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Spirituality in Humanism

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#21 Postby Dave B » February 4th, 2016, 8:46 am

Latest post of the previous page:

Good question, echo.

Like to know the answer myself!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#22 Postby Alan H » February 4th, 2016, 10:26 am

echo451 wrote:
Lifelinking wrote:This question reminded me of research that showed Bonobos displaying empathic behaviour, and not just to other Bonobos. For social animals there are a whole range of complex behaviours that may be advantageous in different situations, and these of course may include empathy, caring, altruism and so on.

In an animal that has also developed complex cultural, political, social and economic environments (us :D ), there are of course a lot of other factors that will influence human behaviour and moral decision making, that are not necessarily contingent on nor satisfactorily explained by evolutionary or socio-biological ideas.


New to the forum. Lifelinking can you clarify what these influences are? The ones not expIained by evolution or socio-biological ideas. I am drawing a blank. Which means I have to ask the question.

I see that Lifelinking has not been active for a while. So I am not expecting an answer. Perhaps someone else has some incite into my question.
Unfortunately, we've not seen Lifelinking around here for quite a while, so you may not get a reply!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#23 Postby Dave B » February 4th, 2016, 10:28 am

Nope, deep contemplation over my breakfast could discover no aspects of human behaviour that, in the final, bottom line, analysis do not come down to (probably) having an environmental/evolutionary origin.

It seems to me that anything "man made" has its origin in the human brain, something modeled and modified by the environmental challenges that drive evolution. This includes things like cultures that may develop, with no concious guidance or purpose, to fit one specific environment - but that are abhorrent to a culture developed elsewhere.

Yet we often share a basic set of common rules it seems.

These, of course, were then codified (once humanity developed an abstract way of thinking) into what we now call religion and legal systems! :wink:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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John G
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#24 Postby John G » February 4th, 2016, 1:15 pm

Yes. Nature and nurture. I call them monkey rules. Things that in the past that allowed our ancestors to survive. With the growth of our intelligence, we needed to come to grips with scary things. The rules for a community forming the basis for this and the irrational fear, now expressed by our intelligence, manifesting as religion.

Its strength is the very thing that allowed for rational fear in our ancestors. The good part is that the humanist also draws strength from our rational fears and when a religious person behaves in a rational way they are humanist.

54% of Canadian think that religion is not important in their day to day lives.

I've been reading the David Mabus Forum.

This is the first time I am hearing about this individual. Apparently mental health is the number one cause of disability in our country. He broke the law. It will be interesting to see what our legal system does. I hope for the best.

As a Canadian I feel embarrassment.

Hopefully, he can get the help he needs. Our mental health system deals better with those seeking help than those who needing it. Freedom of speech does not allow for his outlandish behaviour. Debate was the last think he was interested in.
A good learner is forever walking the narrow path between blindness and hallucination. ― Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm

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John G
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#25 Postby John G » February 4th, 2016, 1:18 pm

Alan H wrote:
echo451 wrote:
Lifelinking wrote:This question reminded me of research that showed Bonobos displaying empathic behaviour, and not just to other Bonobos. For social animals there are a whole range of complex behaviours that may be advantageous in different situations, and these of course may include empathy, caring, altruism and so on.

In an animal that has also developed complex cultural, political, social and economic environments (us :D ), there are of course a lot of other factors that will influence human behaviour and moral decision making, that are not necessarily contingent on nor satisfactorily explained by evolutionary or socio-biological ideas.



New to the forum. Lifelinking can you clarify what these influences are? The ones not expIained by evolution or socio-biological ideas. I am drawing a blank. Which means I have to ask the question.

I see that Lifelinking has not been active for a while. So I am not expecting an answer. Perhaps someone else has some incite into my question.
Unfortunately, we've not seen Lifelinking around here for quite a while, so you may not get a reply!


I am sorry to hear this. I think it might have made for an interesting conversation.
A good learner is forever walking the narrow path between blindness and hallucination. ― Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm

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Dave B
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#26 Postby Dave B » February 4th, 2016, 6:11 pm

Its strength is the very thing that allowed for rational fear in our ancestors. The good part is that the humanist also draws strength from our rational fears and when a religious person behaves in a rational way they are humanist.
Despite my understanding that belief in the supernatural, as an agent that can influence us other than in psychological ways, is irrational I would offer that the above religious person embrasing the rational is being merely "human" rather than a "Humanist".

Though I think the border between the two amongst the real thinkers in the Anglican church is, hopefully, getting a bit blurred!

There is the other debate on the nature of the word itself, where it is a sort of subset of emotion. Where one's "spirit" can be lifted by an event or object, birth or painting say, that is not the "normal" sort of emotion one feels. For some reason, though I am not a tree hugger, the trees at a certain point on my drive to work always seems to invoke a sense of peace and well being. Useful before a full day at the lab - and even better after one!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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John G
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#27 Postby John G » February 4th, 2016, 7:49 pm

Dave B wrote:
Its strength is the very thing that allowed for rational fear in our ancestors. The good part is that the humanist also draws strength from our rational fears and when a religious person behaves in a rational way they are humanist.
Despite my understanding that belief in the supernatural, as an agent that can influence us other than in psychological ways, is irrational I would offer that the above religious person embrasing the rational is being merely "human" rather than a "Humanist".

Though I think the border between the two amongst the real thinkers in the Anglican church is, hopefully, getting a bit blurred!

There is the other debate on the nature of the word itself, where it is a sort of subset of emotion. Where one's "spirit" can be lifted by an event or object, birth or painting say, that is not the "normal" sort of emotion one feels. For some reason, though I am not a tree hugger, the trees at a certain point on my drive to work always seems to invoke a sense of peace and well being. Useful before a full day at the lab - and even better after one!


Human works for me. :)

Humanist. Part of the reason that I have come to the board is to learn for myself what that means and the best way to find that out is to ask and read. I think I know, but sorry, a dictionary entry is not enough. If I was given a test, 'how good of a humanist are you?' I think I would fall short at many things and in the end meet the less than sufficient mark that I think governs evolution.

Sort of related to the question I posted in my original introduction. Wrestling with why I am here and still grinding the gear and reading all that is offered here. Some of the candied are sour and not to my taste but that's life.
A good learner is forever walking the narrow path between blindness and hallucination. ― Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm

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Dave B
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#28 Postby Dave B » February 4th, 2016, 7:53 pm

Yup, but as humanists we have the ability to cherry pick, we do not have to follow any dogmatic rules. There are things said here I am not happy with. There are things in religion that I think are very valuable.

As a pragmatist I believe that there is nothing at all wrong with picking the cherries that fit the situation best! You can always spit tbe pits out...

There are those here that are not always happy with what I say, but, that's what forums are all about! :)
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Lifelinking
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Re: Spirituality in Humanism

#29 Postby Lifelinking » December 27th, 2016, 11:48 pm

John G wrote:
Lifelinking wrote: there are of course a lot of other factors that will influence human behaviour and moral decision making, that are not necessarily contingent on nor satisfactorily explained by evolutionary or socio-biological ideas.


New to the forum. Lifelinking can you clarify what these influences are? The ones not expIained by evolution or socio-biological ideas. I am drawing a blank. Which means I have to ask the question.

I see that Lifelinking has not been active for a while. So I am not expecting an answer. Perhaps someone else has some incite into my question.


Hi John G, off the top of my head how about political / cultural differences, economic circumstances, legal constraints, technical advantages or disadvantages?
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney


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