What sort of ethics and moral code do you follow in your life?

Do you follow the Humanism principles? As a Humanist I try to follow these.

The Affirmations of Humanism:
A Statement of Principles

  • We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
  • We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.
  • We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.
  • We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
  • We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.
  • We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
  • We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
  • We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.
  • We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.
  • We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.
  • We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.
  • We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
  • We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
  • We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.
  • We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.
  • We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.
  • We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.
  • We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
  • We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
  • We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
  • We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

 

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I wanted to highlight this one because it addresses the moral decencies.

"We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences."

I have trouble with democracy as well; it is vulnerable to "repressive majority" but the repression can come from elements other than economic repression. We experience that now as we see our Executive, Legislative, Judicial branches of government heavily influenced by theocracy, but the repression can come from organized crime, or wealthy and greedy entrepreneurs, or ones with the most physical or mental strength; Just now the war against women has a loud following and whether it is a large following, I don't know. I know they surely are on the wrong track with that one. 


The problem with "representative constitutional republic" is who decides who is to be  represented? Will people of color? atheists? homosexuals? children? handicapped? anarchists? gender? be represented?


As to people striving to reach their full potential, if it is internally motivated, seems good to me. Each one of us has such a tiny flash of time on this earth and with all kinds of influences imposing on him/her it can be difficult to develop individual qualities. Some are naturally quiet, others naturally loud. Neither should be required to adjust to others' expectations, unless they impose on others, but find the qualities within oneself to be developed. 

"Democracy by definition is rule by the people so the majority will set the rule of law.  This means that the "repressive majority" will oppress the minority.  True Democracy is a disaster for the minority."

You're describing Ochlocracy not Democracy in the context implied here.

"I think a little clarity is in order…"

You are ignoring context, this may help:

We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.

"... here is the definition of "Pure Democracy"  which was what I refernced in my post"

No, you referenced "true democracy" and a description (your context):

"This means that the "repressive majority" will oppress the minority.  True Democracy is a disaster for the minority."

Compare with:

"Ochlocracy ("rule of the general populace") is democracy ("rule of the people") spoiled bydemagoguery, "tyranny of the majority" and the rule of passion over reason..."

Also see: original context, now contrast and compare your "true" with "liberal", …see which one matches the context in the OP..

"The way the above post is written it implies that a democracy protects minorities... and this is hardly guaranteed."

For further context also note any other entries related to society and it's individuals:

  • the principle of the separation of church and state
  • negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences
  • securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
  • supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped
  • transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity
  • the common good
  • the right to privacy
  • reproductive freedom
  • comprehensive and informed health-care
  • etc.


Now, look at the Wiki entry for just plain old "democracy", and note:

"The term "democracy" is often used as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; human rights; and elements of civil society outside the government."

…context.

 

Ha ha… that'd be funny if I was actually a humanist. No, what I'm passionate about is intellectual honesty.

No need to assume anything, just read-comprehend what is written.

That simple, really.

Oh dear, my eyes are about worn out and I get to learn a new word: "Ochlocracy (Greekοχλοκρατία or okhlokratíaLatinochlocratia) or mob rule is government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of legitimate authorities. As a pejorative for majoritarianism, it is akin to the Latin phrase mobile vulgus meaning "the fickle crowd", from which the English term "mob" was originally derived in the 1680s.[1]

ochlo-, ochl- + (Greek: mob [people])

cratia (from Late Latin -cratia, from Greek -kratia, from kratosstrength, power)

How does one distinguish ochiocray from democracy when huge numbers, even a majority, believe something that is not true? Where does the Tea Party fit in this? 


"How does one distinguish ochiocray from democracy when huge numbers, even a majority, believe something that is not true?"

A good start would be enforcing that church/state separation thing...

"Where does the Tea Party fit in this?"

They're of the spittle-flecked batshit crazy Ayn Rand right-wing anarcho-capitalist libertarian democracy, but mostly without the objectivist-bullshit atheism.

Thank you for listing those 'affirmations', Steph.  I actually wrote them all down so I can go back to them whenever I feel the need to.  What this really helps me with personally is taking the opportunity to define myself to those people who have a 'knee jerk' response to the very idea of atheism and secular humanism.  There is a lot of education that needs to take place, unfortunately.

I found the article by Andy Norman titled "Framing Humanism" very useful also and I recommend it as a reminder that we sometimes need to take the opportunity to 'self-identify' ourselves.  This encourages dialogue and can promote (or at the very least, defend) our cause, if we want to call it a cause!  But either way, it allows us to define ourselves instead of allowing 'them' to define us and to vilify us.

Here are just a few modifications I would make to a few of the principles:

--We deplore efforts.....to look for salvation outside ourselves and outside the natural world.  (As in, we can be our own salvation...rather than looking externally for a 'savior'.)

--open and pluralistic society with democratic principles protecting human rights, representative government bodies to ensure human liberty in the face of authoritarian elites and repressive majority rule.  (Just to address the 'downside' of mob rule and how important it is that minority group rights aren't trampled in the process).  I think we need to remember that secular government rests on the principle that power comes not from god or some supernaturally inspired book but from the consent of the governed.

--Include the term "affordable" to the health care access statement.  When only the wealthy can afford to lead healthy, meaningful, and productive lives, there lies the problem!

--Deeply concerned...extending learning to the ordinary citizen and opening up the opportunity of education to all, not just the few who can afford it and not just children.  Blind ignorance is as harmful as blind faith!  (Our nation is the perfect example of how disparities in education are often regional.  Our founding fathers proclaimed that the health of a democracy depends on an educated citizenry.  Our current high school drop-out rates tell the sad story.)  

I can agree to these principles ... if there is a process whereby all elements of society have a voice. For example, Spokane had a big drive to get prostitutes off E. Sprague Ave. I was on the team and wanted police officers and prostitutes included. There was a very loud outcry against the prostitutes, although police were included. So, I went out and interviewed prostitutes, police, and judges and found some very interesting information. For example, 85% of the prostitutes had been incested (I know, there is no such word) during their childhood and I mean fathers, brothers, uncles. I discovered which police and judges were using prostitutes. I also discovered the women were being charged for a crime and their customers were not. The names of the prostitutes were regularly reported in the newspapers, the Johns were not. When I inquired why this was so, the newspapers and the judges responded they didn't want to harm the families of the Johns. My response, the families had already been harmed by the lies and threats to their families' health. I reported on these bits of information and my report was included in the final document. 

Long story short, the prostitutes moved from E. Sprague Ave. to N. Division St.  

Thanks for all your wonderful comments. I enjoyed reading them.

Thanks for sharing my discussion on Facebook. Appreciate it!

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