Evolutionary Humanism by Julian Huxley Summary
In this dazzling collection of essays covering a broad range of fields, from Darwinism and the global population explosion to bird watching, distinguished scientist and philosopher Sir Julian Huxley points out new frontiers for scientific research and reaffirms his belief in the intimate connection of the sciences, particularly biology, with the pressing social problems of the present and future. Huxley envisions new horizons for education and divinity within the framework of evolutionary humanism.
What is Secular Humanism? by Paul Kurtz Summary
Are there any ethical values and principles that nonreligious individuals can live by? In a time when many have forsaken otherworldly religions, what does human life mean? What is its significance? Secular humanism attempts to answer these questions in a way that resonates with human aspirations and the findings of science. It provides a scientific, philosophical, and ethical outlook that exerts a profound influence on civilization and that may be traced back to the ancient world, through the modern world, down to the present. Today many schools of thought broadly identify with humanist ideas and values. By conjoining the term secular with humanism, we may narrow its focus and meaning, enabling us to distinguish secular humanism from other forms of humanism ... in the contemporary world Secular Humanism offers a bold new paradigm.
In Defense of Secular Humanism by Paul Kurtz Summary
Are the fundamentalists shaking the foundations of the American republic?When they condemn humanism's influence in the schools, are they not actually attacking modern education, science, culture, and philosophy?Is it possible to be moral without benefit of clergy or creed?Can humanism help open doors so that individuals, singly and in cooperation with others, can create lives that are rich in enjoyment, eloquent and meaningful?What is humanism, and why have humanists come under attack by religious conservatives and the fundamentalist right? Humanism is not a dogma or a creed, writes Paul Kurtz. Humanists have confidence in human beings, and they believe that the only bases for morality are human experience and human needs. Humanists are opposed to all forms of supernaturalistic and authoritarian religion. Many humanists believe that scientific intelligence and critical reason can assist in reconstructing our moral lives . . . Humanists believe in freedom and pluralistic democracy as virtually our first principle, and we are disturbed by any authoritarian effort to impose one point of view on America. Defense of the open, democratic society should be the first point humanists make in response to the Moral Majority, making it clear that in our reading of the American tradition, pluralism is essential.In Defense of Secular Humanism is a volume of collected essays by one of the leading exponents of secular humanism. It is a closely reasoned defense of one of the most venerable ethical, scientific and philosophical traditions within Western civilization.Paul Kurtz (Amherst, NY), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is president of the International Academy of Humanism and is one of the leading spokespersons for Secular Humanism today. He is the author or editor of over thirty-five books, including most recently Embracing the Power of Humanism (Rowman & Littlefield) and The Courage to Become (Praeger/Greenwood).
Meditations for the Humanist by A. C. Grayling Summary
Meditations for the humanist is a wide-ranging magnanimous inquiry into the philosophical and ethical questions that bear most strongly on the human condition. Containing nearly fifty linked commentaries on topics ranging from love, lying, perseverance, revenge, racism, religion, history, loyalty, health, and leisure, Meditations for the humanist does not offer definitive statements but rather prompts to reflection. For those wishing to explore ethical issues outside the framework of organized religious belief, Meditations for the humanist offers an inviting map to the country of philosophical reflection.
95 Theses on Humanism by Ignace Demaerel Summary
Since the rise and growth of secularization, the place of God and religion is becoming increasingly problematic in our Western culture. But what is the alternative to its Christian heritage? Humanism puts “man” at the center of everything, but can you “believe in man” just as much as you can believe in God? Is this secular worldview really rational, based on science, consistent, and durable? And above all, does our society become more humane because of it? Can you simply obliterate God from our culture and values without these collapsing like a pudding? Secular humanism has always been extremely critical of the church—and in itself that is allowed—but what if we judge and measure it with the same criteria?
Clergy in the Classroom by David A. Noebel,J. F. Baldwin,Kevin Bywater Summary
Secular Humanism is a real and well-developed worldview embraced by many educators, intellectuals and leaders throughout our nation. This program examines the crushing weight of evidence supporting the fact that Secular Humanism is a religion, and the the dominant worldview taught in public schools today.
Secular Humanism by Paul F. Kisak Summary
" Humanity Without Politics, Religion, Dogma or Ritual "Secular humanism embraces the common humanity of the human race. In general, Secular Humanism promotes human reason, ethics, social justice, and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making. Secular humanism posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. It does not, however, assume that humans are either inherently evil or innately good, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature. Rather, the humanist life stance emphasizes the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions. Fundamental to the concept of secular humanism is the strongly held viewpoint that ideology-be it religious or political-must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith. Along with this, an essential part of secular humanism is a continually adapting search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy. Many secular humanists derive their moral codes from a philosophy of utilitarianism, ethical naturalism, or evolutionary ethics, and some advocate a science of morality.This book is designed to be a state of the art, superb academic reference work and provide an overview of the topic and give the reader a structured knowledge to familiarize yourself with the topic at the most affordable price possible.The accuracy and knowledge is of an international viewpoint as the edited articles represent the inputs of many knowledgeable individuals and some of the most current knowledge on the topic, based on the date of publication.
Meaning and Value in a Secular Age by Paul Kurtz Summary
The secular age has confronted human beings with a fundamental challenge. While the naturalistic worldview rooted in science has persuasively shown that traditional religious conceptions of the universe are unsustainable, it has so far offered no compelling secular narratives to replace the religious narratives so entrenched in civilization. In the absence of religion, how do thoughtful contemporary individuals find meaning in a secular world? In this book, philosopher Paul Kurtz argues for a new approach that he calls eupraxsophy. Kurtz first coined the term in 1988 to characterize a secular orientation to life that stands in contrast to religion. Derived from three ancient Greek roots, eupraxsophy literally means "good practice and wisdom." Drawing upon philosophy, science, and ethics, eupraxsophy provides a thoroughly secular moral vision, which respects the place of human values in the context of the natural world and presents an empirically responsible yet hopeful picture of the human situation and the cosmos in which we abide. Editor Nathan Bupp has conveniently gathered together Kurtz’s key writings about the theory and practice of eupraxsophy for the first time in this volume. Written with eloquence and scope, these incisive essays show how Kurtz's brand of humanism moves above and beyond the current "new atheism." Eupraxsophy successfully bridges the cultural divide between science and value and provides a genuine and constructive alternative to religion. Bupp’s informative introduction places the concept of eupraxsophy in historical perspective and shows why it is critically important, and relevant, today.
Skepticism and Humanism by Paul Kurtz Summary
As we begin the third millennium there is cause for cautious optimism regarding the human prospect. Democratic revolutions and the doctrine of universal human rights have captured the imagination of large sectors of humanity, while major advances in science and technology continue to conquer disease and extend life, contributing to rising standards of living, affluence, and cultural freedom on a worldwide basis. Paradoxically, at the same time ancient authoritarian fundamentalist religions have grown in vitriolic intensity along with bizarre New Age, media-driven paranormal belief systems. Also surprising is the resurgence of primitive tribal and ethnic loyalties, unleashing wars of intolerance and bitterness. In Skepticism and Humanism, Paul Kurtz locates these threatening developments within a long-standing and largely unchallenged theological worldview. He proposes, as an alternative to religion, a new cultural paradigm rooted in scientific naturalism, rationalism, and a humanistic outlook. An estimated 60 percent of scientists are atheists or agnostics. However, the skeptical world view has been given little currency even in advanced societies, because of a cultural prohibition against the criticism of religion. At the same time, science has become increasingly narrow and specialized so that few people can draw on its broader intellectual and cultural implications. Skepticism and Humanism attempts to meet this need. It defends skepticism as a method for developing reliable knowledge by using scientific inquiry and reason to test all claims to truth. It also defends scientific naturalism-an evolutionary view of nature, life, and the human species. Kurtz sees the dominant religious doctrines as drawn from an agricultural/nomadic past, and emphasizes the need for a new outlook applicable to the postindustrial information age. At the same time, he rejects postmodernism for abandoning science and embracing a form of nihilism. There can be no doubt that as a new global civilization emerges, scientific naturalism, rationalism, and secular humanism have something significant to say about the meaning of life. Skepticism and Humanism shows how they can to foster democratic values and social prosperity. The book will be important for philosophers, scientists, and all those concerned with contemporary issues. Paul Kurtz taught at Trinity College, Vassar College, and State University of New York at Buffalo. He is founder of Prometheus Books, a major publisher of philosophical works. He is the author of some thirty books including Toward a New Enlightenment (available from Transaction) Humanist Manifesto 2000, and A Secular Humanist Declaration. He is chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, and editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry magazine.
Is Reality Secular? by Mary Poplin Summary
What is the nature of reality? At the root of our society's deepest political and cultural divisions are the conflicting principles of four global worldviews. While each of us holds to some version of one of these worldviews, we are often unconscious of their differences as well as their underlying assumptions. Mary Poplin argues that the ultimate test of a worldview, philosophy or ideology is whether it corresponds with reality. Since different perspectives conflict with each other, how do we make sense of the differences? And if a worldview system accurately reflects reality, what implications does that have for our thinking and living? In this wide-ranging and perceptive study, Poplin examines four major worldviews: naturalism, humanism, pantheism and Judeo-Christian theism. She explores the fundamental assumptions of each, pressing for limitations. Ultimately she puts each perspective to the test, asking, what if this worldview is true? If reality is secular, that means something for how we orient our lives. But if reality is not best explained by secular perspectives, that would mean something quite different. Consider for yourself what is the fundamental substance of reality.
Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart by Lex Bayer,John Figdor Summary
This book shows that atheism need not only be reactionary (against religion and God), but rather provides a clear set of constructive principles to live by that establish atheism as a positive worldview. The book encourages and guides the reader through the process of formulating his or her own set of personal beliefs.