Secular Humanist Quotes

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Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The goodness of people depends on the intentions of their brains and not on their religion or ancestry.
Merlin Franco (A Dowryless Wedding)
Secular humanists of every type may ridicule the Bible, but they cannot escape it; and in their obsession with change, calls for reform, doomsday warnings, and utopian visions, they continue to steal from it.
Gene Edward Veith Jr. (Loving God With All Your Mind: How to Survive and Prosper As a Christian in the Secular University and Post-Christian Culture)
In the moment of surrender, I let go of all the theological or social questions which had kept me from Him for countless years. I simply let them go. There was the sense, profound and wordless, that if He knew everything I did not have to know everything, and that, in seeking to know everything, I'd been, all of my life, missing the entire point. No social paradox, no historic disaster, no hideous record of injustice or misery should keep me from Him. No question of Scriptural integrity, no torment over the fate of this or that atheist or gay friend, no worry for those condemned and ostracized by my church or any other church should stand between me and Him….I didn't have to know how He was going to save the unlettered and the unbaptized, or how He would redeem the conscientious heathen who had never spoken His name. I didn't have to know how my gay friends would find their way to Redemption or how my hardworking secular humanist friends could or would receive the power of His Saving Grace. I didn't have to know why good people suffered agony or died in pain. He knew. And it was his knowing that overwhelmed me…
Anne Rice (Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession 7 October)
...The existence or non-existence of an undefined 'god' are quite pointless. [From 'Why I am a Secular Humanist']
Herman Bondi
Bible literacy matters because it protects us from falling into error. Both the false teacher and the secular humanist rely on biblical ignorance for their messages to take root, and the modern church has proven fertile ground for those messages. Because we do not know our Bibles, we crumble at the most basic challenges to our worldview. Disillusionment and apathy eat away at our ranks. Women, in particular, are leaving the church in unprecedented numbers.1
Jen Wilkin (Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds)
It's one thing for my parents to behave all secular humanist and gamble with their own eternal souls; however it's altogether not all right that they also gambled with mine: They placed their bets with such self-rightous bravado, but I'm the one who lost.
Chuck Palahniuk (Damned (Damned, #1))
Environmentalists and secular humanists insist that humans will destroy the planet. Corporate capitalists and many religious fundamentalists have no regard for wildlife and nature. Ultimately, this dualistic battle is based on false premises. In fact, this planet is more powerful than the human species.
Zeena Schreck (Beatdom #11: The Nature Issue)
The German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who had syphilis, said that only a person of deep faith could afford the luxury of religious skepticism. Humanists, by and large educated, comfortably middle-class persons with rewarding lives like mine, find rapture enough in secular knowledge and hope. Most people can't.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Timequake)
Science Class Would you invent some irrational explanation for we lost souls that the glaciers aren’t really melting at all, that they are and will remain just as they always have been? Some rationale that claims the whole climate change scenario is really just a satanic plot, concocted by liberal secular humanists to trick the world into thinking that the glaciers have been melting for twice as long as the Bible says the Earth has been around.
Diogenes of Mayberry (Manifest Insanity, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Think for Myself)
For anyone who understood the essence of modernism based on and originating in the secularizing and humanistic tendencies of the European Renaissance, it was easy to detect the confrontation that was already taking place between traditional and modern elements in the Islamic world.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Islam in the Modern World: Challenged by the West, Threatened by Fundamentalism, Keeping Faith with Tradition)
Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. – Anonymous
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Quotations for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists (Quote Books 4))
Humanity, that's the title we should be most attached to, yet that's the title we are least attached to.
Abhijit Naskar (Hurricane Humans: Give me accountability, I'll give you peace)
Make humanity human again.
Abhijit Naskar (The Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth)
[T]he Black Church's inflexibility on same-sex marriage and homophobia continues to imperil the moral health and social capital of communities of color. It is for this reason that the Black Church has become largely irrelevant as a social justice organizer in the post-Jim Crow era. Consequently, secular humanists of color have an opportunity to enter the breach.
Sikivu Hutchinson in Moral Combat Black Atheists Gender Politics and the Values Wars
Father Alfonso and Father Octavio could make Pepe feel as if he were a betrayer of the Catholic faith—as if he were a raving secular humanist, or worse. (Could there be anyone worse, from a Jesuitical perspective?) Father Alfonso and Father Octavio knew their Catholic dogma by rote; while the two priests talked circles around Brother Pepe, and they made Pepe feel inadequate in his belief, they were irreparably doctrinaire.
John Irving (Avenue of Mysteries)
As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe. . . and I'm here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I've gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it’s obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I've come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi. I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood's end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals--politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual's right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs. My hope for humanity - and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction - is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative “norms” of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia.
Forrest J. Ackerman
That this modern, adversary culture—spanning the century, 1865-1965—was hostile to bourgeois society was obvious enough. That it was also, in a deeper sense, hostile to secular humanism was not so obvious, even to many of those involved in the adversary culture itself. Yet in retrospect it is clear that, with hardly an exception, the leading novelists, poets, and painters—those whom we now call the “moderns” (Eliot, Yeats, Kafka, Proust, Picasso)—could not be enlisted in a secular-humanist canon.
Irving Kristol (Neo-conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea)
Allow me to sum it up this way; if the Church allows this secular humanistic "social gospel" into its hallowed halls, then it is putting its very existence at risk, for it will subject itself to the government. And the Church must be subject to Christ---not the government.
Curtis A. Chamberlain (The Judas Epidemic: Exposing the Betrayal of the Christian Faith in Church and Government)
On the other hand, how many secular humanists and intellectuals renounced their value system the moment they grasped its futility and uselessness? Sobered, disoriented, and disillusioned, some allowed themselves to be seduced by the ideology of cruelty. The number was significant. The
Elie Wiesel (All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs (Memoirs of Elie Wiesel))
Hunting Down the Secular Humanists" "...What makes them so dangerous is that Secular Humanists look just like you and me. Some of them could be your best friends without you knowing that they are Humanists. They could come into your house, play with your children, eat your food and even watch football with you on television, and you'd never know they have read Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, and Huckleberry Finn.... No one is safe until Congress sets up an Anti-Secular Humanism Committee to get at the rot. Witnesses have to be called, and they have to name names.
Art Buchwald
The humanitarian philosophies that have been developed (sometimes under some religious banner and invariably in the face of religious opposition) are human inventions, as the name implies - and our species deserves the credit. I am a devout atheist - nothing else makes any sense to me and I must admit to being bewildered by those, who in the face of what appears so obvious, still believe in a mystical creator. However I can see that the promise of infinite immortality is a more palatable proposition than the absolute certainty of finite mortality which those of us who are subject to free thought (as opposed to free will) have to look forward to and many may not have the strength of character to accept it. Thus I am a supporter of Amnesty International, a humanist and an atheist. I believe in a secular, democratic society in which women and men have total equality, and individuals can pursue their lives as they wish, free of constraints - religious or otherwise. I feel that the difficult ethical and social problems which invariably arise must be solved, as best they can, by discussion and am opposed to the crude simplistic application of dogmatic rules invented in past millennia and ascribed to a plethora of mystical creators - or the latest invention; a single creator masquerading under a plethora of pseudonyms. Organisations which seek political influence by co-ordinated effort disturb me and thus I believe religious and related pressure groups which operate in this way are acting antidemocratically and should play no part in politics. I also have problems with those who preach racist and related ideologies which seem almost indistinguishable from nationalism, patriotism and religious conviction.
Harry W. Kroto
This is not a book about God; nor about intelligent design; nor about creationism. Neither of us is into any of those. We thought we’d best make that clear from the outset, because our main contention in what follows will be that there is something wrong–quite possibly fatally wrong–with the theory of natural selection; and we are aware that, even among those who are not quite sure what it is, allegiance to Darwinism has become a litmus for deciding who does, and who does not, hold a ‘properly scientific’ world view. ‘You must choose between faith in God and faith in Darwin; and if you want to be a secular humanist, you’d better choose the latter’. So we’re told.
Jerry A. Fodor (What Darwin Got Wrong)
salvation is open to all. The humanist belief in progress is only a secular ver­ sion of this Christian faith.
Some Buddhists have criticized secular Buddhism because they think it waters down Buddhism. I like to think of it as adding Buddhist flavoring to the sparkling water of secularism.
Rick Heller (Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy - A Guide from the Humanist Community at Harvard)
Humans without borders, that's what the world needs - beings of conscience and courage, with no rigidity of religion, gender, nationality, or any other.
Abhijit Naskar (Ain't Enough to Look Human)
Be a human being and you'd automatically be religious, but if you try to be a scripture-worm then you'd be neither religious, nor human – you’d be a biological bag of trash.
Abhijit Naskar (Lord is My Sheep: Gospel of Human)
The universal reason is love, The universal faith is love. All else is but a faint echo, Driving us away from love.
Abhijit Naskar (Yarasistan: My Wounds, My Crown)
Most of the modern human society has nearly lost the faculty of observing the internal mechanism.
Abhijit Naskar
Humans will be the hope to the humans – humans will be the help to the humans. That is the world I dream of and that is the world I work to build.
Abhijit Naskar (Conscience over Nonsense)
Humans are the only helpline that humanity has got.
Abhijit Naskar (Saint of The Sapiens)
Intellect don't impress me much, Devoutness of doctrine repulses me. Have you ever made a stranger smile, Ever left your seat to the elderly!
Abhijit Naskar (Dervis Vadisi: 100 Promissory Sonnets)
If you can't find God in people, your God is dead. If you can't find holiness in people, your holiness is fake.
Abhijit Naskar (Dervis Vadisi: 100 Promissory Sonnets)
If you can't find God in people, your God is dead.
Abhijit Naskar (Dervis Vadisi: 100 Promissory Sonnets)
Our sin is our resistance to going along with God's initiative in making suffering reparative. We are deeply drawn towards God, but we also sense how following him will dislocate and transform beyond recognition the forms which have made life tolerable for us. We often react with fear, dismay, hostility. We are at war with ourselves, and responding differently to this inner conflict, we end up at war with each other. So it is undoubtedly true that the result of sin is much suffering. But this is by no means distributed according to desert. Many who are relatively innocent are swept up in this suffering, and some of the worse offenders get off lightly. The proper response to all this is not retrospective book-keeping, but making ourselves capable of responding to God's initiative. But now if that's what sin is, then one can sympathize with a lot of the modern critique of a religion which focuses on the evil tendencies of human nature, and the need for renunciation and sacrifice. This is not because humans are in fact angelic, or there is no point to sacrifice. It's just that focusing on how bad human beings can be, even if it's to refute the often over-rosy views of secular humanists with their reliance on human malleability and therapy, can only strengthen misanthropy, which certainly won’t bring you closer to God; and propounding sacrifice and renunciation for themselves takes you away from the main points, which is following God's initiative. That this can involve sacrifice, we well know from the charter act in this initiative, but renunciation is not is point.
Charles Taylor (A Secular Age)
You are modern humans of the civilized world. And modern humans rise beyond all laws and superstitions of the society. They help their fellow beings to rise from the ashes of ignorance, illusion and fear.
Abhijit Naskar (In Search of Divinity: Journey to The Kingdom of Conscience (Neurotheology Series))
Interestingly enough, every time I corner a fanatic with scientific facts which they cannot argue or disprove, they either dismiss me as 'anti-God' and a 'secular humanist' or they start spouting reams of misapplied and irrelevant 'scripture' at me, like good little sheeple and like that will in any way, shape or form prove anything... Which just proves to me that common sense and actual reason doesn't come into it. Only hatred.
Christina Engela (Demonspawn)
I had a left-wing, humanitarian, secular humanist, liberal inclination on the one hand, which implied positions on myriad issues. On the other I had prejudices and angers and hatreds toward various classes of people. None of which included skin colour or ethnicity or religion. Well—religion, yes. I used to get angry at blue-collar right-wingers, but that passed, because I saw that in the end, they were just a different sort of victim.
George Carlin (Last Words)
Interestingly enough, every time I corner a homophobic religious fanatic bigot with scientific facts which they cannot argue or disprove, they either dismiss me as ‘anti-God’ and a ‘secular humanist’ or they start spouting reams of misapplied and irrelevant ‘scripture’ at me, like that will in any way, shape or form prove anything… Which just proves to me that common sense and actual reason doesn't come into it. Only very blind hatred.
Christina Engela (Pearls Before Swine)
No matter how many churches are closed or how humanistic a leader or a movement may claim to be, there will never be anything wholly secular about human fear. Man's terror is always "holy terror"-which is a strikingly apt popular phrase. Terror always refers to the ultimates of life and death.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
The attempt made in recent decades by secularist thinkers to disengage the moral principles of western civilization from their scripturally based religious context, in the assurance that they could live a life of their own as "humanistic" ethics, has resulted in our "cut flower culture." Cut flowers retain their original beauty and fragrance, but only so long as they retain the vitality that they have drawn from their now-severed roots; after that is exhausted, they wither and die. So with freedom, brotherhood, justice, and personal dignity — the values that form the moral foundation of our civilization. Without the life-giving power of the faith out of which they have sprung, they possess neither meaning nor vitality.
Will Herberg (Judaism And Modern Man - An Interpretation Of Jewish Religion)
what does it look like to bear witness in a secular age? What does it look like to be faithful? To what extent have Christians unwittingly absorbed the tendencies of this world? On the one hand, this raises the question of how to reach exclusive humanists. On the other hand, the question bounces back on the church: To what extent do we “believe” like exclusive humanists?
James K.A. Smith (How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor)
Man may not be the colossus some secular spirits would have him be, armed with the strength and wisdom of the gods, but he has partaken of ambrosia. He has squinted trough the veil and seen just enough of divinity to measure himself by it. The Humanist knows both the strengths and the frailties of man. He strives. But he knows the bounds of his striving....... Visions and ideals need a path, a way, a roadmap people can use as to arrive at those better, more permanent things that the wise are always seeing dimly whenever they strained their eyes. So man turned a mirror on himself, looked soberly, and-one day-began to write accounts of the discoveries made on the grandest odyssey of them all: the journey to the core of the human mind and soul. The grateful among us read them.
Tracy Lee Simmons
I decided (after listening to a "talk radio" commentator who abused, vilified, and scorned every noble cause to which I had devoted my entire life) that I was both a humanist and a liberal, each of the most dangerous and vilified type. I am a humanist because I think humanity can, with constant moral guidance, create a reasonably decent society. I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril. I do not believe that pure reason can solve the perpetual problems unless it is modified by poetry and art and social vision. So I am a humanist. And if you want to charge me with being the most virulent kind—a secular humanist—I accept the accusation. [Interview, Parade magazine, 24 November 1991]
James A. Michener
When she mysteriously disappeared along with her son and granddaughter in August 1995, some assumed they had fled the country with the organisation's money amidst speculations of tax fraud. The gruesome truth of their disappearance would come to light several years later as it was discovered Madalyn, her son Jon Garth and granddaugher Robin had been kidnapped, extorted, murdered and dismembered by a former American Atheist employee.
Sylvia Broeckx (Evil Little Things: A Study of the Women Who Shaped Secular Humanist and Atheist Activism in post World War II America)
The real gnostic does not attribute any "state" to himself, for he is without ambition and without ostentation; he has a tendency rather--through an "instinct for holding back"--to disguise his nature inasmuch as he has, in any case, awareness of "cosmic play" (lila) and it is hard for him to take secular and worldly persons seriously, that is to say, "horizontal" beings who are full of self-confidence and who remain, "humanists" that they are, below the vocation of man
Frithjof Schuon
In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche described Christianity as ‘Platonism for the masses’ – an accusation that applies with equal or greater force to secular humanism. The faith that history has a built-in logic impelling humanity to a higher level is Platonism framed in historical terms. Marxists have thought of human development as being driven by new technologies and class conflict, whereas liberals have seen the growth of knowledge as the principal driver. No doubt these forces help shape the flow of events. But unless you posit a divinely ordained end-state there is no reason to think history has any overarching logic or goal. For Plato and Plotinus, history was a nightmare from which the individual mind struggled to awake. Following Paul and Augustine, the Christian Erigena made history the emerging embodiment of Logos. With their unending chatter about progress, secular humanists project this mystical dream into the chaos of the human world.
John Nicholas Gray
Broadly speaking, there are two divergent strains of American secular thought. One can be traced to the radical humanism of Tom Paine, who saw the separation of church and state not only as the guarantor of personal freedom of conscience but also as the foundation of a world in which inherited status and wealth would be replaced by merit and intellect as the dominant forces in the lives of individuals. Recognition of a common humanity, not tooth-and-claw competition, would create social progress. The other distinct current of American secularism begins with the social Darwinists of the nineteenth century and continues through the “objectivism” and exaltation of the Übermensch preached by the twentieth-century atheist and unregulated market idolator Ayn Rand. These diverging currents can also be found within the “new atheist” movement today, in which people often make a point of labeling themselves as either secular humanists, who are usually liberals, or skeptics, who are generally libertarian conservatives.
Susan Jacoby (The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought)
Self-compassion practice can be fruitfully compared to the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is a highly respected form of treatment, with a considerable amount of evidence that it is effective for many individuals. An important aspect of the therapy, as described in the popular book Feeling Good by the psychiatrist David Burns, is challenging irrational thoughts. For instance, if you make an overly broad generalization, like “I’m such a loser,” you might dispute it by trying to recall situations where you demonstrated poise and accomplishment.
Rick Heller (Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy - A Guide from the Humanist Community at Harvard)
Where the individual feels free and responsible for his own fate, or among minorities striving for freedom and independence, humanistic religious experience develops. The history of religion gives ample evidence of this correlation between social structure and kinds of religious experience. Early Christianity was a religion of the poor and downtrodden; the history of religious sects fighting against authoritarian political pressure shows the same principle again and again. Whenever, on the other hand, religion allied itself with secular power, the religion had by necessity become authoritarian. The real fall of man is his alienation from himself, his submission to power, his turning against himself even though under the guise of his worship of God. Indeed, man is dependent; he remains subject to death, old age, illness, and even if he were to control nature and to make it wholly serviceable to him, he and his earth remain tiny specks in the universe. But it is one thing to recognize one's dependence and limitations, and it is something entirely different to indulge in this dependence, to worship the forces on which one depends. To understand realistically and soberly how limited our power is is an essential part of wisdom and of maturity.
Erich Fromm (Psychoanalysis and Religion)
Letter from God (An Autobiographical Sonnet) Some people chant Bismillah, Some people chant Bhagvan. Some people call me Lord God, I'm actually very much human. Seek me in church and temple, I shall elude you for time eternal. All churches are without God, But God cannot be without human. Above all hagiographies, human is real, There's nothing more divine than human. Godliness unfolds only through humanness, Only sin in the world is the sin of division. Secularism is not a rejection of religion, secularism is inoculation against fundamentalism. Religion is not the search for a mythical deity, but the realization of oneness within every human.
Abhijit Naskar (Dervis Vadisi: 100 Promissory Sonnets)
Few experiences rival a serious climb for bringing us into close contact with our own limitations. Part engineering project, part chess game, part ultramarathon, mountaineering demands of us in a way that other endeavors do not. After my trip to Cholatse, I came to think of high-altitude climbing not so much as a sport but as a kind of art or even, in its purest form, rugged spirituality—a modern version of secular asceticism that purifies the soul by stripping away worldly comfort and convenience while forcing you to stare across the threshold of mortality. It is our effort to toil through these hazardous and inhospitable landscapes that culminates with such potent effect, what humanistic psychologists have described as the attainment of self-actualization, a pinnacle of personal expression that dissolves the constraints of our ordinary lives and allows us, even if fleetingly, to “become what we are capable of becoming.” This transformative power is, in a way, why summits have taken on so much symbolic importance for those who pursue them. As the reigning mythology suggests, the higher the peak—Rainier, Cholatse, Everest—the more it fires the imagination.
Nick Heil (Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season)
All those statistics - the ones about decline - point toward massive theological discontent. People still believe in God. They just do not believe in the God proclaimed and worshipped by conventional religious organizations. Some of the discontented - and there are many of them - do not know what to call themselves. So they check the “unaffiliated” box on religion surveys. They have become secular humanists, agnostics, posttheists, and atheists and have rejected the conventional God. Others say they are spiritual but not religious. They still believe in God but have abandoned conventional forms of congregating. Still others declare themselves “done” with religion. They slink away from religious communities, traditions that once gave them life, and go hiking on Sunday morning. Some still go to church, but are hanging on for dear life, hoping against hope that something in their churches will change. They pray prayers about heaven that no longer make sense and sing hymns about an eternal life they do not believe in. They want to be in the world, because they know they are made of the same stuff as the world and that the world is what really matters, but some nonsense someone taught them once about the world being bad or warning of hell still echoes in their heads. They are afraid to say what they really think or feel for fear that no one will listen or care or even understand. They think they might be crazy. All these people are turning toward the world because they intuit that is where they will find meaning and awe, that which those who are still theists call God. They are not crazy. They are part of this spiritual revolution - people discovering God in the world and a world that is holy, a reality that enfolds what we used to call heaven and earth into one. These people are not secular, even though their main concern is the world; they are not particularly religious (in the old-fashioned understanding of the term), even though they are deeply aware of God. They are fashioning a way of faith between conventional theism and any kind of secularism devoid of the divine. In our time, people are turning toward the numinous presence that animates the world, what theologian Rudolf Otto called “the Holy.” They are those who are discovering a deeply worldly faith. Decades ago Catholic theologian Karl Rahner made a prediction about devout people of the future. He said they would either be “mystics,” those who have “experienced something ,” or “cease to be anything at all”; and if they are mystical believers, they will be those whose faith “is profoundly present and committed to the world.” The future of faith would be an earthy spirituality , a brilliant awareness of the spirit that vivifies the world.
Diana Butler Bass (Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution)
level. For someone who has been a lifelong atheist, agnostic or secular humanist, most of these won’t cause any anxiety at all. You’ve learned to live with them years ago. However, for those who have recently lost their faith, the Horrors could be highly disconcerting. Once the concepts are established, data is presented to support the position and additional reading is recommended when available. The ultimate goal is to provide solutions and solace to those who have lost their faith. Often, all that reason and logic gets in the way of us enjoying life. While I speak tongue-in-cheek, most would agree that the faithful have a blissful simplicity about their lives as they combine irrationality and rationality in a strange unconscious brew to cope with the 12 Unthinkable Horrors. Take
I.M. Probulos (The 12 Unthinkable Horrors of Human Existence: A Manual for Atheists, Agnostics and Secular Humanists)
How long will you be staying?" asked the desk clerk, a middle-aged man with sea-green hair growing out of both ears and all three nostrils. "Two, three days." "Want a woman?" "No, thank you." "A man?" "We're here for the Moral Majority convention," Timmy said, "so watch your tongue, mister." "I can get you a nice religious boy who likes to be hit with a palm frond." I said, "What about a pair of secular humanist twins who'll recite Rousseau in our ears while they bang it at home? Can you get us that?" "I'd have to make some calls.
Richard Stevenson (Ice Blues (Donald Strachey, #3))
A creationist can be brilliant on economics and foreign affairs, while a secular humanist atheist can be an addlepated nimrod on the same subjects.
So she and Jim decided to check out the single small atheist group in Sandy Cliffs that met once a month in a back room of a public library. But it just wasn’t what Jim and June were looking for. As Jim explained, “The vibe was too negative. It was a lot of criticizing religion, and that’s not what we we’re about. There was a lot of ‘rage against the nativity scene’ stuff—there is a nativity scene in front of city hall, and they were against that. Or it was ‘rage against the bumper sticker’—someone had seen a religious bumper sticker on a city vehicle and they wanted it removed. You know, that sort of thing. And that’s just not what we were looking for. We wanted something positive. And it was also a lot of talking. But where was the doing? We wanted to be out doing things, being motivated by our humanist values. And we didn’t want to be in a group that was solely defined by its opposition to something. That feels too negative. We wanted to be for something, to be our own thing, and to find opportunities to be doing good.
Phil Zuckerman (Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions)
secular humanists live in a state of cognitive dissonance. They want to affirm purpose, value and morality as objectively real, but they are confounded by the logic of their view that tells them they are merely convenient fictions.
Abdu H Murray (Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews)
The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer. This may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization. ― Robert Anton Wilson Some
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Quotations for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists (Quote Books 4))
Presidents also voiced their opinions on the matter; President Ulysses S. Grant insisted that the matter of religion should be left 'to the family altar, the church, and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and State forever separate.'[16] Forty years later President Theodore Roosevelt concurred, 'I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State ... and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.'[17]
Sylvia Broeckx (Evil Little Things: A Study of the Women Who Shaped Secular Humanist and Atheist Activism in post World War II America)
Unlike Vashti McCollum and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Anne Nicol Gaylor and Annie Laurie Gaylor did not have a specific separationist dispute to compel them into secular humanist and atheist activism. As their activism was born out of women's rights advocacy and they identified religion as a perpetual stumbling block, their work exemplifies the convergence between the feminist movement and the atheist movement. They identified a gap in the market, and, learning from the mistakes from Madalyn Murry O'Hair, built a foundation which has grown into the largest organisation of its kind with over 20,000 members.
Sylvia Broeckx (Evil Little Things: A Study of the Women Who Shaped Secular Humanist and Atheist Activism in post World War II America)
While one could argue that those who engage in risky behavior are aware of the risks, perhaps we could all learn a lesson from this Horror. My goal is to strip away the “rose-colored glasses,” the euphemisms and the positive “self-talk” we use to avoid reality. Optimism Bias is real and there is a very interesting TED talk (ideas worth spreading) by Tali Sharot on this topic. Overestimating our ability or good luck is a fascinating concept and relates to all the Unthinkable Horrors as well as to Addictive Behaviors. Sometimes a little skepticism is a good thing.
I.M. Probulos (The 12 Unthinkable Horrors of Human Existence: A Manual for Atheists, Agnostics and Secular Humanists)
The universe does not have a sense of humor. While we love the thought of an all-powerful deity watching over us and protecting us like a loving parent, in actuality, like God, the universe is indifferent to our needs and wants. That is both an unsettling thought and a sobering one. The next Horror contradicts everything we have ever been told about ourselves since we were young.
I.M. Probulos (The 12 Unthinkable Horrors of Human Existence: A Manual for Atheists, Agnostics and Secular Humanists)
We've casually accepted the secular doctrine that America is a shining city on a hill, populated by a tenaciously self-reliant and practical people. We have Christianized humanistic values - myths of utopia, self-reliance, and pragmatism - and have compromised the message and ministry of the church,
Michael Babcock (Unchristian America: Living With Faith in a Nation That Was Never Under God)
When the gospel has been eclipsed (whether by repression, false religion secularism, humanistic philosophy, or spiritual decay within the church), the status of women has declined accordingly.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Twelve Extraordinary Women : How God Shaped Women of the Bible and What He Wants to Do With You)
Christian consciousness experiences itself in a curious sense as LIBERATED TO FAIL, without intolerable damage to self-esteem and without any reduction of moral seriousness. We are free to be inadequate, free to foul things up, and yet affirm ourselves in a more basic sense than the secular moralist or humanistic idealist (who can affirm themselves only on the basis of merits and accomplishments. We are free to choose and deny finite values, free to take constructive guilt upon us and to see it as an inevitable and providentially given aspect of our fallen human condition. All that we have said leads us to the pinnacle of this good news: In Jesus Christ we need no longer be guilty before God. It is only before our clay-footed gods that we stand guilty!
Thomas C. Oden (Guilt free)
not saying there weren’t Christians in our founding government, I’m just saying our Constitution is a secular, humanistic document which calls upon ‘We the people,’ not God, as the guarantor of our ‘Order, Union, Justice, Tranquility, and Welfare.
William Struse (The 13th Symbol: Rise of the Enlightened One (The Thirteenth, #3))
In the decades following the adoption of the Constitution, the States disestablished their churches and despite fears from conservatives, church membership flourished. Alexis de Tocqueville credits this increase in religiosity to the successful implementation of the 'complete separation of church and state' and to this day, the United States remains one of the most religious countries in the world.[12]
Sylvia Broeckx (Evil Little Things: A Study of the Women Who Shaped Secular Humanist and Atheist Activism in post World War II America)
For much of the first 100 years of the public school system, religious conflicts centred on intense anti-Catholic sentiments with tensions occasionally reaching violent levels. The Philadelphia Bible riots in 1844 ignited over the use of anti-Catholic books in public schools and the requirement that children read from the Protestant King James version of the Bible rather than the Catholic Douay version. Protestants, fearing that Catholics wanted to remove their Bible from schools and convert their children to Catholicism, rallied in the streets and violently rioted in Catholic neighbourhoods. The devastation resulted in the death of eighteen people and destroyed fifty homes, a church, and a convent.
Sylvia Broeckx (Evil Little Things: A Study of the Women Who Shaped Secular Humanist and Atheist Activism in post World War II America)
Part Two: A Manual For Atheists, Agnostics and Secular humanists The Next Day When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life. — Sigmund Freud If you wake up this morning with the realization that there is no heaven or hell, God is not listening to your prayers, life is mere chance, religion is all made-up and that a single mistake can ruin your life, well, you have an existential problem. Why bother? Why venture out into a world where, at any moment, your best-laid plans can be thwarted by a drunk driver, one second of inattention, a lighting strike, or a suicide bomber?
I.M. Probulos (The 12 Unthinkable Horrors of Human Existence: A Manual for Atheists, Agnostics and Secular Humanists)
In one case where William was attacked, the perpetrators were brought to court and admitted their guilt, yet the judge dismissed the case. As the culprits came from 'good Christian homes' and attended church, the judge concluded they were 'just misguided youths' and could not be found guilty, despite every one of them having experienced disciplinary action or been in trouble with the law before.
Sylvia Broeckx (Evil Little Things: A Study of the Women Who Shaped Secular Humanist and Atheist Activism in post World War II America)
The most important of these are racial equality, respect for varied ethnic groups, women’s rights, and many disputes that would today fall within the realm of civil liberties. From a secular humanist perspective, Ingersoll was on the right side of nearly all of these issues. From the perspective of the social Darwinist-Randian secularists, Ingersoll was often on the wrong side—as he would be on the wrong side of Rand’s devotees today.
Susan Jacoby (The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought)
There is no place for hate in a civilized world.
Abhijit Naskar
Both the false teacher and the secular humanist rely on biblical ignorance for their message to take root, and the modern church has proven fertile ground for those messages. Because we do not know our bibles, we crumble at the most basic challenges to our worldview.
Jen Wilkin (Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds)
Beneath a common banner of classically liberal ideals, countless tastes and traditions may mingle and mutate into ever new and exciting flavors. Thus would be born a homeland where the Sufi dances with the Breslover round the neon jungle of Times Square, where the Baptist of Alabama nods along to the merry melodies of Klezmer, where the secular humanist combs the Christian gospels and poems of Rumi for their many pearls of wisdom, where the Guatemalan college student learns to read Marx and Luxemburg in their original German, where the Russian refugee freely markets her own art painted in the style of Van Gogh and Monet, where the Italian chef tosses up a Lambi stew for his Haitian wife’s birthday while the operas of Verdi and Puccini play on his radio, where two brothers in exile share the wine of the Galilee and Golan while listening to the oud music of Nablus and Nazareth, where the Buddhist and the stoner hike through redwood trails and swap thoughts of life and death beneath a star-spangled sky. In this America, only the polyglot sets the lingua franca, the bully pulpit yields to the poets café, decent discourse finds favor over any cocksure shouting match, no library is so uniform as to betray to a tee its owner’s beliefs, no citizen is so selfish as to live for only themself nor so weak of will as to live only for others, and such a land—as yet a dream deferred, but still a dream we may seize—such a land would truly be worthy of you and me.
Shmuel Pernicone (Why We Resist: Letter From a Young Patriot in the Age of Trump)
No constitution in the world is worth more than human life.
Abhijit Naskar (Time to End Democracy: The Meritocratic Manifesto)
I am human by birth, human by heart and human by action, I don’t need any other shallow identity.
Abhijit Naskar (Hurricane Humans: Give me accountability, I'll give you peace)
Science is not more important than people - philosophy is not more important than people - religion is not more important than people - people first, then everything else.
Abhijit Naskar
Armageddon/Revelation: Evangelicals look forward to the destruction of the Earth and the return of Jesus Christ. To those who favor science, and want to live, this belief is immoral and dangerous to humanity and the entire planet.
I.M. Probulos (101 Reasons for Non-Belief: For Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists (Book of Lists 1))
I am human and I love humans.
Abhijit Naskar (Servitude is Sanctitude)
Eve and Original Sin: How could Eve understand the concept of good and evil or death or the consequences of her actions in the Garden of Eden if she was a perfect, naïve, innocent being on this earth for just one day? What reference did she have for the knowledge of good and Evil when she had no reference for death, evil, suffering, pain, want, hope or fear? Her only sin was that the snake was more persuasive than God? Then, what does that say about God? And what does that say about His creation that he loved so dearly? Maybe the design was incorrect, considering Eve’s decision would require that God redesign virtually every aspect of all life on earth. This relates to Original Sin, Free Will and the Fall of Man, evil and suffering in the world. Without the concept of Eve’s existence none of this is necessary.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
The natural world provides no more evidence for the existence of a specific God (your God) than it does for the thousands of gods imagined throughout history. Technically, we are all atheists, since we deny thousands of other gods and religions.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
Most all religions prey on the gullible and the needy–especially when they need money- and on the poor the sick, the lonely, the unlucky and the uneducated. Using mind control and a “blame the victim” mentality, it is insinuated that their victim’s misfortune is that they are not in God's favor and they simply need to believe and give more. This is downright sinister!
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
Religion gives you license to kill, not someone close to you or out of anger, but millions of people who are different from you. It allows the killing of “other tribes”, non-whites, American Indians, Muslims, Christians (another Christian faith), heretics, Communists, and “Evil Doers.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
An anti-evolution stance belittles science, logic, human reason, the scientific method and could be a factor in youth not believing in or respecting science, skepticism, reason and rationality. Many countries have already passed the United States in science and technology and eventually will in GDP.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
The Bible and The Koran are so confusing and vague that thousands interpret them in many different ways, for both good and bad purposes. Does this sound the work of an omniscient, all-powerful, all good deity? How can any rational human being determine the truth when there are so many versions of it?
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
All religion is based primarily on fear. God and Jesus, for Christians, assert love me or suffer eternal damnation. I created humankind; therefore I can take you out any time I want. This type of mentality escapes me completely. I don't feel the love.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.–Deuteronomy 23:2 (sins of the fathers)
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
Ontogeny is a branch of embryology that studies how very dissimilar organisms look similar in the developmental stages (e.g., fish, frogs and people).
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
The female is nature’s default setting (embryology). All fetuses are female at the start but at about eight-weeks, a sudden surge of male hormones comes from the brain that kills all of the female attributes.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
Deism is a belief that focuses on nature, science and the world as it is.
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
Jephthah sacrificed his daughter because God helped him win a battle. (And God did not stop him.)–Judges chapter 11
I.M. Probulos (The Big Book of Lists for Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists)
By then, the coupling of atheism with Communism had become a staple in the rhetoric of anti-Communist crusaders throughout the nation. Intellectuals as a group were highly vulnerable on this score because many were, if not unabashed atheists, secular humanists with little regard for traditional religion. If
Susan Jacoby (The Age of American Unreason)
Taxonomically, my family is Freethinker (including atheists, skeptics, agnostics); my genus is Humanist (including the religion-based), and my species is Secular.
J.B. Rafferty
The attacks by this movement on the rights and beliefs of Muslims, Jews, immigrants, gays, lesbians, women, scholars, scientists, those they dismiss as "nominal Christians," and those they brand with the curse of "secular humanist," are an attack on all of us, on our values, our freedoms and ultimately our democracy. Tolerance is a virtue, but tolerance coupled with passivity is a vice.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America)
let’s talk about the money your government takes from your paycheck through taxation to fund the very programs you find outrageous. Now your tax dollars fund the reformation of your children’s minds to embrace the ungodly principles of homosexuality, transsexuality, abortion on demand, and the rewriting of textbooks to remove exposure to historical information involving our Christian culture and beliefs. Your tax dollars will pay for litigation against your Christian beliefs and Constitutional rights. Your money, taken from your paycheck, will enable the promotion of the secular humanists’ agenda as the religion of our land. In
Paul Wilbur (A King is Coming)
The new polarization is a split between different kinds of belief, not between different beliefs. It divides those who believe from those who have beliefs. It pits fundamentalists—who may be fundamentalists of religion, science, ideology, or cultural tradition—against an opposition called relativists here, secular humanists there, religious liberals somewhere else.
Walter Truett Anderson (Reality Isn't What It Used to Be: Theatrical Politics, Ready-to-Wear Religion, Global Myths, Primitive Chic, and Other Wonders of the Postmodern World)
If we are to make the ordinary man aware of the spiritual uity out of which asll the separate activities of our civilization have arisen, it is necessary in the first place to look at Western civilization as a whole and to treat it wit the same objective appreciation and respect which the humanists of the past devoted to the civilization of antiquity. This does not seem much to ask; yet there have always been a number of reasons which stood in the way of its fulfillment. In the first place, there has been the influence of modern nationalism, which has led every European people to insist on what distinguished it from the rest, instead of what united it with them. It is not necessary to seek for examples in the extremism of German racial nationalists and their crazy theories, proving that everything good in the world comes from men with Germanic blood. Leaving all these extravagances out of account, we still have the basic fact that modern education in general teaches men the history of their country and the literature of their own tongue, as though these were complete wholes and not part of a greater unity. In the second place, there has been the separation between religion and culture, which arose partly from the bitterness of the internal divisions of Christendom and partly from a fear lest the transcendent divine values of Christianity should be endangered by any identification or association of them with the relative human values of culture. Both these factors have been at work, long before our civilization was actually secularized. They had their origins in the Reformation period, and it was Martin Luther in particular who stated the theological dualism of faith and works in such a drastic form as to leave no room for any positive conception of a Christian culture, such as had hitherto been taken for granted. And in the third place, the vast expansion of Western civilization in modern times has led to a loss of any standard of comparison or any recognition of its limits in time and space. Western civilization has ceased to be one civilization amongst others: it became civilization in the absolute sense. It is the disappearance or decline of this naive absolutism and the reappearance of a sense of the relative and limited character of Western civilization as a particular historic culture, which are the characteristic features of the present epoch.
Christopher Henry Dawson (Understanding Europe (Works of Christopher Dawson))