Charles Murn


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How Freedom From Deities Shapes Humanist Values




The historical arc of modern humanist philosophy shows that the earlier humanist philosophers’ background in religion gave them a unique perspective for the segue into a full philosophy compatible with nontheism, agnosticism, secularism, and atheism. The key was their recognition and insistence that humanist values do not in any way depend on belief in one or more deities. That recognition freed them to explore the true origin of human values. Their conclusions informed their selection of values, such as truth, democracy, and education, that make humanist philosophy such an excellent vehicle for societal advancement. But by failing to root those values in something more than "experience," humanism has left itself open to criticism as only replacing gods with incorrigible human beings. This talk examines how the "human" in humanism grounds humanist values, from human rights, freedom, and liberty, to equal opportunity, social justice, and economic equity, in the nature of human existence.







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