domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2007

Paul Kurtz: «Neo-humanism»

  1. «Neo-humanists are skeptical of traditional theism. They may be atheists, agnostics, or even dissenting members of a church or temple. They think the traditional concept of God is an illusion. They reject such writings as the Bible, the Qur’an, and the Book of Mormon as divine revelations. Their skepticism of the ancient creeds reflects the light of scientific or philosophical critiques of the arguments for God—or, more recently, the scientific examination of the sources of the “sacred texts.” They also criticize the moral absolutes derived from these ancient texts, viewing them as the expressions of premodern civilizations—though they may believe that some of their moral principles deserve to be appreciated in order to understand their cultural heritages. Nevertheless, they consider traditional religion’s focus on salvation in the next life an abandonment of efforts to improve this life, here and now. They firmly defend the separation of religion and the state and consider freedom of conscience and the right of dissent vital. They deplore the view of the subservience of women to men, the repression of sexuality, the defense of theocracy, and the denial of democratic human rights.
  2. Distinctively, neo-humanists look to science and reason as the most reliable guide to knowledge, and they wish to extend the methods of science to all areas of human endeavor. They believe that critical thinking and the methods of reflective intelligence should guide our behavior. Neo-humanists appreciate the arts as well as the sciences, and they draw upon the literature of human experience for inspiration. Neo-humanists, however, seek objective methods of corroborating truth claims, not poetic metaphor or intuition.
  3. Neo-humanists are uniquely committed to a set of humanist values and principles, including the civic virtues of democracy and the toleration of diverse lifestyles. They cherish individual freedom and celebrate human creativity and fulfillment, happiness and well-being, the values of the open pluralistic society, the right of privacy, and the autonomy, dignity, and value of each person. Neo-humanists are no less concerned with social justice and the common good, environmentalism, and planetary ethics. They insist that human beings are responsible for their own destinies and that they need to use intelligence and goodwill to solve problems. They attempt, wherever possible, to negotiate differences rationally and to work out compromises using science, reason, and humanist values.»
  4. (Paul Kurtz)