Sunday Meeting – Joe Chuman: Ethical Culture Beyond Belief and Humanism’s Farther Reaches
Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 11:00 am
Ceremonial Hall – 4th floor
As thinking beings there is a natural and inevitable tendency for us humans to articulate our experiences in the form of beliefs, ideas and principles. But life and experience range far more broadly and deeply than beliefs alone. Humanism is now expressed through a growing cluster of organizations, atheist, secularist, rationalist, etc. that are centered around definable concepts and beliefs. In many cases these beliefs coalesce in opposition to religion, which is put forward as religion’s foil.
But, it is my contention that humanism is not equitable with such beliefs. Rather, humanism is an orientation, a sensibility, a feeling toward life that is far more subtle and comprehensive than concepts such as rationalism, secularism or atheism, which are mainstays of the humanist canon. Humanism, rather, involves a sensitivity for the distinctly human dimension as it is expressed in culture – art, music literature – and in religion as well. But most of all, humanism, so evinced, is found in the deepest recesses of human character and behavior that flows from it.