HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

IN DEFENCE OF SECULAR HUMANISM
 
LOVE AND HAPPINESS

What is love?
Love is doing what makes you happy and well. When you make yourself happy you will make others happy for it is easiest to find happiness in helping others.
 
Why is atheism love?
Because it invites all people to enjoy one another without concern for a God. Instead of looking after God we look after one another meaning we are able to do it better without belief in him. Love is good not because it is love but because it promotes wellbeing.
 
What matters most - body or spirit? (assuming we have a spirit!)
Body. We can know for sure it exists. People mistake their minds for their spirits. The mind could be caused by bodily faculties so that if the body dies the mind dies with it.

What is happiness?
It is a good feeling. Those who say it is not a feeling are not talking sense for you could not be content to feel nothing or to feel bad.

What is the only way to happiness?
Loving yourself properly. Self-esteem will be your salvation but only if practiced the right way, the way that will give you the best chance of happiness.

Who should you love?
You should only love yourself because that is the only person you can love. Do not love your neighbour as yourself but love yourself through kindness to your neighbour.

Why is myself the only person I can love?
When I say I want something or someone, for example, God, it is not God that matters but my desire for the fulfilment that God will bring for me. I value nothing but myself for it is my feelings that I value. I am a selfish being and cannot be otherwise for it is the way I am.

Why is myself the only person I ought to love?
Because I am most sure of my own existence for I experience it directly. Other people and God could be dreams. But if I am happy I will make others happy and happiness will spread. It is not my love others need. It is my ability to be happy.
 
What is the difference between loving my neighbours and making them happy?
Love urges you to hurt others to make them more virtuous people. But the problem is that this is all about what you think is virtue. You are imposing on them.
 
Why do other people come before God?
I can sense them with my five senses but I cannot sense him. I am surer they exist than that God does.

What do I mean when I say I love others?
I mean I don’t literally love them but I help them for my own sake and that is good for them so I am improving their lives and kind of loving them.

Why should I not hurt others?
Because to hurt them is to fail to love myself. If I am to feel good about myself I must always be nice to others.

Should I keep my desires simple and easy to fulfil?
All desires are bad in a sense for they are at least a bit painful – they crave something you don’t have so they are painful. This tells us that we should fill our minds with the desire to be happy through making others happy for the lust for money and anger and hate are more painful and harder and therefore too painful. You should have desires you enjoy having or which will bring you more peace than turmoil in the long-term because that makes them worth the pain.

What must you do if you are unhappy with yourself?    
I must go out of my way to help others to get my mind off my problems. I must realise that I have great power to do good and if I was bad in the past it does not matter now. I can make up for it. The more good I do the happier I will feel if I be patient.

Should I help others until I feel good about myself and then stop?
No. I have to work for my whole life at maintaining the esteem I have for myself. I must never cease to do good.

Should I try to feel as happy as possible about myself?
No. I should just let it happen. It is when I forget about what good doing good to others will do for me that I find happiness.

Why am I happier if I forget about getting thrills all the time?
The reason is that desire is pain for it is not fulfilled and I never know if it will be and when I put it out of my mind I get the happiness I crave. I am doing good to myself and others make myself happy but I am forgetting about the results IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THAT HAPPINESS. I am still doing good just to make myself happy, but in a roundabout way.

Do I have to accept that I will never be perfectly happy all the time?
Yes because it is true. Unhappiness will result if I do not accept it. Learn to be content with what you have. Remember the rule that you must not try to be happy but just let the faculties inside your mind for making you happy do their work.

Do I have to accept that I will never be perfect?
Yes and I should not try to be perfect.

Is happiness seeking after thrills?
Not most of the time for thrills are hard to gain and maintain and I will get sad if I want them too much so I will be happier if I just try to be content with what I have.

Should I worry about what others think of me?
No. That is slavery and means I do good without wanting to because of them. It is what I believe about me that should drive me to take the happiness that is there for me and I should not make it dependent on the opinions of others.
 
Are there only two emotions?
Yes. They are love and fear. Every feeling is a manifestation of one of these.

Is fear the root of all evil?
We only do wrong or fail to love when we are scared of unhappiness so fear is the root of all evil. If you are happy you treat others well and they are made happy by being around you and that makes you happier and feel safer in the world.

What is the root of fear?
Being irrational and not careful enough to learn the reality in relation to important things which produces the ignorance that causes fear.

What is the solution for fear?
Rationality in the relevant issues for evil is being unintelligent. Atheism is the solution for it is pure rationality and exalts the person above the throne of God and puts each person at the heart of her or his own personal universe.
 
 
BELIEF, FAITH AND REASON
 
What is truth?
Truth is what is real. Truth is truth whether it is believed or accepted or not. Contradiction is impossibility. It is the enemy of truth.
 
What is religion?
Religion means a system of belief that obligates it members to obey a supernatural authority in worship and in how they live and gives them a list of beliefs they must accept. Religion comes from a word meaning to bind.
 
What does it mean to be reasonable or rational?
To avoid contradictions, or to avoid opinions and beliefs that are not based on an open-minded assessment of the evidence. Avoid far-fetched thinking or unfair thinking such as rationalisations.
 
What is a rationalisation?
Here is an example. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham from Egyptian papyri allegedly because God gave him the magic power to. The translation was a fraud. Instead of admitting this, the Mormons say that Joseph mistook divine revelations of the words of the book as a translation. The only way to avoid rationalisation is to take the simplest explanation. Religion is based on rationalisation.
 
What does judging mean?
Judging is forming an opinion or belief about something or someone in a critical way or a good way. Those who say they do neither are in fact judging that they cannot form a good or bad belief or opinion. Thus if a person is good they will not judge them as good. That is not fair to the person. Judging then is unavoidable.
 
What are those who tell you not to judge trying to get you to do?
Sometimes they don't want people criticised because the criticism may be unfair but mostly they are trying to bully you for having principles and recognising right and distinguishing it from wrong. They do not respect you and want you to do violence to yourself and deviate from human nature which makes us judge.
 
If you tell someone they did wrong and they tell you not to judge what does that say to you?
If they were able to defend themselves and were content in what they did they would not mind being judged. They don't want to be seen for what they really are. They want to bully you into failing to see your right to decide things for yourself about them.
 
Is it true that we must judge nobody?
Judging is natural for us. We cannot avoid it.
 
Do those who say they judge nobody judge those who judge?
Yes. They are hypocrites who really repudiate all standards.
 
What do we need to do?
Judge them fairly and always look at yourself first. If you were as bad as them in that past that does not count. That is all over now. If you are as bad as them now - that's different. Fix yourself first.
 
What does the thought that we are all sinners imply?
That we judge one another as sinners in a general way. If judging is so bad, then its not as bad to say somebody did a bad thing and is bad insofar as they did it as it is to see them as a sinner for that implies they are generally sinful all their life.
 
What reason are we given for not judging others?
That we are not perfect ourselves and that we cannot fully know another's circumstances. For example, maybe they rob others for they need cash for life-saving medicines for their children and have no way of getting money but robbery.
 
What is wrong with the first reason?
It will not stop us judging. Being bad yourself doesn't mean you can't judge others and judge them correctly.
 
What is wrong with the second reason?
It implies that you would judge if you had the facts and its not judging that is the problem but the inability to be sure one judges right.
 
What matters most - telling others the truth or being kind?
Telling the truth. People need to learn to deal with the truth. They do not need us treating them like children. If they want to behave that way, it is up to them to correct themselves.
 
Is it reasonable to believe a claim just because it cannot be refuted?
Irrefutability is not a virtue or an argument in favour of a doctrine or claim. It is a vice. The more serious the claim the more serious the vice. For example, those Christians who claim that belief in God is reasonable because they incorrectly surmise that it is irrefutable are making a very serious claim and are a good example of this vice.
 
Should I think for myself?
Nobody should tell me what to think or do – that would be against the fundamental fact that I must love and worship myself and never put anybody else over myself. I think about what the systems that be say, for myself, and decide if it is right because if I don’t think for myself, I don’t have confidence in myself and that is wrong.
 
What does it say about me if I follow a religion like a sheep and let the leaders think for me and imagine they have guidance from God?
I am a bigot inside because I am indicating others should do the same as me and demean themselves for religion.
 
Do Humanists follow reason more than feelings?
Yes. Religious people usually mistake feeling that something is true for believing that it is true. They engage in emotional reasoning - which is only a simulation of reasoning and its not reasoning at all. Humanists should follow their feelings but only after reasoning carefully first. Religion talks about faith informed by reason. We talk about feelings informed by reason. We do not want a dry and cold philosophy. And indeed we shouldn't.
 
Is it correct to argue that the stranger an idea is, then the more exceptional evidence is the evidence you need for it?
Yes - miracle claims cannot be rationally believed unless you see the miracles yourself. One's opinions, beliefs and convictions should be proportional to the amount of evidence one has and needs for them.
 
Can you give an example of how this works?
If I say that I can jump twenty feet into the air with no props then I shouldn't make this claim to anybody unless I can show them. Similarly, if Jesus claimed he did the more amazing thing of rising from the dead he should appear to us all and perhaps let the best scientists and investigators check him out.
 
Are you saying that nobody ought to believe in a miracle unless they can see it?
Yes - that is the acceptable minimum. People are trying to cheat you - whether they realise it or not - if they ask you to believe without at least that.
 
But how can that be extraordinary evidence - it is ordinary to see unusual things?
It is ordinary in itself. Extraordinary is a comparative concept . Something is only extraordinary in comparison to something else. We mean that ordinarily we would take a reliable person's word for it - but as what they claim is a magical or strange event or thing we need more than that - we need the extraordinary verification of seeing the magic or strange event or thing.
 
What happens if we oppose or ignore that principle?
We oppose truth and worse we do damage to people. People have a right to evidence. We are tricking them and cheating them of their right. We are lowering the standard of evidence required for miracles and opening the way for people to be led astray by fakers.
 
What does religion say about the rule, extraordinary claims should only be believed by those who have extraordinary evidence for them?
It shows its true colours by rejecting it.
 
Do we take the statements of scientists on faith and do scientists take the statement of other scientists on faith?
Yes. We trust that they have considered the evidence for their findings and did experiments properly. We trust that they have reported their findings accurately.
 
Does this faith mean that we should heed religious leaders and have faith in them?
No - unlike scientists they do not worry about evidence and they boast that they will never change their doctrines. They may however decide what they want to believe and just mention the evidence or seeming evidence that suits their ideas. Their faith is not based on evidence but they do this trick to make it look as if it is.
 
How do you prove that most religious faith is really just feeling not faith?
Because the believers cannot give adequate evidence for it.
 
Do those who disguise their feelings as faith tend to force religion on others?
Yes. They need to delude themselves. So they see unbelievers as a threat to their faith. They think they need the kind of faith they have and so they will not want unbelievers to take it away from them or undermine it so they think the unbelievers must be brought into line.
 
How does religion manipulate people?
It creates a need in them for religion - eg it may encourage far of divine punishment or of offending God or condition people to be burdened by their "sins". Then they end up having to go to the religion for peace of mind. It is exploitation of the vulnerable.
 
What does the view that error has no rights imply?
It implies that if people have rights and their errors do not that they are getting grudging acceptance by how who say they accept them.
 
How do you respond to the thought: "If your belief - whether right or wrong - makes you a happier and kinder person, go for it!"?
The more error out there the harder it is to get at the truth. It puts a lot of confusion and clutter out there and prevents people exercising their right to find the truth. The person who feels and enjoys their perception that there is only one life and therefore we must enjoy it in helping others as much as possible is a grown-up. Only overgrown children feel that this position is not enough. They need personal development. They might be happier but their attitude is wrong so they are not reaching their zenith in happiness and kindness. Error harms.
 
If your kindness is based on error and wouldn't happen or be as intense without the error what does that say?
That you are bearing witness to error as a virtue and a good thing. You may not mean to be bad but you are objectively bad.
 
Is it true that even if our belief is based on evidence that the reason we accept the evidence is because we feel that it is true?
Yes for we know that evidence could be false evidence, or that we could be interpreting it incorrectly or we might be unaware of other evidence that points to a different conclusion.
 
Does religion having evidence for its claims being true mean we should believe?
No. There could be a faith that we don't know much about that has better evidence. Sometimes it is not the quantity of evidence that matters but the quality. Religious dogma is something believers are not allowed to deliberately change their minds about.
 
Is religious faith self-deception?
A religion could be true and you could still be using self-deception to believe in it. This would not be real belief for you would know at an inner level that the religion is either untrue or has no credibility because the evidence is poor.
 
Do religious leaders and religious teachers and religious promoters exploit the vulnerable?
Yes. Always.
 
Do we have a duty to follow the religion that teaches the truth?
Yes. If no religion teaches the truth then we should have no religion.
 
ETHICS AND RULES OF RIGHT AND WRONG

What you do mean when you call an action objectively wrong?
It means it is harmful and should not have been done whether the doer of the deed knows/thinks it or not. Its wrong in itself.
 
What do you mean when you call an action subjectively wrong?
I am saying that it is an action that is intended to be bad. Even if it is good it is still meant to be bad.
 
Which action is the worst?
To hurt somebody deliberately means you have some idea of what you are doing. There will be a limit on what you would do to them. Not knowing means you could hurt them worse. There is no limit on the harm you would do. If doing harm is not as important as intending to do harm then it follows that the suicide bomber who believed that the people whose lives he took would be saved by him from Hell then he should be a saint.
 
When there are so many different theories of right and wrong, what is the perfect one?
Maybe none of them are perfect so we just choose the best. One that takes supernatural revelations into consideration must not be considered because

Why do we need rules?
Because if we don’t have them people who break them could say they do so because they meant well.

Why should moral and legal rules should be reduced to the bare minimum?
Because rules that can be done without are extra burdens on the world.

Are women, children and men of every race, religion and sexual orientation all equal?   
Yes - one person has the same value as another for what we have be it beauty or skin colour or intelligence or inclination was given to us by nature so we cannot boast.

Is the life of each and every person the most important thing there is?
It is. The life of a person is more important than the kind of life they have for it makes no sense to say that it is a good quality of life that is for that does not tell us why a person should have it. If the good life is important it is because the person comes first and is more valuable.

If life is of absolute or total importance what does that tell you?
That life should only be ended when it is the only way to avoid more people dying. I should kill the person who attacks me to kill me if it is not my doing that I am being attacked and if there is no other way to survive.

When is war acceptable?
Only when it is the only way to stop an unjust aggressor and when without it there would be a greater loss of life. Really just wars happen a lot less than you would be led to believe. Capital punishment is wrong.

Does belief in divine beings undermine the absolute importance of human life?
Belief in Gods or God implies that the person is not very valuable for the Gods or God have made death and you are forbidden to judge God and are expected to encourage him to kill if he wants to so God is an evil belief for you are more sure that death is real than that he is.

Should we eat healthily and exercise our bodies and minds?
We should be health-conscious. It is obviously better to prolong life than to indulge in needless pleasure that will shorten it. There are other pleasures.

Do we approve of abortion on demand?
Only in the very early stages when there is no reason to consider the embryo to be a human person. Even if it has a brain it would be too primitive to make it conscious to any important degree. A baby should be aborted when it would be destined for a life of agony. It is wisest in this case to terminate the pregnancy in case it is not a person.

When is abortion at the later stage right?
Abortion at the later stage is never right unless it is the only way to save the mother’s life. If the baby is certainly dying and if the pregnancy is not terminated as soon as possible the mother will be gravely ill, it is right to abort the baby.

Is euthanasia wrong?
It is for each human life is priceless. But it should be a tolerable evil under extreme circumstances for we cannot legally forbid everything.

Why is superstition uncharitable?
 
`What is the relationship between superstition and magic?
There is no real difference. Both are trying to control the supernatural and therefore the natural. Both seek an unfair advantage over life and therefore other people.
 
What are the sexual acts that are wrong?
Only the ones that hurt or exploit another person without his or her agreeing to it in a mature way and ones which are used as a substitute for developing real self-esteem and independence.

Is homosexuality wrong?
Not as long as it produces happiness and is not abused. Rules about what is natural in sex are meaningless for nature has given many unusual ways to gain pleasure.

Is erotica forbidden?
It does no harm as long as there is no degradation and all involved fully consent. If sexual desire is wrong then it is always wrong for it needs to do harm to be wrong.

Why do Humanists disapprove of legal marriage?
It is not law that binds two people together it is their feelings for one another. If they are really united they don't need marriage. Nobody can truthfully promise that feelings won't change so marriage is nonsense and more about control than love. Couples do not need special favours - eg, paying less tax - from the state. The benefits should be based on helping them to look after their children. Legal marriage and civil partnerships should be abolished. Let people have their own marriage ceremonies if they wish but without legal recognition.
 
Does the law really believe in marriage?
Only nominally.

Is marriage a religious contract?
Its magic to think that vows really unite a couple for life. Marriage is degrading for it doesn't work unless the couple have sex at least once. Its not about love but about sex. Marriage has no place in a secular state.
 
How should we treat animals?   
We should treat them kindly. Animals should only be killed when it is essential for food or when they threaten the life of a person or if they are terminally ill.

What is the right thing to do in relation to eating meat?
The meat of the more intelligent animals should only be eaten when there is nothing else to eat. The less intelligent animals should only be eaten when it is necessary for the health and life of the supreme animal, humankind. And those who don’t know that they are alive should be eaten without any such limitations. But no avoidable suffering should ever be inflicted on an animal.
 
What does the fact that our desires are bad in the sense that they are least a bit painful when they crave something you don’t have tell us?
That we should fill our minds with the desire to be happy through making others happy for the lust for money and anger and hate are more painful and harder and therefore too painful. You should have desires you enjoy having because that makes

What are the nine ways in which we can cause and share in the badness of others and be as bad as they are?
Advising evil, commanding evil, agreeing to it, provoking evil, using flattery to get a person to do evil, concealing evil when it encourages it, actively assisting in the evil of others, by keeping silent instead of trying to talk people out of evil-doing or just walking on by when you could save a person from a criminal and by defending their evil action.

Why is Humanism not a religion?
Because it is materialistic and has no time for worship. It puts one’s own feelings and pleasures, these sensations are themselves material because before anything else so it is anti-spiritual and practices a form of materialism in doing so.

What does the word Humanism mean?
Humanism comes from our love for humanity and our desire to put them before Gods and religions and Bibles. The name reflects that our philosophy is one of love.

How is Humanism organised?
Each full member is called a Guardian for she or he guards the truth and only those who entirely agree with The Gospel According to Atheism can become full members. Those members who sympathise with us but do not agree with all we teach are Hearers having a lower level of membership.
 
Should the Humanist discontinue all religious activity and get her name off the membership rolls of her religion?
Yes unless for a very serious reason such as the threat of violence or death.
 
What is altruism?
Altruism is not the same thing as helping people. You can help people while doing solely because you like to and not because you really care about them. Altruism means helping others without any regard for what you want or like.
 
Does intending to service God or egoism really matter?
No for they are about motives. As long as people behaves well and are good citizens it does not matter what their motives are.
 
Does the God believe imply that we must be altruists?
Yes. Thus it is a doctrine of oppression.

 
SEVER CHURCH AND STATE
 
How should the state be run?
The state should be run by the people through their elected representatives after they have been informed as well as possible.

Should religion interfere in the workings of the state?
Only if it does not try to enforce its distinctive and begrudging and surplus rules, for example, that sex before marriage is wrong even when no harm can ensue, on us. The law can and should act as if there is no God and no religion is true. That is as near as it can get to pleasing everybody.

Should atheists persecute religious people?
No for error is a disorder that needs help not censure and angry responses. If religion thrives that is atheism’s doing and religion should not have to pay for it. Information and good example and the promise of happiness and inner peace without God and religion are better antidotes to religion than persecution and history bears witness to that.

Should blasphemy laws be abolished?
They should because every religion has doctrines that offend others and the division and condemnation of harmless things that religion is behind proves that the state should take no notice of religious eccentricities. Instead when a person mocks God before religionists with intent to spark off mayhem that person should be charged with disturbing the peace but not with blasphemy.

Should the state support the theory of free will?
No. It is an unnecessary belief and therefore a superstition and a religious dogma for only religion needs to believe in it.

Should religion be tax-exempt?
It should not for it is not a charity when it is not needed.

Does the state have the right to impel religion to give up evil doctrines?
Yes. For instance, if a religion teaches racism it should have to pay the penalty.
 
What happens when the state and the Church disagree or come into conflict?
Then the state comes first for it represents all the people and has to have an unprejudiced view of right and wrong that is not influenced by religious superstition and its job is to guard the people not religion.

Do atheists back complete freedom of speech?
Let people say and print what they want no matter how nasty it is but just make sure that access to warnings and other healthier perspectives is easy. That way nobody will be tricked if what is being said is very wrong and nobody will have any business blaming what was said if they start a riot. If you want freedom of speech, you must admit that there will be consequences for others and yourself depending on what you say.
 
Do we have a right to freedom of speech?
Freedom of speech is not a right except when you are right. Otherwise it is a privilege. Grant this privilege but don't pretend it is a right. To say there is a God means he has the right to expect you to say only what he wants you to say. This denies that as a human being you have the right to say what you like.
 
 
Should there be laws so that people who have suffered grave distress and inconvenience over their religion can sue this religion if it has deceived them?
Yes. The Catholic Church for example gets money from people who think it is the true Church and this money should be returned if it is not what it purports to be.

What are the main consequences we should expect from the separation of church and state?
No religious evangelism in state schools.
Bigamy charges against people who marry again because they got a Church annulment that is not recognised by the state.
Religion being taxed.
Politicians abandoning their religion or at least ignoring it to do their job.
That citizens refuse to put God or their religion before the state.
 
Does the right of freedom of religion conflict with the right to freedom from religion?
Not necessarily. A Catholic school for example can allow non-Catholic pupils an exemption from prayers and religious instruction.
 
When there is a conflict which right is the most important one?
Most religious people are humanists most of the time.
 
LEAVE RELIGION AND ABHOR SPIRITUALITY
 
What is spirituality?
Spirituality is when you become a good person or a better person through help from the supernatural.

Is love spiritual?
People think that love is spiritual for it is not a material thing. But love is a feeling. We don't understand what kind of power it is but that doe not mean that it is spirit or supernatural.
 
Why must we reject spirituality?
We need only assume that all things are somehow material. To talk about spirituality or sprit is to pay homage to the supernatural - an evil hypothesis. Do not categorise love as spiritual. Just go and love and forget about defining the kind of power it is.
 
Why should we leave say the Roman Catholic Church, for example, if we feel that it is not the one right religion?
Because it is Catholic teaching that membership of the Church is only right if you believe that the Church is the only correct and real Church of Jesus Christ. The Church says it is a serious sin to support a religion you feel is man-made. If it is not, then no religion can exist.
 
Are pick and chose Catholics really Catholics?
When you join a club or Church you join on its terms not yours. Those who claim to be Catholics wilfully refuse to believe the Catholic faith are not Catholics. You can't be a true member of the Communist party if you secretly disbelieve in Communism and so it is with every religion and ism.
 
Is it important to register membership with a Humanist Society?
You don't have to. It is only your outlook that makes you a Humanist. However, if you want to be seen as having left your Church it may be necessary to join an official Humanist Society.
 
Can an Humanist be a Catholic for example?
No for you have to have specifically Catholic beliefs to be a Catholic or Muslim ones to be a Muslim.

Should the Humanist put money into Church collections?
No for that will help the Church toughen its stranglehold.
 
What does the fact that the natural human impulse is to imitate what we see other people do tell us about going to Church?
To stay away except for weddings or funerals and important family occasions. We must not give bad example.

Why should the Humanist try to destroy faith in religion?
Because error causes trouble and bother. To let it thrive is to give somebody else the bother of dealing with it. We have something better than religion to replace it with - honesty.
 
Should unbelievers stay in religion to have a church wedding or funeral?
But they have left the Church in their hearts. They are not being true to themselves or honouring themselves. And their family or society which is pressuring them to conform to religion can't be happy about this for they are not real religionists but mere users. The faith can't mean much to them after all if they make a person become a user who disrespectfully treats religion like a social passport.

Should the Humanist pretend to be a member of a religion?
In bigoted areas the religionist who becomes an Humanist may pretend to be a religious devotee and must find a way to turn as many in the congregation away from God and religion as possible though normally it is preferable to stay away and discourage churchgoing.
 
What is one good tip for the Humanist who masquerades as a believer?
To ask awkward questions that the religionists cannot answer adequately and which will produce doubt. Believers in religion will fall away quicker when somebody who pretends to be a friend to the Church undermines its teaching but in a friendly way.
 
Why do we oppose religion?
Because it is a con. Because it is not needed and anything that causes trouble and is not needed should be abandoned. Because it is a disorder for I know that I should be my own God so it is an attempt to pervert my instinct.
 
 
HUMANISM

May we do evil when we are sure that nobody will know about it and when we will get away with it?
No for that is feeding the lion that will one day eat us. It would be willing evil to exist and evil is our enemy.

Should we meet regularly to help stay good Humanists?
Yes so that we might learn new things and gain benefit and courage from what we already know. We need to travel with other people.

Do Humanists expel people?
Nobody can be expelled – ever; except when it happens that they renounce the teaching when they disfellowship themselves. These must be won back by being listened to and by friendliness and kindness. A Guardian of Truth will be available in every area and will visit anybody who is in danger of being won back to religion. One of the conditions of membership is agreeing to avail of their assistance.
 
Are all equal in Humanism?
All have a vital part to play and all are equal. Leaders are necessary but they must serve and not be served or to tell anybody what to believe. We are all equal in the way it counts: we all deserve the same things for we have no free will.
 
Are Humanists against all forms of religion?
Humanism must critically look at all religions and praise them were appropriate. There is nothing praiseworthy about true Christianity, true Islam or true Judaism. The fact that these faiths have sinister implications is proof that they come from man and not God and so should be abandoned.
 
Why are we nothing without it?
Because it is the voice of simple and undefiled wisdom and is enough to refute all religion and similar nonsense with their convincing books that are full of clever lies and half-truths and which offer evidence while ignoring the stronger evidence that says the opposite so we need to depend on The Gospel According to Atheism for it alone with its straightforwardness can be our fortress against the cannons of the deceivers.
 
Is Humanism a belief system or is it a methodology?
For some it is. For others it is just a code of conduct and they may secretly believe in life after death. That is fine if they keep their beliefs private and do not let them pollute the rule that they must consider people and have no concern for gods or God or any other kind of supernatural entity.
 
SPREAD THE WORD!
 
Is the person who wants us to believe what he says are very important things without proper evidence a well meaning person?
Never.
 
What is proselytism?
Aggressive evangelism. It is based on intolerance and arrogance and serves only to put people off the philosophy you are trying to promote.
 
Should we teach Humanism with gentleness and open-mindedness to all who are willing to listen?
Yes for it is the truth and they have a right to know it and we must not wait until they come to us for they need to know we are here.
 
How should we go about this?
We listen to their questions and problems and explain how humanism has enriched our lives. We share our knowledge without being condescending, obnoxious or annoying. We could open the conversation by asking them what their beliefs about Church and state are or what their spiritual beliefs are - hopefully the answer is they have none!
 
Do we convert people?
No. We offer them the chance to convert themselves.
 
What happens if we keep the truth away from people in case it will hurt them?
We are patronising. We are saying they are dishonest people who prefer error to the truth. That will not help us to respect them but to disrespect them. Everybody has the right to refuse to assist a person in their error. Indeed the erring person is calling out for correction.
 
Should we be reluctant to speak the truth about our humanistic principles?
No. If people are offended that is their problem. Humanism is too important to be silent about. As long as we make it evident that we only speak out because we care, we should be fine.
 
What about those who won’t listen?
Don’t force them. Give them a tract if you can. Tracts pushed in people’s doors are a wonderful and unobtrusive way to reach them. It is vital to get a say in the media.

Who should the Humanist behave towards one who will not listen to anybody denying the existence of God?
Be polite and be realistic and remember that it will often be the case that nothing more can be done than to try and instil in people a sincere and open reverence for reason so that they will hopefully go and find the truth for themselves.
 
What are we doing to our self-esteem if we do not do anything to attract others to the message?
As long as we do not try to reach those who will listen we are tarnishing our own self-esteem for we are not trying to protect ourselves by teaching others to be happy so that they will not harm us or despise us because of the principles we represent. It is only self-defence.

What do you say to a person there are more important things than Humanism that people should know?
Nothing is more important than the only way to grab the best out of self-esteem.

Is it cruel to refute the superstitious faith of people who need it as a crutch?
Only if you preach at them against their will and do it without a desire to bring them to joy and freedom. If they listen to you or read your tract and have doubts then you have had nothing to do with any distress that ensues. Try to convert people without them noticing, if they are likely to be antagonistic towards the truth. You could do that by asking questions that draw them into doubt.
 
Is it cruel to leave religious people in their errors and self-deceits?
Yes. Doing that is running the risk of producing far more harm than good. It is unrealistic to expect people to remain ignorant indefinitely. For every ten that is happy in their faith, there could be somebody who at least secretly wants to know that it is false so that they can be free. And silence allows people to be deceived by religion and lose money and slave all their lives for a God who is not there at all or for a religion that is untrue!
 
Why is this catechism so focused on the evils of religious faith instead of telling us how to treat one another?
Because we know how to treat one another anyway except when religion poisons this knowledge. The most fanatical religious executioner of heretics knows at some level that his actions are evil. Also, we are not focusing on these things just to be anti-religious but to be pro-goodness. That is our motive.

 

Why do religionists fear humanists?

They think humanists are unrealistic for assuming humankind can progress and be morally better without help from God and without religion.  But the fact of the matter is humanists and religionists must see that progress can be short and help too few people.  We must keep trying.  Trying means having the belief and willpower and skill to help using your own resources instead of pretending a God is going to help.  Religion has done nothing special for it cannot do any more than humanism can and usually makes things worse.
 
FINALLY ...
 
What does the Humanist resolve?  

 

I pledge loyalty to the principles of Humanism now and always.