Humanism or Objective Ethics?
(Quick comparison and criticism)
What is Humanism?
Humanism is a philosophy or life-stance based upon a profound respect for human dignity and the conviction that human beings are ultimately accountable to themselves and to society for their actions. It is a deity-free worldview that affirms our ability to lead ethical and meaningful lives without reliance upon a belief in the supernatural. Humanists are guided by reason and scientific inquiry, inspired by music and art, and motivated by ethics, compassion and fairness.
Objective Ethics (OE) is free beings' code of conduct. It is universal, clearly defined and used in the public sphere of society (not in personal relationships). It is based on the notion that a free being is accountable to all other free beings for its actions. Free beings are guided by formal ethical norms obtained by consensus (as a result of the social contract) and are motivated by the common good which is freedom (i.e. absence of any kind of violence).
Twelve Principles of Humanism
- Humanism aims at the full development of every human being.
It is up to a free being to choose its life goals. Children should be fully developed by their families (parents) with the assistance offered by society.
- Humanists uphold the broadest application of democratic principles in all human relationships.
OE rejects democracy as a kind of violence. Besides, democracy exploits personal traits of the members of electorate. Public sphere has to be clear from any personal relationships. Norms of public relations (laws) are produced by consensus.
- Humanists advocate the use of the scientific method, both as a guide to distinguish fact from fiction and to help develop beneficial and creative uses of science and technology.
OE relies on ethical theory of truth which states that there is no "objective" method to distinguish fact from illusion. The ultimate truth is the result of the consensus of all free beings. Any scientific and technical achievement should serve the common good.
- Humanists affirm the dignity of every person and the right of the individual to maximum possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.
Dignity is a property of a free being and it is an equivalent of the right to be party in the social contract. Those who engage in violence renounce this right and do not belong to a free society.
- Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity.
Objective ethics unites and applies to all free beings in the Universe. It rejects any kind of "kinship" as divisive and harmful for the rest of free beings.
- Humanists call for the continued improvement of society so that no one may be deprived of the basic necessities of life, and for institutions and conditions to provide every person with opportunities for developing their full potential.
The universal common good is freedom. Freedom requires society to overcome all natural limitations so that every free being may choose its life as it likes.
- Humanists support the development and extension of fundamental human freedoms, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and supplemented by UN International Covenants comprising the United Nations Bill of Human Rights.
The opinion of every free being matters.
- Humanists advocate peaceful resolution of conflicts between individuals, groups, and nations.
Any kind of violence is incompatible with freedom. Conflicts are resolved by discussion and voluntary agreement based on consensus.
- The humanist ethic encourages development of the positive potentialities in human nature, and approves conduct based on a sense of responsibility to oneself and to all other persons.
Any free being is responsible only to all other free beings.
- Humanists reject beliefs held in absence of verifiable evidence, such as beliefs based solely on dogma, revelation, mysticism or appeals to the supernatural.
Scientific enquiry has to be based on objective ethics. Scientific consensus is the best way to truth.
- Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of empathy for all living beings.
Consensus is achieved by taking into account the opinion and interests of every free being.
- Humanists affirm that human beings are completely a part of nature, and that our survival is dependent upon a healthy planet that provides us and all other forms of life with a life-supporting environment.
Free beings make world better. They do not commit unnecessary violence to anybody including the inferior life forms.
(Original text: "Humanist Canada")
Amsterdam Declaration 2002
Humanism is the outcome of a long tradition of free thought that has inspired many of the world’s great thinkers and creative artists and gave rise to science itself.
Objective ethics is the only ethics leading to freedom. Freedom is the ultimate source of any "free thought".
The fundamentals of modern Humanism are as follows:
1. Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.
Only free beings do not require external sanctions to be ethical. Those who engage in violence can be restrained only by violence. Such are majority of humans. There is no reason to believe that humans are able to voluntary take into account the interests of others, especially strangers. All existing morality is the result of external sanctions (law, education, etc).
2. Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.
There is no universal human values because people are not able to reconcile their interests/opinions. The only such "value" is violence in the name of self-interest. Accordingly, the results of science are commonly used for evil. The only really universal value is freedom. Objective ethics offers the way to achieve freedom by eliminating all and any violence. Free beings use their intellect to overcome social (violence) and natural determinism.
3. Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.
Objective ethics renounce any violence especially the violence of power. It is against any "-cracy". Democracy is a violence of majority over minority. It has nothing to do with morality, nor with the harmonization of interests. Personal relationships are informal and closed to strangers.
4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination.
Humanism imposes a belief in the good "human nature". Free society is possible only when children are educated according to objective ethics. All other education lead to preservation of current violent/oppressive society.
5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world’s major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process of observation, evaluation and revision.
The observation does not give an answer to the question about the goal of this observation. Humanism is fruitless. The purpose of an alternative to religion is to offer a reasonable, meaningful picture of the world rather than meaningless "observation." Objective ethics gives the meaning to knowledge by defining truth. The road to truth, consensus and freedom is eternal.
6. Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.
Beauty is a result and a manifestation of freedom.
7. Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.
Our primary task is to make human beings aware in the simplest terms of what Humanism can mean to them and what it commits them to. By utilising free inquiry, the power of science and creative imagination for the furtherance of peace and in the service of compassion, we have confidence that we have the means to solve the problems that confront us all. We call upon all who share this conviction to associate themselves with us in this endeavour.
It is not clear what "ethical and rational means" are offered and what is "the cultivation of ethical and creative living".
(Original text: "IHEU Congress 2002")
Humanism is a religion. It is a faith in the New God: Human, his Reason and his Sacred Well-Being. It is based on the belief in the good nature of human. But is the human nature good? Of course, not. Humans are egoistic, violent and stupid. The only universal good they are capable of - "love" - has animal roots: sexuality and empathy. Human reason - their distinctive feature - is unable to come up with the good on its own, so humans use their reason for evil deeds. They kill, exploit and lie to each other. Their societies are oppressive and unfair. And, worst of all, they like it this way! All they want is more money, more fame, more power. This is their view of happiness which humanism seeks to preserve and promote under a false pretense of "peace" and "compassion".
Humanism, however, takes a step in the right direction as compared with other religions: it calls for intelligent discussion and peaceful compromise, but it does not specify the final goal and it does not have solid philosophical foundations. It is based on wrong assumptions. The reality is grim. Humans is, obviously, an advanced life form as compared to animals, but due to their commitment to violence humans should be classified only as an intermediate or transitional form between animals and free beings. The intelligent, ethical humans are still far and few between. They are silenced and moved to the fringes of society. Whether humans will become free beings remains to be seen, but in any case the way to the future is Objective Ethics. There is no other way.
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