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Humanist principles/values

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Humanist principles/values

#1 Post by kbell » November 18th, 2007, 6:14 pm

I was going to call this thread 'tolerance' because that's the one that's got me thinking but I'd like to know what other people think of as humanist principles and values as well.

Is tolerance an important part of humanism? What do we mean by it anyway. And what's the difference between tolerance and toleration?

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#2 Post by Jem » November 18th, 2007, 7:03 pm

I think tolerance and toleration mean the same thing in effect and it means recognising the right of people to be different from ourselves. I think it is a humanist principle but that doesn't mean blanket tolerance. We're not tolerant of people hurting other people, for example, through racism or homophobia. Tolerance goes hand in hand with other humanist principles, such as using reason and humanity to make the best decisions.

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Re: Humanist principles/values

#3 Post by Phaedo » November 18th, 2007, 8:50 pm

Autumn wrote:Is tolerance an important part of humanism? What do we mean by it anyway.
I dont think I could improve on the following from Paul Kurtz, founder of Secular Humanism, in his paper 'The Limits of Tolerance' ..
The Limits Of Tolerance
True lovers of knowledge are temperate and brave...

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#4 Post by DougS » November 20th, 2007, 12:47 pm

Good link, Phaedo, thanks.

On the question of humanist principles generally, an important one is the belief that rationality, critical thinking, and free inquiry are the best approaches for determining the truth and making decisions for the individual and society.

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#5 Post by MalteseHumanist » November 21st, 2007, 7:00 am

We should be tolerant to other beliefs and lifestyles just as long as those beliefs and lifestyles do not harm others or are themselves intolerant to other beliefs and lifestyles that do not harm others.
"...when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong." - Richard Dawkins

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#6 Post by Noggin » November 21st, 2007, 10:59 am

I never know quite how to say this but I think a basic humanist principle is that individuals are responsible for themselves and striving to achieve their own happiness while being mindful of helping others achieve happiness too.

Dammit that's so clumsy! There's an good idea in there somewhere but I just can't express it.
It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man. -- Old Norse Proverb

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