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The Forum > General Discussion > secular humanism

secular humanism

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Dear David f,
I was responding to your use of the adjective “unprovable”, not to the gist of your statement, since I thought I addressed that already, when I wrote “These are all justified and normal ways of communication, provided you do not use force (physical, legal, psychological) to impose your convictions and point of view on others.“

In the past, a missionary conveying the Christian outlook could not appeal to any other understanding of truth - neither would he have one - than what I called trivial, using crude methods to make them “follow it“. In the past, teachers used to spank kids who could not do their maths properly. The lesson we must learn is to stop with the spanking, not with teaching maths.

It is interesting that you mention Saccheri and non-Euclidean geometry because it highlights the difference between axioms, as understood by contemporary mathematicians, and axioms as “necessary truths” as the Euclidean axioms were understood until 1800 even by mathematicians, when they were convinced that Euclidean geometry was the only correct idealisation of the properties of physical space.

No mathematician today speaks of axioms as necessary truths, as you rightly point out. In case of metaphysical/religious models of reality the situation is more complicated: for a believer his/her “axioms” are even today “necessary truths”, for an unbeliever they deal with undefined concepts.

I would modify your sentence as “the propositions that religions are built on may have been adequately formulated for the society in which the religion has come into being but may need reformulations, adequate for the society of the future.“ This is not unlike basic facts that physics is built on (except that the age of physics is measured in centuries, that of higher religions in millennia): in both cases it is the directly unknowable reality we try to model (using mathematics or mythology and metaphysical speculations respectively).

I essentially agree with the rest of your post, although, as said before I do not feel qualified to judge what is more and what is less adequate to define the difference between Christianity and Judaism.
Posted by George, Sunday, 9 August 2009 7:10:19 PM
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The essential character of Christ Jesus teaching is the nature of the spirit of the inner man - the being (Sermon on the mount Matthew 5 - 8). We each have a god image and for secular humanist there is still a god - it is our passions, values and devotions.

We are a servant of our own beliefs, master of our passions and drives. This is the identity of the god we admire. The gods of pagan history might only be defined as a being outside the universe. But God it the dynamic of existence, reality and life. To some secular humanists onself the highest intelligence they believ is themselves. But as now some recognise there is a higher intelligence of which we are but a reflection. No man can escape his image - his spirit.

God is manifest in reality, truth and wisdom and is eternal and not the property of one. That Jesus taught ideals of being makes him a wise man to be respected for his knowledge of eternal truth.

you are a servant to your own beliefs, master of your passions and drives. This is the identity of the god you worship. God is not only defined as a being outside the universe you seem to classify as all people believe exists. Your image of the highest power is in you. You are your view of god. No man can escape his image - his spirit.

God is manifest in Truth and wisdom and is eternal and not the property of one. That Jesus taught them makes him a wise man to be respected for his knowledge of truth
Posted by Philo, Saturday, 15 August 2009 9:25:50 AM
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