At the risk of inciting more anti-Humanist Manifesto III feelings, I am going to stubbornly continue through the list. Next up is one which is even less specific than the last: Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. By my standards, at least, that is more of a New-age philosophy than it is a Humanist philosophy. It feels vaguely like something taken from a Depok Chopra self-help book. Still, we will soldier on.
For the second time, I have turned to to the American Humanist Web site to see what additional information I can find. I quickly came up with the following:
Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.
That’s a bit better. And as much as these still carry a bit of Chopra with them, think how much better some of these issues would be than many of those addressed by the ten commandments.
Thou shalt not be cruel.
Thou shalt not resort to violence.
Thou shalt care about others.
Therefore, even if much of what we see in this particular list item is trite, there is no particular reason to dismiss them out of hand. And thanks to the AHA for fleshing them out a little. Yes, more specific in the Manifesto would have been nice. Then again, as we can do with novels, we should be able to use our imaginations and bring meaning into even the most insipid of statements.
A little thought can make even the most lame seem more meaningful. And while these things may be obvious to us, they may not be obvious to everyone. If nothing else is true, these truisms clearly point out things that should be in any organization’s list of good behavior, yet somehow went missing from the most important list in Christianity.