Secular humanism - Wikipedia
Dating. US Edition. UK Edition · US Edition. Please wait. Log in using your social Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress .. of writers, satirist and free thinkers joined him in denouncing dogmatism. The accomplished theologian Ibn al-Rawandi mocked religious scholars. Free Thought In The Theology Of Germany. From . dogmatism of any earthly authority; but Protestantism reposes implicitly on what it UNBELIEF IN ENGLAND, from to a date a little later than the end of the century (pp. Freedom of thinking has in fact become complete hereby, freedom of mind Criticism, and criticism alone, is 'up to date'. I am no dogmatist, and do not feel myself touched by the critic's tooth with which and theological attitude, is extant.
EG 44 He quotes St. Such talk led a few cardinals in the church to speak of an impending schism. He finds this happening with those who observe "certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism" EG It is what the Lord reprimanded the Pharisees for: The pope has changed Canon in two important ways. The weight of responsibility now falls much more on the shoulders of the various episcopal conferences.
And he had distanced himself from the previous popes who gave broad permission for reversion to the Mass in Latin. One cannot cover up injustice, dishonesty, and uncharitableness against one's neighbor with prayers and devotions. Indeed, to attempt holiness without them would be, well, to flirt with neo- Pelagianism ". In this atmosphere a Catholic's devotional life can fall into sentimentality, bringing personal comfort without encounter with others or an evangelizing spirit EG It enable people to witness to their belief and to feel a part of the Church.
Bringing one's children or inviting others is an evangelizing gesture EG We are created children in the likeness of God And he points to the Beatitudes as showing what gives deep happiness, what Catholics should strive to live up to every day: Pope Francis with the U. Francis has "put the poor, the problems of inequality and structural injustice, at the heart of the church's mission, and therefore at the heart of Christian spirituality and living".
He finds this essential to solving any of the world's problems EG His long-range view is consistent with church tradition and with recent pontiffs : Here we see a first principle for progress in building a people: Francis took the occasion of his address to the US congress in to acknowledge the benefits of capitalism and to clarify that he is not advocating Marxism.
ClarkeAnglican Primate of All Ireland, has said that while Francis' "insistence that the poor of the world are Christ's deepest concern" may not be new, his "simplicity of lifestyle He believes that "poverty for us Christians is His leadership reflects his conviction that "good leadership looks like Jesus in action" and as he says: Without this all the religious practices and talk of social issues will be just a camouflage EG He expects some to be offended by his words but would help "those who are in thrall to an individualistic, indifferent, and self-centred mentality, to Francis has been in the forefront of insisting on the importance of helping refugees.
Our challenge is not so much atheism as Unless these people find in the Church a spirituality EG He suggests that Jesus can be found in others' faces, voices, and pleas that constantly call us to live in fraternity EG He calls on lay ministers in the Catholic church to go beyond serving their own communities and show genuine commitment to transform every aspect of life in society with values according to Jesus EG Only in this way do they respond to the evangelical mandate that God's love potentially holds for them, if they do not refuse help to all those in need 1 Jn 3: While returning to arguments for this larger audience in chapters three through five, in chapters two and six he addresses largely believers, pointing out that "the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures" Among his references are: Francis observes that developed countries exploit the non-renewable resources of poor countries and are lax in assisting them to sustainable development,  though these poor areas are least able to adopt new models that reduce environmental impact Laudato si', This returns to the topic of the option for the poor above: Catholics should discern the impact on the poor and on integral human development before launching any project Laudato si', Francis argues for the common destination of the earth's goods, preserving these for the good of all Laudato si', For this Christians must move away from consumerism to a more Christian concept of quality of life, where they can be "grateful for the opportunities which life affords us He mentions God's mercy 32 times in Evangelii gaudium and says: Francis declared a yearlong celebration of God's mercy, and describes mercy as fundamental to the pastoral sense which he enjoins on all those who would exercise ministry in the Church see above.
EG 43  He warned against "codification of the faith in rules and regulations, as the scribes, the Pharisees, the doctors of the law did in the time of Jesus. To us, everything will be clear and set in order, but the faithful and those in search will still hunger and thirst for God".
He went on to describe the Church as a field hospital where people should come to know God's warmth and closeness to them. But he goes further and says: I believe that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons.
Refugees from war or other intolerable situations must be received with greater openness. He says the word "solidarity" frightens the developed world. It was the only time I did it, and never again". There are other issues that are non-negotiable: Religious Humanismin the tradition of the earliest Humanist organizations in the UK and US, attempts to fulfill the traditional social role of religion.
All three types of Humanism and all three of the American Humanist Association 's manifestos reject deference to supernatural beliefs; promoting the practical, methodological naturalism of science, but also going further and supporting the philosophical stance of metaphysical naturalism. Humanism addresses ethics without reference to the supernatural as well, attesting that ethics is a human enterprise see naturalistic ethics.
As stated by the Council for Secular Humanism, It should be noted that Secular Humanism is not so much a specific morality as it is a method for the explanation and discovery of rational moral principles. Kantian, Islamic, Christian is unreasonable. We are opposed to absolutist morality, yet we maintain that objective standards emerge, and ethical values and principles may be discovered, in the course of ethical deliberation. Some believe that universal moral standards are required for the proper functioning of society.
However, they believe such necessary universality can and should be achieved by developing a richer notion of morality through reason, experience and scientific inquiry rather than through faith in a supernatural realm or source.
But they erroneously believe that God is the only possible source of such standards. Contrary to what the fundamentalists would have us believe, then, what our society really needs is not more religion but a richer notion of the nature of morality.
Nevertheless, humanism is diametrically opposed to state atheism. Epstein states that, "modern, organized Humanism began, in the minds of its founders, as nothing more nor less than a religion without a God". Secular humanist organizations are found in all parts of the world. Those who call themselves humanists are estimated to number between four  and five  million people worldwide in 31 countries, but there is uncertainty because of the lack of universal definition throughout censuses.
Humanism is a non-theistic belief system and, as such, it could be a sub-category of "Religion" only if that term is defined to mean "Religion and any belief system ". This is the case in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on freedom of religion and beliefs. Many national censuses contentiously define Humanism as a further sub-category of the sub-category "No Religion", which typically includes atheist, rationalist and agnostic thought.
Theology of Pope Francis - Wikipedia
It represents the views of over three million Humanists organized in over national organizations in 30 countries. Some regional groups that adhere to variants of the Humanist life stance, such as the humanist subgroup of the Unitarian Universalist Associationdo not belong to the IHEU.
Although the European Humanist Federation is also separate from the IHEU, the two organisations work together and share an agreed protocol. Schaefferan American theologian based in Switzerland, seizing upon the exclusion of the divine from most humanist writings, argued that rampant secular humanism would lead to moral relativism and ethical bankruptcy in his book How Should We Then Live: Schaeffer portrayed secular humanism as pernicious and diabolical, and warned it would undermine the moral and spiritual tablet of America.
His themes have been very widely repeated in Fundamentalist preaching in North America. Many Humanists see religions as superstitious, repressive and closed-minded, while religious fundamentalists may see Humanists as a threat to the values set out in their sacred texts.
Joseph Hoffmann have decried the over-association of Humanism with affirmations of non-belief and atheism. Jones cites a lack of new ideas being presented or debated outside of secularism,  while Hoffmann is unequivocal: The attempt to sever humanism from the religious and the spiritual was a flatfooted, largely American way of taking on the religious right.
It lacked finesse, subtlety, and the European sense of history. The Society for Humanistic Judaism celebrates most Jewish holidays in a secular manner. In many countries, Humanist officiants or celebrants perform celebrancy services for weddings, funerals, child namingscoming of age ceremoniesand other rituals.
Legal mentions in the United States[ edit ] The issue of whether and in what sense secular humanism might be considered a religion, and what the implications of this would be has become the subject of legal maneuvering and political debate in the United States. The first reference to "secular humanism" in a US legal context was inalthough church-state separation lawyer Leo Pfeffer had referred to it in his book, Creeds in Competition.
Implementation of this provision ran into practical problems because neither the Senator's staff, nor the Senate's Committee on Labor and Human Resources, nor the Department of Justice could propose a definition of what would constitute a "course of instruction the substance of which is Secular Humanism". So, this determination was left up to local school boards.
The provision provoked a storm of controversy which within a year led Senator Hatch to propose, and Congress to pass, an amendment to delete from the statute all reference to secular humanism. While this episode did not dissuade fundamentalists from continuing to object to what they regarded as the "teaching of Secular Humanism", it did point out the vagueness of the claim.
Case law[ edit ] Torcaso v. Watkins[ edit ] The phrase "secular humanism" became prominent after it was used in the United States Supreme Court case Torcaso v. In the decision, Justice Hugo Black commented in a footnote, "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are BuddhismTaoismEthical CultureSecular Humanism, and others.
County of Alameda[ edit ] The footnote in Torcaso v. Watkins referenced Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda a case in which an organization of humanists  sought a tax exemption on the ground that they used their property "solely and exclusively for religious worship.
The Fellowship of Humanity case itself referred to Humanism but did not mention the term secular humanism. Nonetheless, this case was cited by Justice Black to justify the inclusion of secular humanism in the list of religions in his note.
Presumably Justice Black added the word secular to emphasize the non-theistic nature of the Fellowship of Humanity and distinguish their brand of humanism from that associated with, for example, Christian humanism. Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia[ edit ] Another case alluded to in the Torcaso v. Watkins footnote, and said by some to have established secular humanism as a religion under the law, is the tax case of Washington Ethical Society v.
District of ColumbiaF. The Washington Ethical Society functions much like a church, but regards itself as a non-theistic religious institution, honoring the importance of ethical living without mandating a belief in a supernatural origin for ethics. The case involved denial of the Society's application for tax exemption as a religious organization. Court of Appeals reversed the Tax Court's ruling, defined the Society as a religious organization, and granted its tax exemption.
The Society terms its practice Ethical Culture. Though Ethical Culture is based on a humanist philosophy, it is regarded by some as a type of religious humanism. Hence, it would seem most accurate to say that this case affirmed that a religion need not be theistic to qualify as a religion under the law, rather than asserting that it established generic secular humanism as a religion.
In the cases of both the Fellowship of Humanity and the Washington Ethical Society, the court decisions turned not so much on the particular beliefs of practitioners as on the function and form of the practice being similar to the function and form of the practices in other religious institutions. Capistrano School District[ edit ] The implication in Justice Black's footnote that secular humanism is a religion has been seized upon by religious opponents of the teaching of evolutionwho have made the argument that teaching evolution amounts to teaching a religious idea.
The claim that secular humanism could be considered a religion for legal purposes was examined by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Peloza v. Capistrano School District37 F. In this case, a science teacher argued that, by requiring him to teach evolution, his school district was forcing him to teach the "religion" of secular humanism.
The Court responded, "We reject this claim because neither the Supreme Court, nor this circuit, has ever held that evolutionism or Secular Humanism are 'religions' for Establishment Clause purposes. The decision in a subsequent case, Kalka v. The Court offered no test for determining what system of beliefs qualified as a "religion" under the First Amendment. The most one may read into the Torcaso footnote is the idea that a particular non-theistic group calling itself the "Fellowship of Humanity" qualified as a religious organization under California law.