Is there a down to earth flavor of humanism?

TonyZXT
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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."


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TonyZXT wrote:Sorry in

TonyZXT wrote:

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.

If an ideology doesn't contain something/anything appealing then it dies out. Everything seeking to change your mind has to have that 'hook' that draws you into it.

TonyZXT wrote:
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 disagree. Without ideological boundaries, a society must rely upon their individual ethics to determine worth of any event/action.

What you are describing is merely social structure. Let's ponder real life before we try to invade the now dead brain of Gene Roddenberry. Besides, I can recall a few episodes where having a klingon or a vulcan on board was a liability.

I thought you wanted something less idealistic?

 

TonyZXT wrote:
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.

Those 'differences' that don't have an impact on our abilities' are the foundations of the aberrant ideologies. One can't simply ignore the fact that when mentioned these 'differences' quite often lead to confrontation.

Declaring that people are even capable of overlooking the differences to 'get along, and move on' is idealistic at best, mildly crazy in my opinion.

The reason people say that pointing those things out is racist is because it is stereotyping, an almost natural but equally terrible trait of humanity. From an early age, we're taught same vs. different. AND THEN WE GROW UP and notice that the world doesn't necessarily fit into the mold we were taught. There are a lot of weak men. There are a lot of strong-willed women. There are plenty of fat black people that can't play sports. There are tons of asians that can't multiply or understand fractions. And there are people like you that want to illustrate only the allegedly good things that you believe. Believe it or not... there are white people in the south with beautiful teeth too.

None of that changes the fact that trying to encourage people to see things through one set of eyes/one ideology such as every brand of humanism I've ever seen, is discriminatory and that is exactly what I think you're trying to avoid. It excludes all others and adds another set of differences to the list.

TonyZXT wrote:
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.

Agreed. To me, this seems to answer your question. Be a TonyZXTist. Why try to fit into an ideology, any ideology, at all? Why try to treat those who do with any modicum of respect at all? I like to think, perhaps I'm wrong, but I like to think I am a dedicated Joshist and fuck anyone else until they can change my mind on an issue that is mutually important/relevant.

TonyZXT wrote:
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.

The first problem I had was with the label. Then it became the ideology and SOME of its adherents.

TonyZXT wrote:
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.

See? I was right. You're already a TonyZXTist. You have your own ideological views. VOILA! You have made an ideology.

 

TonyZXT wrote:
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.

Most of those, it seems, make their way to people like me to listen to and respond. The 'hook' of humanism is the fellowship with people of like-minds. Because just like any other religion... if it were so damned good then wouldn't everyone want to be a part of it?

 

TonyZXT wrote:
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?

I look forward to reading more of this TonyZXTism perhaps with less idealistic principles. lol.

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You could spend you life on this one, Tony

TonyZXT wrote:

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?

 

I think doing to others as you would have them do to you is a good one. It's a bit biblical tho and you really want them to reciprocate or you're a doormat. I personally think there's one word and the word is integrity. Of course, words are open to interpretation, aren't they, so you need to find your own definitions. 

 

 

 

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TonyZXT
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darth_josh wrote:I disagree.

darth_josh wrote:

I disagree. Without ideological boundaries, a society must rely upon their individual ethics to determine worth of any event/action.

What you are describing is merely social structure. Let's ponder real life before we try to invade the now dead brain of Gene Roddenberry. Besides, I can recall a few episodes where having a klingon or a vulcan on board was a liability.

I thought you wanted something less idealistic?

If you think about it, TNG takes place 3 or 400 years(?) in the future.  Society will have had many many generations since the industrial revolution, and all the good effects it had on bringing real education to the vast majority of humanity.  They'll have had distance from the beginning of the "information age" as well.  I would like to think it is possible for these things, and the continued degradation of faith to superstitious garbage to allow society to mature.  I didn't mean to imply that Roddenberry's philosophy should work in today's world, that would be extremely idealistic.  It's merely something to move towards, albeit slowly.  Besides Gene put all his ideas out there, and had to know people would try to interpret them.  I think the world would eventually be a better place if more people were to learn from him, but that's purely hypothetical.
 

darth_josh wrote:
Those 'differences' that don't have an impact on our abilities' are the foundations of the aberrant ideologies. One can't simply ignore the fact that when mentioned these 'differences' quite often lead to confrontation.

Declaring that people are even capable of overlooking the differences to 'get along, and move on' is idealistic at best, mildly crazy in my opinion.

I think you got my meaning a little twisted here.  I only meant that in the context of people being oversensitive to racism to the point where merely stating a difference between the races is taken with offense or even met with accusations of racism.  I sure as hell don't subscribe to that "can't we all just get along?" stuff at face value.  Talk about oversimplified and idealistic.  Not many people were able to overlook those differences back in the 50's, but now there are many many times the number of people that can and do.  I'll temper that by saying that everyone has at least a little bit of prejudice in them, whether they ever allow themselves to show it or not.  Back to the point.  Is it crazy knowing the progress that has been made from the 50's to now having a black president, to assume that we are moving towards where the vast majority of people can look past racial differences?  I think not.  I would say that a large portion of society is already there.
 

Going back to being a straight shooter, I can't stand to pussyfoot around a subject.  If someone really wants to have a discussion about something they shouldn't expect me to be less than real.  For instance I'm not going to listen to a far-left liberal defend some schools decision to ban games like tag at recess because some kids might be 'peer pressured' into playing!  Please!  If you coddle all the kids to this extreme because some few might be pressured into playing a little game, you are bound to create a generation of pussies.  Cry me a freakin' river, it's not like these kids are being pressured to try drugs or alchohol.  This conversation actually happened a few years back, and I couldn't bite my tongue, I had to be real about it.

 

darth_josh wrote:
The reason people say that pointing those things out is racist is because it is stereotyping, an almost natural but equally terrible trait of humanity. From an early age, we're taught same vs. different. AND THEN WE GROW UP and notice that the world doesn't necessarily fit into the mold we were taught. There are a lot of weak men. There are a lot of strong-willed women. There are plenty of fat black people that can't play sports. There are tons of asians that can't multiply or understand fractions. And there are people like you that want to illustrate only the allegedly good things that you believe. Believe it or not... there are white people in the south with beautiful teeth too.

I'm not sure where you are coming from here.  I italicized the word generally in each of those examples to avoid this kind of discussion.  That American Indian people are generally very traditional does not imply that some aren't anything but.

darth_josh wrote:
None of that changes the fact that trying to encourage people to see things through one set of eyes/one ideology such as every brand of humanism I've ever seen, is discriminatory and that is exactly what I think you're trying to avoid. It excludes all others and adds another set of differences to the list.

I don't think it's necessary for the creator(s) of an ideology to set out with the intention of "trying to encourage people to see things through one set of eyes."  If they are wise, they will realize that if it turns out to not be an effective ideology in the real world, then it wasn't as good as they thought.  If they are realistic, they make it the best they can, and put it out there.  They or the ideologies adherents/proponents receive feedback, and have the humility to admit when a concept has holes.  It can then morph into a better version of itself, or prove to be less effectual than intended.  If it appeals to a wide audience, great, but if not then that's ok too.  People of future generations will examine that ideology, and others while evaluating their real world worthiness.  Some of those people will take the best parts from the philosophies they've studied, and make new ones.  IMHO, to put together an ideology with the aim it being anything close to a be-all-end-all universal solution is arrogant and short sighted at best.

darth_josh wrote:
Agreed. To me, this seems to answer your question. Be a TonyZXTist. Why try to fit into an ideology, any ideology, at all? Why try to treat those who do with any modicum of respect at all? I like to think, perhaps I'm wrong, but I like to think I am a dedicated Joshist and fuck anyone else until they can change my mind on an issue that is mutually important/relevant.

I would have to say that I am not looking for an ideology to shoe horn myself into.  Quite the opposite.  I'm looking to see if there happens to be an ideology out there that more or less fits the ideas I already have, and maybe expounds on them a bit.  You have to admit that there can be much to learn from someone with similar ideas to yourself.  That is more of what I see in philosophy, the chance to learn from other people's philosophy, and the opportunity to apply the good parts to your own life.  That can be in a big or small way.   Not only that, if a particular concept within an ideology doesn't sit well with me, I can insert my own ideas as long as they don't contradict the central philosophies within the ideology.  I'm strong minded as hell (just ask my wife!)  I'm not the type to be led around by the nose by philosophers or anyone else.  That doesn't change here.

darth_josh wrote:
See? I was right. You're already a TonyZXTist. You have your own ideological views. VOILA! You have made an ideology.

Who knows I may eventually do just that, and put it down on paper.  I'm positive there are plenty of people out there that could benefit from a more realistic ideology.  Moreover secular people in general could benefit.  Religious people tend to have a scewed, stereotypical view of all secular people, lumping us all together in one undesirable pot.  If there are more middle of the road ideologies out there, at the very least they can challenge the views of those who were taught to pigeon-hole us. 

darth_josh wrote:
I look forward to reading more of this TonyZXTism perhaps with less idealistic principles. lol.

You made a lot of good points but I have to say, that compared to most forms of Humanism my views are much less idealistic.  Futhermore, hopefully now that I've explained things a little better you can see that "TonyZXTism" is less idealistic than you thought. Eye-wink

 

"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."


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TonyZXT wrote:Is there a

TonyZXT wrote:
Is there a down to earth flavor of humanism?

Hedonism is the way to go. Please read the Hedonistic Imperative.

http://www.hedweb.com/welcome.htm

Humanity needs to re-engineer what motivates our behaviors. Unfortunately, humanities present motivations for our actions often cause war, over-consumption, pollution, disease, addictions, obesity, abuse, religion, crime, violence, overpopulation, etc... Our motivation system(rewards and punishments) must be re-engineered with technology.

The only common goal humanity need have is to maximize the possibility of our own pleasure while minimizing our suffering.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:TonyZXT wrote:Is

EXC wrote:

TonyZXT wrote:
Is there a down to earth flavor of humanism?

Hedonism is the way to go. Please read the Hedonistic Imperative.

http://www.hedweb.com/welcome.htm

Humanity needs to re-engineer what motivates our behaviors. Unfortunately, humanities present motivations for our actions often cause war, over-consumption, pollution, disease, addictions, obesity, abuse, religion, crime, violence, overpopulation, etc... Our motivation system(rewards and punishments) must be re-engineered with technology.

The only common goal humanity need have is to maximize the possibility of our own pleasure while minimizing our suffering.

 

Yeah,... uh... I was pretty sure that website was gonna be about something else completely!  LOL.  I can think of a place down in the Carribean where they have that same imperative, but it manifests just a bit differently. Eye-wink 

I don't know that 'down to earth' even comes close to describing what I read as I skimmed over that page.  It also seemed idealistic to the extreme.  I think that a really good ideology would include a rock-solid basic framework for genetic engineering and scientific advancement.  I don't personally see an appeal of an ideology based around genetic modification though.  Don't you think that in a world with such an ideology, that widespread genetic 'meddling' is likely and dangerous as hell?  I could see genetically engineered soldiers, and animal soldiers, perversions of the human body like 18 inch wangs or snake-like limbs, genetic freak bodybuilders that look like something out of a comic etc. etc..  I mean how would us normal guys compete with genetically engineered wangs? 

I do see some good concepts in there, but just seems scary to me.  Especially the wangs! j/k

"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."


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You won't get a group of

You won't get a group of people together to support your ideology, why would anyone who believes what you believe care?

That is a problem for atheism in general, but if you strip humanism of morality and idealism there isn't anything left.

 

So why not just call yourself a hedonist atheist?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.