Humanism With a Dash of Pessimism

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Steven's recent entry, found here, got me thinking.. am I an asshole for the way I am evangelizing my godless viewpoints? I think not, and I intend on defending myself from what was obviously not an attack... Which I think means I win already? Steven is absolutely right to focus on humanity and the hope that we can, as ass-backward monkey-men hellbent on ruining the world for future generations, get things right in the long run. I share the desire for a productive, fruitful humanity. I think we absolutely have the potential for true greatness. Not greatness stemming from wealth, power or control. Rather, it's a greatness heralded by our descendants as they look back on history and say that we got the big things right.

We stood up for our fellow man.

We had the foresight to save our planets and ourselves.

We constantly pushed the boundaries and by exploring every new possibility.

We always tried to be better.

I can't want these things and not be a Humanist. I have no alter to worship at except the world before me. People are the closest thing to sacred that I can think of. We care so deeply about one another that it's astounding. The number of stories of people putting everything on the line for a neighbor, friend or loved one is shockingly huge. We also wonder and dream, and great achievements have stemmed from those worthwhile activities. Think about this: one day we looked at the Moon and said we were going to go there; within a decade, we had. We looked back on our fragile little world and saw both how great and insignificant humanity is. We can do amazing things and these stories demonstrate just how amazing we can be.

That doesn't mean, however, that we couldn't always be better. My evangelical atheism stems from the fact I think religion is fundamentally flawed and a serious obstacle to humanity's long-term prospects. The problems we face must be confronted in the full light of open, rational discussion if we are to prevent a backslide into ignorance and stagnation. So, humanity, its not that I don't believe in you - I just don't believe in your beliefs.

I think we can and must do better. We're worth it.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr user anothersamchan.

 

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