What could get humanists to squint differently at postmodernism? Perhaps a gentle, slow, and gradual persuasion back into a conversation? What would be the goal—perhaps to contemplate, even with reluctant awareness, that late 20th century Western European and North American humanism, which we inhabit or claim, is not only synchronous with, but also that this humanism and this postmodernism are mutually informed?
The Old Testament books Genesis and Exodus detail the origins of humanity and the earliest events in ancient Israelite history. 4 out of 10 Americans not only believe the books are 100% factual, but they also consider them to be foundational to their religion.  However, when reviewing the evidence, the claims made by the Bible's ancient authors become highly suspect.
As described in the previous three posts, evolution wired humans to be moral, to form supernatural beliefs, and to sustain those beliefs. Yet, we are not genetically predisposed to believe Jesus is the son of God or Muhammad spoke to the angel Gabriel. In other words, religious traditions are a product of cultural evolution, not biological evolution. As societies went from tribal to modern, and as cultures interacted with one another, supernatural beliefs and religious traditions morphed to better suit the needs of their host civilizations. As time went on, only the most useful religions were left standing.
The Foundation Beyond Belief is featuring the Citizen's Disaster Response Center (CDRC) as its current focus for donations. The CDRC is "a non-government organization that pioneered and continues to promote community-based disaster management in the Philippines. Organized in 1984, CDRC focuses its assistance to the most affected, least served and most vulnerable sectors of the population through preparedness and mitigation, emergency relief, and rehabilitation programs."
Most Humanists believe that ethical and moral values are created by humans to serve human needs and underpin a smoothly functional society. After all, if we cannot appeal to a ‘higher authority’ for these values, they can only arise from our evolutionary experiences (both past and present) and must therefore be based on agreed upon principles so we can live our lives in as a fulfilling and meaningful way as possible. Yet despite these rather apparently simple statements, many Humanists (especially those that steep themselves in philosophy) cannot stop discussing (and arguing) about what the ‘foundations’ of ethics and morals are.
In April of 1708 in a document entitled "Board of Trade to the Governors of the English Colonies", it was concluded that it was "absolutely necessary that a trade [slavery] so beneficial to the kingdom should be carried on to the greatest advantage." Some of the royal families of Europe were investors in the slave trade. John Locke, a philosopher with a few things to say about liberty, owned shares in a slave-trading company, as did Enlightenment figure Voltaire. While legalized slavery has since been banished, slavery and slavery-like conditions persist. And it still has its corporate investors, hereditary backers, and the indifference or dysfunction of government.
Page 1 of 18