A piece from the "New Humanist" magazine by Mary Midgley. The comments below the article say most of it - very unclear why she asserts that humanism is a form religion, she also asserts that there is something eternal/external about the mind. Perhaps it is just a consequence of advancing years.
I suppose the main concern I have is the belief that, just because man has always sought an external source for his moral code, an external source must exist.
The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. Voltaire
Current developments in neuroscience are pinning down the way in which the brain functions and, in conjunction with other sciences, are well on the way to producing powerful evidence that neither consciousness nor conscience/morality involve any external spiritual aspects. Not that that will convince people who don't want to be convinced, of course.
Anthony G Williams
She’s clearly floundering out of her depth, writing about things she doesn’t understand. Not unusual for a philosopher. It’s mainly “straw man” stuff is it not? Makes up her own definition of humanism and then attacks it.
There’s only one thing I do, at least partly, agree with her on. It seems to me that to some people who describe themselves as “Humanist” it is a religion. A religion without any gods (if that is possible), but with an organisation and rituals, as if they have some need for a church to belong to even when their intellect tells them that there’s no point in worshiping a magic space pixie. But I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest that this is an argument against humanism because I’m not old and confused like Mary. It’s just an aspect of some humanism that I don’t understand.
Last edited by Croydon Bob; 3rd November 2010 at 10:35 AM. Reason: gramma n speling
'Croydon' Bob Newman. The ladies call him "Thrush" - as he's an irritating cunt.