Ronald Haines, Author

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Tag: humanism

Humanism Connects the Individual to the World

Humanism embraces the ability of the individual to bring advances to society using reason in the pursuit of knowledge, and as such it may well be referred to as a religion based on reason.

Erich Fromm wrote that the person who accepts their freedom, whom he called the individualized person, may often feel left without the primary ties of belonging. In order to remain authentic, then, it is important to have a solution which Fromm called unity, a sense of oneness between the individual and the “natural and human world outside.”

Humanism provides the individualized person with this unity; the ability to be an active participant in the world without losing their freedom.

Humanism

There are many different types of humanism which range from the traditional religious, including Christian, to the agnostic and atheist, and people often make a distinction between what is called religious humanism and secular humanism. What they all have in common are three core principles, nature, rationality and belonging, which make up what humanism is actually all about.

Nature

First, humanism embraces the natural world and recognizes that humans are part and product of nature itself, tracing a heritage that goes back to when life first appeared on our planet over two billion years ago. Erich Fromm introduced the term biophilia, or love of life, to describe this human orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital.

Rationality

Second, a humanist uses reason and questions everything, both religious and secular, in their search for truth, and they challenge accepted doctrines rather than simply accepting established creed. Consider how much of human progress has been in defiance of religion or of the accepted natural order.

This emphasis on rationality in no way puts humanists in conflict with existentialists, however. On the contrary, intuition, hunches, speculation, and flashes of inspiration, products of the creative mind so prized by existentialists, while not considered to be valid means to acquire knowledge, are embraced by humanists because they are the sources of ideas that will often lead to new ways of looking at the world.  These ideas, when assessed rationally using the scientific method, often lead to alternative approaches for solving problems.

Belonging

Third, humanism provides the individual with a sense of belonging to the world by emphasizing that we are the beneficiaries of the collective knowledge of all of the humans that came before us. Additionally, if we wish to, we have the ability to make our own contribution to this ever lengthening legacy of humankind.  Relishing the adventure of being part of new discoveries, seeking new knowledge, exploring new options, and then sharing what we have learned with others forms the commonality that connects humanists together.  The products of our creativity and rational thinking are what enable us to establish ties with the world at large.

 

…the above is an excerpt from the upcoming book:  How to Deal with Angst & Make Sense of The World with Existential Humanism

Existential Humanism Explained

 

Existential humanism is about enriching an individual’s life by helping to make sense of the world.

Religions provide a sense of belonging, being a part of society as a whole. People often remain with the traditional religion they were raised in, partly so as not to be ostracized from the community they live in.  But there is currently a lot of questioning about traditional religions, the result of us now living in less homogenous societies and being bombarded with new information on an ongoing basis.  And for a growing number people the solutions that traditional religions offer are no longer sufficient for answering their questions about the world as it is today.  This conflict between long held beliefs and current information is resulting in people reaching out for different answers about the world they live in.

In this video I explain how the concept of existential humanism came about and give a short introduction as to what it may accomplish for those who might be seeking a new solution that better fits into the modern world.

By combining components of the philosophy of existentialism and the religion of humanism, existential humanism can provide satisfying answers about life, truth, infinity, and other big questions by providing for a dynamic which is missing from traditional religions.  For many people who have yet to find satisfying answers to their questions of life existential humanism may be the ideal solution: a dynamic religion for those who think and question.

This is not about being critical of any religion, an essential part of this approach is the equal recognition of all religions and the freedom of individuals to follow whatever path they wish.

I conclude this short video with my perspective on life:

Life is wonderful, live it, enjoy it, be a part of it, but don’t diminish it by attempting to give it a reason for existing