Friday, 26 December 2014

Why I am not a humanist, sort of.

Following my childish lambasting of the humanist commandments - which had about as  much intellectual rigour as, er, the process by which they were selected - I had one of my inevitable crises of confidence. This one was the classic 'what the hell am I doing with my life' routine. It's not a pretty sight when it happens on the back of the 38 bus.

I thought coming up with my own commandments might help. I got as far as 'learn something new every day' (I am big on education as empowering and intrinsically ethical, even though I know good and smart don't always travel in the same coach). Then I remembered 'think for yourself and question authority'. That bloke who liked his LSD was big on this, but, of course, it is not his authority that makes me respect the idea.

Apart from the obvious attempts to bring back religion by the back door - and trying to combine rational processes and religious activity - my rants against humanism are inspired by a sincere confusion. There seems to be this caricature of the religious thinker: they are naive, pin everything on a metaphysics that is baseless, and are dominated by the idea of God so that everything comes back to it. Believing in God becomes a kind of thought crime, a token of idiocy. 

Why is this such a big deal? As far as Britain goes I thought the whole religion and God thing stopped being relevant in about 1994, when the last Christian revival in the UK crashed into the mean-spirited fundamentalism that it inspired.

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