Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Humanist Symposium # 52: Super-Humanist Edition!!

Today is a day in which theists (and even some non-theists) around the globe are displaying lilies, decorating eggs, etc. in commemoration of some famous legendary supernatural events. My family spent the whole afternoon at such a party.

But, as Humanists, we don't have to settle for other people's leftover tales of heroes rising from the dead. Not when we have a hero who can leap tall buildings in a single bound!!

Yes, Superman is a Humanist -- as many of us have long suspected. (James Williamson and writerJames tell us about some other famous not-exactly-Christians.)

Some of our super-humanist writers (of this past three weeks) have contemplated going beyond the restrictive boundaries of our single species. EMJ rejects the label Humanist for this reason. Similarly, Craig A. James argues that "We become less than human when we pretend we don't feel these natural instincts, and like Seth, pretend that we're above all of that." And to our readers at MSP: Yes, his Mormon reader "Seth" is exactly the Seth you think he is! ;^)

Speaking of species-self-examination, Jon offers an Evolutionary View of Morality and Sam Harris argues that science can indeed answer moral questions. (She who Chatters addresses the flip side of this topic, arguing against an evolutionary argument against naturalism.)

And what better way to express our human nature than through music and poetry? We have a Haiku every night freight trains from the Existential Poet, and Three West Winds offer some remarks on The Poetry of Reality. Therese Doucet offers a selection of Songs of Humanism and Experience. (Giving equal time to the other side here, The Chaplain shares a collection of pop songs sung as love songs to Jesus.) And Jane Eisenhart describes religious worship as a sensual experience.

“The world is so complex, the universe is so large. There are so many processes at work that make the universe what it is, make this planet what it is, allow me to be alive here to experience my tiny sliver of it. The vastness of the universe, even the vastness of our tiny planet, is incomprehensible. I am so lucky to experience any of it, and every day of my life is precious.”

NFQ poetically describes why the garden doesn't need to have fairies in the bottom if it. On a related note, Humanist Life reviews The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes, explaining the history of where people get the idea that supernatural explanations are a requirement for awe and wonder. On the other side of the coin, Mat Wilder explains Why "Everything Happens for a Reason" is a Horrifying Thought.

Then we have a number of ideas on living your day-to-day life. Greta Christina looks at Buddhist Philosophy in a new way, positing a difference between attachment and engagement. The Atheist Ethicist discusses the ethics of everyday decisions. More briefly, Sam Alexander argues that we're all hedonists (the only difference is whether or not you admit it), while Matt contemplates the possibility of Making a difference. And if you're torn between those two poles, Atheist Revolution offers some ideas for activism with almost no effort!

And let's close with some thoughts on humans understanding other humans who are different. (((Billy))) the atheist discusses the consequences of Fearing the ‘Other’. I also discussed how hard (yet important!) it is to understand people who (to you) are 'the other'. Secular Guy tries to understand believers who don't seem very interested in their meetings. Andrew shines a light on invisible sexism. But -- as we see in this inspiring video -- human love can beat hate!


Therese said...

Thanks Chanson! Can't wait to read the other links!

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Therese!!!

Glad you like it! And -- for anyone who wants more after all this, be sure to check out my usual weekly round-up of LDS-interest links!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out! You've got a nice selection of writings here.