Re: Humanism in 2006
- From: Gregory Allen-Anderson <barrysremovebeau@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 23:14:44 -0500
Joseph H wrote:
I must have a very literal, even prosaic, mind. Why do we not focus simply on the facts - the facts (a) relating to the extraordinary human exploration and colonisation of the planet and (b) relating to our capacity to be moved by such tales? I reckon there is enough in the human story to inspire the human being and impel him/her to take on board the necessity and the worth of managing our existence intelligently. All throughout our time on the planet we have been inspired by stories owing little enough to literal truth and a lot to form and fantasy. Much of this arose from our lack of knowledge. We lived in the present and created the past and the future. Now that we know the past and can envisage the future can we not apply the same form to the story of what actually happened?
That may be the direction we're heading. I don't think the stories about the past are the issue though. While people like to have a sense of connection to the past to fix their place in the present, pretty much any story will do. The difficulty arises in projecting it out into the future. Humanisms picture of the future at the moment is pretty bleak (total extinction of everything). The fanciful eternity in heaven, or merging with Brahman, or Nirvana seem like worthy end points. One of the reasons though that I think Christianity resonated so when it came on the scene was that the humanists of the day thought the best folks had to look forward to was Hades, a sort of half life. When times are good this life being the only thing there is seems plenty and enough. When times are bad, its pretty hard to keep going through the crapola if you can't see getting past it.
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