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Is there any other way?

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM
  • 42 Replies

Is there any other way to have a moral, happy society, without finding salvation in a higher power?

I propose that there ARE other ways, many other ways. I would like to share with you some information about different philosophical frameworks that many people use to determine what is right and wrong and what life should be all about.

What is Humanism?

From dictionary.com, 1. An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.

This definition fails to grasp the reasoning behind the philosophy, though. The Humanists of Utah have put together a series of quotes about humanism that I love.

HUMANISM is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. It (sic)  is a rational philosophy based on belief in the dignity of human beings, informed by science and motivated by human hope and human compassion.

"Humanists revere the natural world, knowing of no other place to set good examples, to work, and to show love. We accept responsibility for what we do and what we become, believing that our immortality is found in the examples we set and in the work we do. We rejoice in the diversity around us." --Heather Doral.

The Philosophy of Humanism
by Corliss Lamont

  1. Humanism believes in a naturalistic attitude toward the universe and considers all forms of the supernatural as myth.
  2. Humanism believes humans are an evolutionary product of nature; that the mind is a function of the brain and there is no conscious survival after death.
  3. Humanism believes humans possess the potential power to solve problems through reasoning.
  4. Humanism believes humans possess genuine freedom of choice and action and therefore are masters of their own destiny.
  5. Humanism believes in a morality that holds as its highest goals: happiness, freedom and progress for everyone irrespective of nation, race or religion.
  6. Humanism believes the individual attains the "good life" by continuous self-development, significant work, and activities that contribute to the welfare of the community.
  7. Humanism believes in the development of art, the awareness of beauty, and the appreciation of loveliness so that the aesthetic experience may become reality.
  8. Humanism believes in democracy, peace, and a high standard of living based upon a foundation of a flourishing economic order.
  9. Humanism believes in reason and the scientific method, democratic procedures, parliamentary government, freedom of expression and civil liberties.
  10. Humanism believes in unending questioning of basic assumptions and convictions, including its own. Humanism is a developing philosophy open to experimental testing, newly discovered facts, and rigorous reasoning based upon the belief that humans can build an enduring citadel of peace and beauty upon this earth.

What is Sprititual Naturalism?

Spiritual Naturalism is a broad term used as an umbrella to describe many different spiritual outlooks, all of which have their base in the natural world. Spiritual Naturalism can include Paganism, Taoism, and some Hindus and Buddhists. Some Jews, nontheist Friends, Unitarians, Atheists, Agnostics, and Liberal Christians also adopt aspects of Spiritual Naturalism.

Also called Naturalistic Spirituality, this philosophy is mainly concerned with exploring the feelings of spirituality that have been discussed by people since the dawn of human life, without including elements of the supernatural that contradict science and reason. Naturalists believe that abandoning superstition does not necessarily mean abandoning spirituality. 

Spiritual Naturalists view the human experience as both physical and psychological at the same time, with the activity in our brains as a part of the natural world. Naturalists access 'salvation' by treating oneself and the world around them in a loving and caring way, believing that doing no harm will bring good.

Many Spiritual Naturalists idolize and worship aspects of nature, viewing 'Mother Nature' as our creator and salvation.

“The natural is so awesome that we need not go beyond it.” -Ruth Hermence Green, author.

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." - William Shakespear, author, poet, and playwright.

What is Confucianism?

Confucianism is a philosophy based in legalistic and humanistic traditions. Confucious believed that people are inherently good and that they would want to avoid negative behavior in order to avoid natural consequences such as shame, rejection, losing face, and facing punishment. He promoted internalizing our behaviors so that actions are controlled beforehand.

Confucian ethical teachings are based on these values:


Li: includes ritual, propriety, etiquette, etc.

Hsiao: love within the family: love of parents for their children and of children for their parents

Yi: righteousness

Xin: honesty and trustworthiness

Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others; the highest Confucian virtue

Chung: loyalty to the state, etc.

Confucianism places more value on the family and society than on the individual and viewed this loyalty and obligation as a means to prevent misbehavior. Relationships between family and persons to state are the most important aspect of Confucianism, believing that these obligations are the ties that bind us to morality and ethics.

Confucianism does not deny the existance of God but sees the existence of a higher power as irrelevant to human life, and the worship of which unecessary to a moral society.


"The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large."

"When we see persons of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see persons of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves." - Confucius.

What is Epicureanism?

Epicurus lived in the late 4th and early 3rd centuries B.C.E., and founded his philosophy based on atomistic materialism. Epicureanism dictates that pleasure is the greatest good and the way to obtain pleasure is to live modestly and to come to understand the workings of the natural world as well as understanding one's own desires and the limitations of such.

Friendship, knowledge and living a modest and temperate life are the ways in which an Epicurus attains the greatest pleasure. Epicurus stressed that the gods were neutral towards evil and humans, that they gods are neither willing nor able to intervene.

According to this philosophy, over indulgeance impedes pleasure. Pleasure of the mind is viewed as more important and more satisfying than physical pleasures.  Breaking the law is viewed as an obstruction to pleasure both because of the resulting punishment and because of the shame associated with guilt. Fear blocks pleaure. Justice, according to Epicurus, was a mutual agreement to harm no one and not to be harmed.

"A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs. "

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." 

-Epicurus.



I have decided not to include several religions and philosophies because of the way in which they can easily fit into the umbrellas above. Please feel free to share what you know about any of these philosophies or any other religions you find useful and interesting.

Thanks for reading :)


*ETA* This isn't a conversion post. I'm not trying to shew anyone away from religion. This is just informational, because I see so many people saying that you cannot have morality without religion. I also see many people who have questioned their faith and I just want to offer them a moral, ethical alternative.

Many people do not realize that there are other ways, but there are.

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM
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Replies (1-10):
momcat437
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:15 PM

 Hm...interesting, but I'll stick to the Bible--thanks for sharing, though...

alwayskk
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM

BUMP!

alwayskk
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM


Quoting momcat437:

 Hm...interesting, but I'll stick to the Bible--thanks for sharing, though...

Stick to your bible- but branch out, too! You have nothing to lose by learning.

alwayskk
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

BUMP!

alwayskk
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Did it really only take you two minutes to read the whole thing?

alwayskk
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:25 PM

BUMP!

P.V.Hawkwind
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Thanks kk
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
owl0210
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM

 

Quoting alwayskk:

Did it really only take you two minutes to read the whole thing?

 She must be a fast reader :)

Mommy2ZOEBETH
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:26 PM

My beliefs coinside a lot with the last 8 points you mentioned about humanism, but I believe that everything holds energy and that energy does not simply just dissapear after something or someone dies.That it expells back out into the earth and universe to be used again by something or someone else.

...not entirely reincarnation...I dont think what I believe has a name? It would be really useful to me if it does and someone knows.

Shabbydoll78
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM

 BUMP

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