Humans and science

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?

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I think the humanist official statements agree with you, just slightly different words

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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?”

Then those people are ill-informed.

What is the purpose of a manifesto?

Manifesto - Wikipedia

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. › 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.

I was put off by it. The urban dictionary notes the association with a lunatic. Even Britannica says it’s usually a minority position.

Then why do you associate it with Communist Manifesto?
I gave you the definition which is perfectly neutral and the definition clearly describes what the term means.

Manifest (verb), to make evident by showing or displaying.

Manifest Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster.

Dictionary definitions don’t always include connotations or cultural usage.

True, they do not always show the “incorrect” popularization of a term.

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! :slight_smile:

It used to be. And one can make an argument that this is the very reason that our " language has been confounded", as is very evident today.

As English is my second language I used to have 4 dictionaries lying around the house and whenever I saw an unfamiliar word I would look it up.

This practice does not only familiarize the reader with the exact meaning of a word, but also of the fundamental concepts contained in the word and its synonyms as well as its antonyms.

Most Americans have an atrocious command of the English language. It is a pity, because it used to be so eloquent and poetic during the age of gentility.

Today, Shakespeare would commit suicide, reading some of the bastardizations of the English language.

Rudy Giuliani : “Truth isn’t truth” !!! image

The new conservative party doesn’t believe in Darwin and its members are devolving just to prove the point. The Republican congress is becoming a zoo . Soon we’ll be back to Planet of the Apes

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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.

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btw, cuthbertJ,
All posters who display serious intent are welcome in my book. Please understand that any critique is with best of intention. I hope you will feel the same way.

Oh absolutely. All good. :wink: