...And most Humanists are not freethinkers. Certainly not the likes of PZ Meyer or the more fervent members of Atheist+, or the radical neo-liberal who follow ideology qua religion. I'm definitely not speaking up for Conservativism either, which follows the same patterns, despite the mutual disgust these two groups have for each other.
Wikipedia defines freethought as such:
a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of logic, reason and and not authority, tradition, or other dogmas.
Secular humanism is, then, said to have such quality:
Fundamental to the concept of secular humanism is the strongly held viewpoint that ideology—be it religious or political—must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith.
Yet, if most humanists who hold such view do so in order not to be assholes, and in order to appear 'enlightened' in light of the Renaissance, then they are not truly Humanists, for they neither follow nor are interested to seek individual logic behind the views they hold. Most of these 'humanists' are born into Humanism, and hold these universally attractive values in the safe confines of social encouragement, but philosophical laziness, ironically inspired by many religious values they are somehow against. On the surface, the tenets of Humanism seem self-evident, especially on basis of fear for the alternative, but for a philosophy to be rational, it is not enough to just inspire feel-good warmth inside the hearts of the naivete, but also to be derived from agreeable axioms (at least to some practical extent) with least assumptions.
And if one has never thought much about it, then he relinquishes his right to criticize other people for their opinions, lest he be the asshole whose unprovable opinion somehow supersede other people's opinions on the account of an appeal to emotion. If those more honest would rather admit they have no logical defense for Humanism, we could accept that also, as long as he stops assuming and describing his position as rational, logical, or non-religious.
With that in mind, I challenge the rest of the proclaimed Humanists to give me a formal logical proof for any of the following:
Chang, where in the hell have you Asians been in this atheist community (in general)?!? Nice post. I think Humanism a bit vague, but really dislike the altruistic views they hold.
You like Objectivism? Me, too. If so,wantintroduce you to someone I met here and another guy I met at Conservative Atheists and at Libertarian Atheists (both on Facebook).
I also hate Obamacare. Almost lost my house to back property taxes, which are 2/3 school taxes...I have no kids and won't have any...so why must I pay for someone else's kids?! Egalitarianism is the poor cousin of religion's self-sacrifice and humility. Email me, please.
Humanism, to me, means human values rather than religious values. It means that society should be organized around human needs and priorities (hence, universal education and health care, etc.) and not around other considerations that are intangible (god, religion, tradition, communism, capitalism, 'progress', etc.)
It should be noted that the description of secular humanism in the original post is not a definition, but it is what is commonly said to be an aspect: "[beliefs] must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith."
If freethought is what is required to be a Humanist, then, I argued, most atheists are not Humanists. However, if Humanism is a faith, then most atheists probably are Humanists, but they are not necessarily freethinkers on the subject. There is nothing wrong with Humanism per se, but it is somewhat of a false dichotomy the assumption that because a person has gotten rid of God from his belief system and replaced it with another set of values that he is a freethinker.
This thread is not about whether humanist values produce a more comfortable biological state of human existence, although some of those values could be argued as well. This thread is about whether any or all humanist values can be logically defendable as morally right and made a categorical imperative for all human beings.
For example, if someone -- a Humanist -- uttered the words, "Slavery is wrong," is that just his opinion or an objective moral fact? If it is the latter, then I request that the Humanist show his proof of the existence of objective morality without God.