Wednesday, January 02, 2013
An interesting question. Here was my response:
Well, I think the underlying change happened when I became a universalist. I would not have defined it this way at the time, but looking back, that is when I became a humanist. For the first time, people became more important to me than doctrine, and it was the first time I was willing to look at scripture and decide that, if it brought about a harmful result to people, then it was wrong. In this way I think Jesus, and MLK, and others are/were humanists - they were willing to defy the accepted dogma of their day in order to protect people.
I think Atheism is a definition that describes how a person relates to any form of theism; but humanism is a moral and ethical statement which is used to describe how one views the world - that which promotes the advancement of the human condition is moral, that which detracts from it is immoral.
I think the humanist moral standard is a better standard. Having found it to be better, I found less and less use for the the theism... until it finally fell away. I think is possible to be religious and a humanist. Rob Bell would be a good example. In places where he finds popular dogma to cause harm to people, he either discards it or throws it up to such a flurry of questions as to render it inert. He puts people first. I think that whittles away at theism over time.... I think mine was hurried along though some of my interactions with Mormonism, but my leaving the faith was only a matter of time.
Yes, it is true that I am an Atheist. However, if I must be known by a label, I choose to take on one that speaks more to what makes me tick.
I am a Humanist.
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” - Marcus Aurelius
Posted by Andrew at 10:30 PM