I was looking at some early 2021 posts here on RJsCorner and saw that I promised some more posts about Humanism, but haven’t delivered on that promise since then. It’s about time I talked about this subject a little more deeply.
I still remember all the disdain, and even outright hatred, that the white Evangelicals I once shared pews with spouted against “secular humanists” during our weekly bible studies. In their minds, secular humanists were as close to the devil as any human being can be. When that subject came up, and it frequently did, I was as embarrassed to even be in the same room. Since those days, I have been studying this topic to try and discern the truth about this group of people. I have also been studying quite a bit about Quaker thoughts on this broad subject, and have been amazed of the difference between Quakers and evangelicals.
One of the fundamental Quaker beliefs is that there is a light of God in all of us. I have taken to heart that idea, and it may have helped shape my understanding of humanism.
Basically, a humanist is a person who contends that belief in a supernatural being is not essential to being a good person and living a good life. They believe our goodness does not come from what we are taught to believe. Instead, it is engrained in our very being, as my Quaker friends suggest. The most important values for humanists are to try to do no harm, tell the truth, help the less fortunate, and seek justice in all its forms. They believe that we should all be inclusive, not exclusive in matters of life. That all sounds very Jesus-like to me.
They also believe that people have the power within themselves to make a better world, and it is up to each of us to help make that happen. Humanists believe in life before death, not after. Unlike most religious institutions, they believe that suffering serves no purpose and should be eliminated wherever it happens.
Humanism is a philosophy for living, it is NOT a religion, club or cult.
Unlike my previous white evangelical friends, I believe that the world is better off because of humanism, maybe more so than some of the religious institutions who appear to hate them so much.