Sharing a common approach to life, humanists face some common situations. In this series, we invite humanists to offer their suggestions for handling those situations.

Question:  What is some of the wisdom Humanists have to offer? What do Humanists have to say that people could benefit from hearing?

Community Responses

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All people on Earth have an important thing in common. We’re all human. All of us can agree that our lives are enriched by relationships with others, a sense of accomplishment, and appreciating beauty.

-Agnes

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We do need to let people know that we are here. We can be in the trenches doing for and with people like churches do. I think we should be both distinct and obvious in our humanism, but we should also get in the trenches with the practical and active religious and get out there and help. They will love us, and we will love them. The people who stand by and just talk and point fingers at each other can carry on. But I think that humanists with wisdom think about getting in the trenches. Here is a great example of excellent humanist thought: Jeff Dubin wrote an article about the Humanist approach to survivalism a couple years ago. I LOVED that article. I have told people time and again, any time the subject of “survivalists” comes up, what a REAL survivalist does. What are the problems really LIKELY to happen? Power outages, big storms, natural disasters. Those who are prepared to take basic care of themselves AND their community are the best kind of survivalist. Not those holed up in a bunker against some unlikely event. Engagement in the likely misfortunes and caring for others is the strength of the Humanist thought. “By our fruits” people will know us and join us. We’ve got to bear fruit and name ourselves, though.

-Joy

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People say atheists are bad, but society forces people to do good. People can’t survive in a group if they’re infringing on others. Having a purpose in life to keep the mind active and being able to survive losses well is important for getting older.

-Mary

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Decision-making based on reason is useful for society, governments, organizations, and individuals. Transparency in decision-making at the individual level can also can also help trace the history of changes in thinking over time.

-Gleb

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Make use of researched material like positive psychology. Mindfulness meditation is a secular technique and has proven benefits. Martin Seligman has found that being engaged in something and having good relationships adds to well-being.

-John

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For Humanist wisdom, check out Bertrand Russell’s Conquest of Happiness. Also see Plato’s Euthyphro and Lurcretius’s On the Nature of Things.

-Rich

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In the words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other.”

-Annastacia

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Think! Use evidence and experience as a basis for policies and decisions. It’s all right to change your mind. The here and now matters. Reasoned decisions last and are more stable.

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What Would Your Answer Be?

We’d still like to hear from you. If you have a response to our question above please feel free to leave it in the comments section below.