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Definition of "Humanist"
1. a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.
(according to Dictionary.com)
The simplified core of the Humanist moral code is:
The Golden Rule
~ Treating others the way we'd like to be treated ~
A "Humanist" believes in doing his or her best to influence the world to be a healthy place where everyone on earth is offered every possible opportunity to live a happy and successful life.
“Humanism” is not a religion or a religious concept ...and could more accurately be described as a compassionate philosophy that encourages people to be kind and thoughtful.
Cicero (106 - 43 BC) was most responsible for defining and popularizing the term "humanitas" which translates to modern English as "humanism". Cicero used "humanitas" to describe a philosophy of kindness and benevolence toward one's fellow human beings as well as a philosophy which places a high value on scholarship and intellectual integrity.
For Cicero (who was a lawyer) what most distinguished humans from brutes was speech, which he believed should enable reasonable people (applying "humanitas" or "humanism") to settle disputes peacefully and live together in harmony under the rule of law.
The next well-known revival of humanistic outlook was promoted by the Jesuits.
The Society of Jesus (a.k.a. the "Jesuits") was founded in 1539 by Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits are currently the largest male religious order within the Catholic Church. The Jesuit order founded schools which supported scientific innovation, the arts, and advocated humanitarianism.
Many Jesuit priests throughout history have taken heroic risks, many sacrificing their own lives in their selfless efforts to protect their communities from genocidal tyrants. German Jesuits famously resisted Hitler, and Latin American Jesuits created "Liberation Theology" during their efforts to protect and free oppressed people from murderous dictators in more recent decades.
The Jesuits deserve a lot of credit for re-introducing humanism into western culture and for placing such a high value on humanitarianism and quality education. This humanistic trend in the Catholic Church resulted in the election of Pope Francis in 2013 (the first Jesuit Pope) which has sped up this positive humanitarian transformation of the Catholic Church.
According to the Jesuit's website:
"Our Christian faith teaches us that our purpose as human beings is not self-centered. Rather, goodness is other-centered."
...we seek to "find God in all things." We dedicate ourselves to the “greater glory of God" and the good of all humanity."
...to the greater good of all people from all faiths and cultures."
...we also aim to be “contemplatives in action,” people who bring this spirituality into the wide world. That includes our work on behalf of global justice, peace, and dialogue."
The Jesuit order is one of the largest humanist organizations in the world. The Jesuits have made the Catholic Church more humanistic, and have made our world a better place.
Whether they realize it or not, most people who identify themselves as "Christian" or "Jewish" ...along with many of the most compassionate members of nearly all other religions ...tend to believe in humanist values, and naturally/automatically tend to be humanistic.
"Secular Humanism" was born in 1933 at a University of Chicago conference of 35 ministers, theologians, several college professors, a few notable psychologists, a dean, and a rabbi. At this time the custom of writing "Humanist" with a capital "H" was adopted and great pains were taken to define "Humanism" in secular terms so as to not assign greater importance to any one religion over any other. The idea was to create a humanitarian philosophy that could be embraced by all good people of all belief systems, including all religions and people who are not religious.
The idea was to provide common ground on which all good people of all religions and benevolent non-religious belief systems could communicate respectfully with one another and make plans to do good things for the world cooperatively. Modern Humanism was designed to break down the barriers between all the different religions and end conflicts.
The word "secular" technically means "religiously neutral", but critics of secular Humanism have led many to believe that "secular" means "anti-religious" and that the word "Humanist" was coined to give atheists a way to covertly attack religion and belief in God.
Carl Sagan was American Humanist Association's "Humanist of the year" in 1981
In the last couple of decades the "secular Humanist" brand seems to have indeed been taken over by angry atheists who appear to be focused on convincing people to stop believing in God (or gods) in any sense, and to reject all things related to religion. In 2008 the AHA paid for billboards that read, "Why believe in God? Just be good for goodness sake." In 2009 the AHA put up a billboard reading, "Don't believe in God? You are not alone." In 2010 the AHA started putting out the "...good without God" billboard series. Some of the examples are, "Millions are good without God" and "I can be good without God." as well as, "Are you good without God?" Thereby, repelling all Humanists who believe in God!
The British Humanist Association now has an online test that is supposed to determine how Humanist a person is, but if you answer that you believe in God by any definition, or in any way contemplate the possibility of your consciousness continuing on after your body is destroyed ...your "Humanist" score goes down. It's in reality an atheism test, and seems to send a clear message that they see "Humanist" as being a softer way to say "atheist".
By the new standards of the mainstream Humanist organizations, people like: Albert Einstein, John Lennon, and Carl Sagan would not qualify as true Humanists! The AHA and the BHA now represent giant obstacles to the original goals of modern Humanism, and have made Humanism the exclusive domain of atheists. It appears they're attempting to steal the word "Humanist" from the good people who pioneered this initially inclusive movement.
Most early "secular" Humanists professed a belief in God, however they typically preferred to define "God" as being "love" or "all goodness" in the universe rather than an anthropomorphic personal God. People who called themselves atheists were generally tolerated, primarily because most "atheists" were considered to be dealing with spiritual wounds resulting from being harshly indoctrinated as a child to believe in a punishing anthropomorphic God.
So a genuinely humanistic view is to be tolerant of these wounded people in the hopes that once they've experienced enough compassion they may well lighten up and stop imagining all religious people are the same as the religious zealots who hurt them. Unfortunately, nowadays the mainstream Humanist organizations seem to be intentionally encouraging hostility among "Humanists" toward religious people by painting all religious people as being responsible for all the damage done throughout history by totalitarian religious movements. As if the kindly Christians who believe God is simply "love" are the same as the Puritans who burned people at the stake if they didn't accept their image of God as a vengeful punisher.
All sincere Humanists believe in love, and try to be a good people. So if by "God" a person means "love" ...then even a secular Humanist would be obliged to respect and work for this definition of God.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
(1 John 4:16b, NIV)
A lot of atheists who call themselves "Humanists" would not be inclined to meet on this common ground, and would instead cite the most objectionable descriptions of "God" in the Bible ...insisting stubbornly that all religion must be abandoned completely. Thus to identify oneself as "atheist" is to automatically bait a tremendous number of good people who would otherwise be interested in joining cooperative efforts to do good or the world. So it is this kind of adversarial stance toward religion that has been articulated by many prominent "atheists", this unwillingness to recognize common ground and establish peaceful relationships with religious people, that makes it impossible for anyone who identifies as an "atheist" to be a true representative of Humanism.www.Humanist.tv is guided by an inclusive view of Humanism ...and welcomes all sincere Humanists of all religions and belief systems. Atheists are welcome too, but a foundational assumption of www.Humanist.tv is that no legitimate Humanist (not even a secular Humanist) would identify as an atheist.
These same atheists who call themselves "Humanists" seem to also often think that all it takes to do good is to eliminate "bad" and to refrain from bad behavior. But being good and making the world a better place takes positive actions.
Many people have become confused into believing all "Humanists" are atheists, because in mid-2011 the AHA added the tag line "Advocating progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists, and freethinkers" to their home page (actually linking visually the two words together and specifically representing atheism). And to link Humanism with atheism even more strongly, in early 2012 the AHA added the motto: "Good without a god" right under the American Humanist Association logo on their home page.
This is why www.Humanist.tv isn't affiliated with the AHA, because by this time (after all these years), actual Humanists would have recognized these "without God" mottos are inspiring hostile feelings toward Humanism from many religious people, changed the mottos, and worked to clear up any other misunderstandings caused by this mistake. A sincere Humanist strives to make peace and seek cooperation in endeavors to make the world a better place. Sincere Humanists would want an ordinary person to be able to casually self-identify as Humanist, without risk of being hit with hostility from confused religious people, or being perceived as someone who's hostile to religion.
For these reasons (among others) www.Humanist.tv is in no way affiliated with (or controlled by) the American Humanist Association, but instead promotes the kind of inclusive Humanism good people like Albert Einstein, John Lennon, and Carl Sagan subscribed to.
The AHA's "Good without God" motto appears to have been twisted from an Albert Einstein quote...
Albert Einstein expressed a belief in God, but felt people should want to be good for its own sake.
Numerous scientists and highly educated people have embraced "Humanism". So many in fact, that 22 of the 54 living Nobel Laureates consider themselves to be Humanists.
Albert Einstein (the genius who came up with the theory of relativity) was an early modern Humanist leader. Einstein served on the advisory board of the First Humanist Society of New York and was an honorary associate of the British Humanist Organization.
The following are a few of Albert Einstein's written comments about his Humanist morality...
"The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education."
"I do not believe that a man should be restrained in his daily actions by being afraid of punishment after death or that he should do things only because in this way he will be rewarded after he dies. This does not make sense. The proper guidance during the life of a man should be the weight that he puts upon ethics and the amount of consideration that he has for others."
"I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance—but for us, not for God."
The next modern humanist movements were "Reconstructionist Judaism" in 1955 which was conceived of by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and "Humanistic Judaism" founded in 1963 by Rabbi Sherwin Wine.
Rabbi Kaplan believed that, in light of advances in philosophy, science and history, it would be impossible for modern Jews to continue to adhere to many of Judaism's traditional theological claims. Furthermore, Kaplan believed that God is not personal, Kaplan's theology defines God as the sum of all natural processes that allow people to become self-fulfilled.
The following are some of Mordecai Kaplan's feelings about God...
"To believe in God means to take for granted that it is man's destiny to
rise above the brute and to eliminate all forms of violence and
exploitation from human society. In brief, God is the Power in the
cosmos that gives human life the direction that enables the human being
to reflect the image of God."
Kaplan also considered the idea of God having chosen the Jewish people for any purpose, in any way, as "morally untenable", because he felt anyone who has such beliefs "implies the
superiority of the elect community and the rejection of others."
Humanism is the creation of highly intellectual theologians who were interested in promoting the kindest possible interpretation of their respective belief systems in an effort to be as good as possible to all people and to work with all other good people of all other religions/belief systems in a joint effort to make the world a more just and peaceful place for all of us to celebrate life.
The mission of www.Humanist.tv is to provide a platform where Christian Humanists, Jewish Humanists, and secular Humanists can all celebrate life with one another and cooperate in adding as much good to the world as possible.
As for secular Humanism, there's not supposed to be anything against religion in the following International Humanist and Ethical Union declaration. It is supposed to be a religiously neutral declaration of values designed to provide common ground on which people of all religions can respectfully communicate and cooperate in efforts to do positive things for the world...
Amsterdam Declaration 2002
The Amsterdam Declaration of 2002 was intended to be a religiously neutral statement that outlines common (secular) ground on which all benevolent religions/belief-systems can interact peacefully/respectfully with all other religions/belief-systems.
The declaration urges us to resist attempts by any one religion to use public schools to force-ably indoctrinate all people of all other religions. So a public education, to be fair to all, needs to be free of religious indoctrination ...but should ideally teach students about all religions in a respectful way.
This declaration says Humanists should be undogmatic and impose no creed on anyone. The declaration says that a Humanist believes that "the solutions to the world's problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention" ...is the kind of thing that is often twisted into an anti-religion position. But plenty of religious people respect evidence and acknowledge scientific discoveries by adapting their interpretation of their religious doctrine in the event a new discovery seems to contradict a religious belief.
Nothing about the IHEU's 2002 Declaration indicates that a Humanist can't respect what scientific discoveries tell us about the universe ...and still apply religious convictions to all those things science hasn't explained and for which there is no evidence one way or another.
Humanism imposes no creed on its adherents ...and Humanism also doesn't forbid a creed. If you believe in cooperating with all other good people to be good to our world and everyone in it ...you're a Humanist ...even if you are also Christian, or Jewish, or agnostic.
In recent years many "Humanist" groups have been taken over by radical atheists ...who seem to be trying to impose their creed (atheism) on adherents of Humanism. These atheists have formed a blockade that has prevented the Humanism from having any meaningfully positive impact on our world for several years now.
This site www.Humanist.tv stands in opposition to these hypocritical atheists who've recently hijacked the brand name of "Humanist" to be an exclusively atheist property ...and welcomes the participation of Christian Humanists, Jewish Humanists, and Humanists of all other belief systems.
This site welcomes all good people ...whether you're religious ...or not.
www.Humanist.tv is intended to be an Internet TV network and social networking site which Humanists around the world can use to interact with one another, an Internet-based-global-Humanist-Community-Center.
If you have any suggestions for this website, please contact:
George A Titsworth IV
Note from the founder:
I was fortunate enough to make contact with an honest State Trooper that night who escorted my children and me to safety, but our home was destroyed by the time we got back...
Nearly everything of value had been stolen, and much of what remained broken...
My dog died suddenly of unknown causes just prior to this attack...
My refrigerator and deep freeze were unplugged and food thrown/smeared in various parts of the house...
I'd bagged my dog's body and put her in the deep freeze till I could pull myself together enough to manage a proper burial, so her corpse was rotting in the freezer when we got back...
My houseplants were uprooted and thrown all over...
My daughter's canopy (princess) bed was broken...
This was the last home my daughter ever really felt safe and happy in...
Ever since this home invasion, my kids and I have been running from one place to the next, narrowly escaping various kinds of attacks...
On a few occasions since this I've gotten nice homes set up again, but within a few months we've always had to scramble to get away from another attack...
This was my bedroom with the blue walls...
My son's bedroom I decorated in a cowboy theme to feel like the Andy's bedroom in Toy Story...
My kitchen and family room above and below from both directions...
The upstairs bedroom I'd set up for my mother when she visited (that's Mom sitting on the bed)...
So, in 2004 we were run out of our home by a corrupt Sheriff. And it's not just me saying I've been a victim of corruption, this Sheriff was investigated by the FBI and federally indicted. Attacks against me stopped as soon as this corrupt Sheriff knew he was the subject of an FBI investigation, and attacks resumed immediately after the federal indictments against him were dismissed. So I won't mention his name, because he's also notorious for killing people who've exposed him on the web.
Everywhere I've gone in the U.S. ever since then I've been attacked by corrupt police and government officials. There appears to be a culture-of-corruption woven into essentially all police departments all over the United States ...and it looks a lot to me like all these corrupt people (much like an organized crime syndicate) cooperate with one another to attack people who they've targeted.
I wouldn't have believed it myself until I was in the position to look back at how similar the attacks have been everywhere I've lived in the U.S. I've been hit with false criminal charges on multiple occasions (false allegations have popped up everywhere I've moved to) ...home intruders have physically attacked me more than a few times. I've had a literally unbelievable string of unfortunate setbacks (unbelievable that it could be random "bad luck"), and so have many of the people closest to me. After doing an amazing job of outmaneuvering nearly catastrophic attacks for 10 years, my children were finally taken by (corrupt people in) CPS while I was dealing with disabilities and pain from being run over by a car!
My daughter Alicia "medically kidnapped"
George A Titsworth IV
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