I’m still reading the Humanism book by Speckhardt, bits at a time. He quotes their manifesto from 1973. I found it to be a unique statement about the intersection of science and nature. Usually, these come with a lot of baggage, blaming modernization for all the problems of the world, or conflating with capitalism or the engineering that comes from discoveries. This more plainly states that science has “opened the door” to problems, then addresses the problem of turning away from the methods.
"The future is, however, filled with dangers. In learning to apply the scientific method to nature and human life, we have opened the door to ecological damage, over-population, dehumanizing institutions, totalitarian repression, and nuclear and bio-chemical disaster. Faced with apocalyptic prophesies and doomsday scenarios, many flee in despair from reason and embrace irrational cults and theologies of withdrawal and retreat.
Traditional moral codes and newer irrational cults both fail to meet the pressing needs of today and tomorrow. False “theologies of hope” and messianic ideologies, substituting new dogmas for old, cannot cope with existing world realities. They separate rather than unite peoples.
Humanity, to survive, requires bold and daring measures. We need to extend the uses of scientific method, not renounce them, to fuse reason with compassion in order to build constructive social and moral values."
But it requires a profoundly different outlook on our part.
When I was young, 1960s, seems like people were finally realizing that something big had changed, humans had become in charge of Earth, because our numbers and our powers were increasing at such an astronomical pace and we were finally recognizing that what we did really did have an impact on Earth’s ability to sustain us.
Then Reagan came to the rescue and we put it aside and went back to the same old, tried’n true: The Golden Rule, he who has the gold makes the rules, he who dies with the most toys wins, and too much is never ever enough.
That was a very stupid call. Today the world is full of unbelievable mega projects while, farm lands and fresh water supplies are shrinking. 2023 will probably see real shortages on our grocery shelves for first time, making the pandemic experience a petty foreshock, but only a hint of what’s to come.
Mention of having an emotional connection with Earth, our biosphere, natural creatures and processes, and most people haven’t the faintest clue what’s being discussed.
Without a personal deep down appreciation for how much we depend upon a healthy Earth and biosphere, what can possibly change in our behaviors?
Related but sideways - boy I wish the creators of that document weren’t so, how to put it, short-sighted? Stupid? To include the word “manifesto” in the title was just the dumbest thing to do. That word has, and was at the time, co-opted by the Communist Manifesto. So even folks who might have been interested in the content, the ideas, I guarantee would be put off by that single word - “Oh Manifesto, you mean like the Commies?”
A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author believes should be made. It often is political, social or artistic in nature, sometimes revolutionary, but may present an individual’s life stance. https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Manifesto
Not sure what your point is. The definition has nothing to do with anything. If your goal is to promote a set of ideas, the worst thing you could do is use a name that has tons of negative baggage associated with it.
Incorrect or not, it’s true in the sense that it’s what comes to mind when the term is used, especially back then when it was written. As much as we want things to be cut-and-dry, so that meanings are exactly what they are in the dictionary, so that the universe conforms with the way human scientists think, the world my friend is just not that way. Doesn’t mean everything’s going to pot, just that it really is a giant puzzle and we’ve only recently figured out how to open the box!
I think common “association” is his point.
I used the term once and it didn’t take much reflection to realize how silly that was, I backpedaled in a hurry. I’ll never get within a mile of it again, no matter how many ‘statements’ I conjure up.
My Elevator Pitch ready does sound more approachable than My Manifesto.
These comments have me looking it up and:
Manifestus - meaning clear, public or notorious
Now it seems to me the problem (bug) is directly related to the meaning of the word.
Unfortunately Lausten wasn’t consulted by the Humanists, and cuthbertj complaint seems fair to me.
Fortunately “Humanism” isn’t an institution based on, or demanding allegiance to a dogma, so definitions are a fluid as our human inconsistencies and foibles.