Posted by: aboutalbion | November 7, 2012

Humanist confusion

There was a humanist stall in my local main street last Saturday.  Folk were invited to respond to the pitch of ‘living without religion’.

I find this kind of language confusing.  To my way of thinking, to be human is to be religious, and to be religious is to be human.

That means that a human being living without religion is beyond my comprehension.

Humanists say that they wish to live a good life with religion.  I say to a person who styles their self as a humanist, that, if I lived with you in your house for forty days, I would expect to find at least one central organizing principle of your life.  For me, that principle is your religion, because in the flux of daily life that principle is your bellwether.

Some folk develop their own bellwether(s), and some folk subscribe to a bellwether service provider – commonly called an organised religion …  But a bellwether is always a bellwether, no matter who creates it.

Come to think of it, an organization [say, the British Humanist Association] set up to negate an existing organization [say, the Church of England] creates its own central organizing principle.  And it wouldn’t surprise me to find that both groups make the same claim, namely, they are attempting to make sense of the world using reason and experience.  Whisper it quietly ……. they both might be right.



  1. I also don’t see why you can’t be both religious and a humanist, the only difference being which frame of reference you put first in a given situation. They aren’t really in conflict. You can pursue charity and a life of service because it is holy, or because it is ethical. Either motive produces the same behavioral result, and the same benefit for the causes and people you serve.

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