testament to suit their aims. And these days there are dozens of version of the damned thing.

Ennyhoo, I'm really not trying to be contrary. Maybe it's just a natural talent?  ;D

Oh shit no; I was just quoting Wikipedia...  contrari-nesses taken!



RighteousDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2013, 08:48:20 AM »
Kirk was reading the Declaration of Independence. Written by Jefferson.
I'd point to the "Jeffeson Humanist Society"
http://jefferson-society.com/
I'd say that the founding fathers were motivated by the principles that became Humanism even if imperfectly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the founders were all dirty rotten greedy bastards, but in the main they were. Jefferson was a fairly enlightened dude and gets the lion's share of the attention because he was one of the few relatively honorable dudes in the bunch. Any positive qualities we ascribe to him, or any of the few others who were fairly enlightened and relatively honorable, though, don't automatically convey to the rest. And it can't be overlooked by anyone being honest with himself that the freedom and equality that Jefferson spoke of was intended for wealthy white men only. Even when his peers sought to cut the slaves a little slack, Jefferson stood strongly opposed. And when it came time to incorporate some human rights into the Constitution it wasn't Jefferson who did it. Madison did. And was a slave owner, too.

Ain't no humanists owning slaves, man. It's just inconsistent as hell with the whole philosophy.
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BikerDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2013, 10:08:08 AM »
Kirk was reading the Declaration of Independence. Written by Jefferson.
I'd point to the "Jeffeson Humanist Society"
http://jefferson-society.com/
I'd say that the founding fathers were motivated by the principles that became Humanism even if imperfectly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the founders were all dirty rotten greedy bastards, but in the main they were. Jefferson was a fairly enlightened dude and gets the lion's share of the attention because he was one of the few relatively honorable dudes in the bunch. Any positive qualities we ascribe to him, or any of the few others who were fairly enlightened and relatively honorable, though, don't automatically convey to the rest. And it can't be overlooked by anyone being honest with himself that the freedom and equality that Jefferson spoke of was intended for wealthy white men only. Even when his peers sought to cut the slaves a little slack, Jefferson stood strongly opposed. And when it came time to incorporate some human rights into the Constitution it wasn't Jefferson who did it. Madison did. And was a slave owner, too.

Ain't no humanists owning slaves, man. It's just inconsistent as hell with the whole philosophy.

I think I'll take him at his word.
It's the principles that I'm speaking of. He enunciated them pretty well in the Declaration for instance.
I don't believe anything that the founding fathers spoke of are to blame for making us a democracy of the wealthy.
It's our abandonment of those principles.
We no longer have anything resembling a government by the people.
It's been bought and the people have been convinced not to demand it.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 10:29:57 AM by BikerDude »

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Rev. Gary (revgms)

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2013, 11:32:19 AM »
I dunno, the Founding Fathers and the constitution and bill of rights are of their time and place. As good as it is and as enlightened as they were, it is still not a permanent solution, and I along with many others would say the constitution and BoR are really just rough drafts for the UDHR.

There are really two problems with our democracy, one, too much money in there, really should have public funded only elections, with a three month lead up, not 4 years campaigning. And second, the populace is full of idiots. The uniformed or misinformation cause more damage to us than the greedy.

Our politics are not bad when you consider their progress in humanism, what really needs humanist values is our capitalist system. The form of capitalism we use now is apathetic towards everything except financial profit, it has no soul and loves no one. What is needed is to give capitalism a conscience. For that I refer to the work of E F Shumacher.

BikerDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2013, 01:27:51 PM »
I dunno, the Founding Fathers and the constitution and bill of rights are of their time and place. As good as it is and as enlightened as they were, it is still not a permanent solution, and I along with many others would say the constitution and BoR are really just rough drafts for the UDHR.

There are really two problems with our democracy, one, too much money in there, really should have public funded only elections, with a three month lead up, not 4 years campaigning. And second, the populace is full of idiots. The uniformed or misinformation cause more damage to us than the greedy.

Our politics are not bad when you consider their progress in humanism, what really needs humanist values is our capitalist system. The form of capitalism we use now is apathetic towards everything except financial profit, it has no soul and loves no one. What is needed is to give capitalism a conscience. For that I refer to the work of E F Shumacher.

People are easily led.
"When Fascism comes to America, it will be called anti-Fascism!" - Huey Long
People will line up to throw their own rights and representation right out the window.
It's bad enough that big money has perfected influencing (buying, bullying and controlling) the government,
but they've also convinced the average person not to.
Next to religion they are the all time champions of selling bullshit.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 01:30:22 PM by BikerDude »

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RighteousDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2013, 06:07:11 PM »
I think I'll take him at his word.

"The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific." -- FDR, who provoked Japan to attack with an oil embargo against Japan earlier in 1941 after having been counseled by several trusted advisors that doing so was tantamount to declaring war, and also with an asset freeze on all Japanese assets under US control (via Executive Order 8832, July, 1941)
"I am not a crook." -- Richard Milhouse Nixon
"We know where they [WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." -- Donald Rumsfeld

 ;)

I don't believe anything that the founding fathers spoke of are to blame for making us a democracy of the wealthy.

The US is a republic, specifically a Federal Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. And it was founded with the interests of the wealthy in mind, which is why the constitution contains only property rights and no human rights. Which is why only land owners (of relatively large tracts, not mere homeowners) were allowed to vote in the early days of the republic. Which is why we have (since the 12th Amendment, passed in 1804) an electoral college to elect the president, and it is perfectly legal for electors to completely disregard the popular votes of the states who've appointed them. And so on.

We no longer have anything resembling a government by the people.

We never had that. When Lincoln coined the phrase "of the people, by the people, for the people" he knew that the United States was not a democracy. He lied.
I'm just gone, man, totally fucking gone.

BikerDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2013, 07:22:16 AM »
We have an elected representative government.
Again, pointing out the evils of the government does nothing to change the stated principles.
It simply shows how the principles have never been exemplified in our actual government.
But it does nothing to effect the question of whether we should require that our government DOES conform to the very worthy vision that the founders had for it. We should require a Government by the People for the people. Lincoln had a vision. He was a great man. Like MLK when he stated that he had a dream.
The vision is mirrored in the words of the Declaration of independence. The first official "vision statement".
It's a worth fucking endeavor.
To gripe about how we have a Government for the wealthy simply illustrates the point it does not negate it.
The reason why we say that is "wrong" or "bad" is because it does not live up to the ideal.
The fix for undue influence on the part of the wealthy is more influence by the average person.
In my opinion we should fight for that.



« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 07:39:56 AM by BikerDude »

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Rev. Gary (revgms)

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2013, 07:43:53 AM »
Yeah see, what the Biker Dude said.

We are a republic, true, but a republic, by definition, is a democracy, a representative one. I would argue our form of government is not a "bad" one, rather useful actually, we have accomplished many great things using it, civil rights, emancipation ect.

The problem is the "average" citizen has surrendered their influence because of irrational fears or greed. That or they are just willfully ignorant wastes.

BikerDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2013, 01:35:57 PM »
Yeah see, what the Biker Dude said.

We are a republic, true, but a republic, by definition, is a democracy, a representative one. I would argue our form of government is not a "bad" one, rather useful actually, we have accomplished many great things using it, civil rights, emancipation ect.

The problem is the "average" citizen has surrendered their influence because of irrational fears or greed. That or they are just willfully ignorant wastes.
And the things you mention where achieved when people were willing to fight for them.
And people were able to speak out and fight for their rights because of our freedoms.

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Hominid

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2013, 02:41:13 PM »
Yeah see, what the Biker Dude said.

We are a republic, true, but a republic, by definition, is a democracy, a representative one. I would argue our form of government is not a "bad" one, rather useful actually, we have accomplished many great things using it, civil rights, emancipation ect.

The problem is the "average" citizen has surrendered their influence because of irrational fears or greed. That or they are just willfully ignorant wastes.
And the things you mention where achieved when people were willing to fight for them.
And people were able to speak out and fight for their rights because of our freedoms.


And it seems that is being eroded all over the free world. The bigger the population, the more stupid people get to vote.  We have that in Canada too.



RighteousDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2013, 06:42:52 PM »
We are a republic, true, but a republic, by definition, is a democracy, a representative one.

By definition, a republic is not a democracy. If the distinction is important to you, this might help. If the distinction is not important to you, then let's not have this discussion because I'm sure to piss you off and I'd rather never piss anyone off.

When I bag on the US for being what it is, my intent is simply to cast light upon what this place really fucking is, which until recently was exactly what it was designed to be right from the start. Recently, we've had traitors in the Congress and the Oval Office, elected representatives who are hostile to the Constitution and who have openly undermined it and continue to do so, but the sheeple are good with it so what the fuck. It doesn't matter at all what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence because the Declaration is not law. It was never law. It doesn't matter at all what the founders wrote or said unless it was made into law, and what the founders made into law was a rich man's constitution. The founders would be very supportive of Citizens United, because it is exactly what they had in mind when they denied the vote to all except wealthy landowners. The founders would be very supportive of the wealthy running the government because it is exactly what they created, and how they ran things themselves. The founders would be good with the Bill of Rights being dismantled, because they didn't really want it included. To believe otherwise, one must actually ignore history.

I'd be good with going back to the principles that guided the nation from FDR's New Deal through LBJ's Great Society, principles that were completely and openly at odds with the founders' vision. Principles that created a working middle class for the first time in all of human history, and gave us neat shit like 40 hour work weeks, Social Security, Medicare, collective bargaining, and all of that other liberal shit that the founders would have opposed. I could get fully behind abandoning the principles of the founders to get back on that course. And it would be 100% Dudely, since The Dude was a fucking socialist.
I'm just gone, man, totally fucking gone.

Rev. Gary (revgms)

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2013, 07:16:58 PM »
Nope, the dictionaries agree a republic is a type where the power is in the hands of the populace, either directly or indirectly through democratic action. It is why I was careful to use "by definition", because I was aware of the semantic arguments one could put forth. You see, I was syntactic, and you were being semantic, no big, it happens.

Not sure I go for your broad strokes about the thinking of the founding fathers, but I am with ya once you hit the FDR New Deal. I tend to be more progressive than liberal, but count me in man.

Hominid

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2013, 07:31:22 PM »
Vagina



RighteousDude

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2013, 09:32:43 PM »
Nope, the dictionaries agree a republic is a type where the power is in the hands of the populace, either directly or indirectly through democratic action.

I should have been a tad more careful, I suppose, and said "constitutional republic" or even "federal constitutional republic", but I kinda figured we were on the same page there for a while. That's what I get for being so generous as to call the stuff that happens in my mind "thinking". Still:

Fuck the dictionary, man. We have a Supreme Court who can tell that majority of democratically elected representatives down the street to shove their laws up their asses. Where there is an entity who can do that, there is not a democracy. There may be democratically elected legislators who conduct their dealings in a democratic manner, but the government is not itself a democracy. The cake is not defined by the spoon that stirred the batter.

Thirty years ago I was a liberal, but today I'm a progressive -- and my thinking hasn't shifted all that much. Fucking Billy Clinton went and unilaterally redefined liberal on us, and now people apply the term to the guy in the Oval Orifice with straight faces. Only in America, huh? But we can buy toilet paper whose strongest selling point it that it leaves less lint on our assholes, so what the fuck.

Vagina

Breakfast of Champions, Dude!

And to make sure it's said and I hope taken at face value: I'm not putting all this stuff out there to be some kind of contrary dickhead or America hater or some shit. Those things aren't even components of my nature. It just fucks up my mellow state of being to witness my friends and neighbors getting all uptight and fucked up because they believe that this is not the America the founders intended. The America we have today is still a tad more liberal than those guys intended, in truth, and they did intend that the rich would run the government. It's a lot easier to achieve a limber mind free of uptight thinking if we unfuck our minds -- because we were, every one of us who grew up in the US, mindfucked as children. If we unfuck our minds, a whole bunch of shit that's new to us comes to light. And just as in our foundational fiction, when new shit comes to light and we stop believing the bullshit the rich guy laid on us we can achieve a way of being that is more in tune with reality. And then we can say fuck it and enjoy our occasional acid flashbacks with limber minds free of uptight thinking.

But here I am rambling again.
I'm just gone, man, totally fucking gone.

Hominid

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Re: Brief primer on Humanism
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2013, 06:39:53 PM »
Quote
But here I am rambling again.

Sorry, what day is this?



 

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