Is there a down to earth flavor of humanism?
Sorry in advance for the long post. If you read on I'd bet you'll find it interesting though.
I've been reading up the various forms of humanism lately. After reading for a couple hours of Wikipedia on post-humanism, and lots of other forms my head is reeling trying to remember which concepts came from which type. What I really started out to find out is whether there is a no BS, not-quite-so-idealistic form of humanism. I have checked out some other interesting ideologies as well, but again most seem to have some overly idealistic concepts.
Religious people have maintained that a secular world would never work because in the end there is no source of moral guidance to turn to. Even if I disagree with this on so many levels, I do think they have a point within a point. I think that society in general would be well served by an ideology (or more likely a handful of similar ideologies) that everyone can more or less agree on. Such ideologies would be a constantly evolving, and changing with the times as new technologies present dilemmas that weren't an issue in the recent past. I think a decent example of what I mean would be the philosophies in Star Trek the next generation. Further more we would have far less of incompatible ideologies clashing, and degrading into battles of words, propaganda and violence.
I guess "down to earth" has many different meanings depending on who you ask, so let me tell you my version.
First off, I'm a straight shooter. I tend to tell it like it is, and I'd much prefer to hear things like that, than some sugar coated, 'politically correct', watered down version of the truth. Tact is necessary too, but I pick my times to either be tactful, brutally honest, or somewhere in the middle. A perfect example of being real about things is the general differences between the sexes, and races. Men are generally stronger, women are generally more emotional. Black people are generally more athletic on average, Asians are generally smart, and seem to have a natural ability to learn math. Some see pointing out these things as sexist or racist, I say BS. Be real, accept that there are differences, and that none of these differences truly have a large impact our ability as humans to get along, and move on.
The next thing is I am not a goody two shoes type. I don't attempt to walk some moral high wire like some Humanists and christians etc. pretend to, or genuinely try to. Morality is very important, but IMHO, if an ideology aimed at the masses sets the bar impossibly high it will never reach the masses.
I'm not an idealist. I usually find idealist ideas too far-fetched and somewhat unrealistic. That kind of thinking has it's place, but not to the extreme, and not in most situations. The first problem I had with humanist ideology is the ultra idealistic side of it.
I don't think war is always wrong. I would say that an exhaustive attempt at diplomacy should be made in every case. Most wars are wrong IMO, but I find anti-war protesters to be too idealistic in most cases. I don't think killing is always wrong, there are the rare times when it is justified, though I can't reconcile when any one person or group is justified in making the decision to kill in the majority of cases.
Something I didn't see in what I read (may have missed it) is a general philosophy of how to handle those moral gray areas that come up in life.
I'm sure I will come up with some more points of disagreement that I missed as we discuss.
I would love to find a middle of the road ideology that is realistic for me to stick to and work into my daily life, and the way I perceive the outside world. Is there anything that resembles this?
"They always say the same thing; 'But evolution is only a theory!!' Which is true, I guess, and it's good they say that I think, it gives you hope that they feel the same about the theory of Gravity and they might just float the f**k away."