Posts Tagged ‘Humanism’

Does everybody get converted to another religion irrationally without a proper principled approach?

April 30, 2014

Richard Carrier a world renowned, author of several books as well as numerous articles online and in print with a Ph.D. in ancient history from Columbia University, he specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism and humanism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome, with particular expertise in ancient philosophy, science and technology. His parents were freethinking Methodists (mother was church secretary). He went to Sunday School and to church on holy days. He got converted to Philosophical Taoist at the tender age of 15 and then got converted Atheist (Secular Humanist) at the age of 21. He is reported to have done Extensive study of philosophy and world religions, formal and informal.

I wanted to inquire about this phenomenon and hence asked him the following question:

“I understand that you were born a Methodist Christian and decided to convert to Taoism at a very tender age of 15 years and then converted to Atheism at the age of 21 years.Under what principled approach you did that on both occasions?”

He replied and I quote from him:

“Taoism, I was converted the same irrational way all religious people are. Leaving Taoism? Reading, study, experience, and application of scientific knowledge and logical reasoning.”
A discussion ensued which could be viewed by accessing the following link.

April 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm (awaiting moderation)

@Richard Carrier : April 30, 2014 at 8:45 am

I don’t agree with you that everybody gets converted to another religion without a proper principled approach, irrationally.

I understand your observation, “There are thousands of false beliefs. We cannot read all their holy books nor should we.”
One could be born in any religion or even without a religion. It is beyond one to decide where to be born. Wherever one is born; that starts one’s journey towards truth.

The tools make easy for one to do a job. It is therefore important for one first to find a tool that gives equal opportunity to every religion to search.

Using a tool and then making a comparative study of religions to find which one, at a given period of time, is the most truthful religion is therefore most reasonable and rational.

I give here one such principle of comparative study of religions which was suggested by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad- the Promised Messiah 1835-1908 in the beginning of an essay that was read in a Conference of Great Religions held at Lahore in 1896; and was later published in a book form titled “The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam” translated in many languages of the world.

I give below the principle in precisely his words:

“It is necessary that a claim and the reasons in support of it must be set forth from a revealed book”.
“I consider it essential that everyone who follows a book, believing it to be revealed, should base his exposition upon that book and should not so extend the scope of his advocacy of his faith as if he is compiling a new book.”

Since one changed one’s religion two times without a principled approach; I think one should check again the truthfulness of one’s worldview from the start.


A weird concept of Religion and Transcendence

March 24, 2014

03/24/2014 at 6:16 am

@ Sabio Lantz
“Religion is a term used to package very complicated socio-political movements while also capitalizing on internal psychological states.”

There seems to be some error in your concept of religion as given above.

Do you think Atheism/Agnosticism/Skepticism/”Humanism”/secularism etc are also covered in your concept of religion?

If yes; why?

If no;why?

Please give your proofs and evidences.


Demerits of Christianity do not make positive merits of Atheism automatically

March 10, 2014

Paarsurrey wrote comments on the following blog; the viewers could give their valuable opinion.


March 10, 2014 at 7:37 am

@ Nate :March 9, 2014 at 11:27 pm

I got the impression from your post (of March 9, 2014 at 11:41 am ) that morality was the issue that you changed from Christianity to Humanism/Atheism. Now you have clarified that it was not the prime issue. I, therefore, leave it here (though later we may discuss it also).

Then we come to my question formulated again with a little variation; what positive merits did you see in Atheism/Humanism that you left Jesus’ religion for it?

I understand you found faults in Pauline Christianity:

“I left Christianity because I no longer found it believable. There are a number of inaccurate prophecies, contradictory passages, bad science, bad history, etc in the Bible. When I added to that some of the doctrinal problems, like the idea of an eternal Hell, I just didn’t find it believable anymore.”

First of all these are not the core or prime teachings of Jesus or Moses or the prophets; these are the secondary points which could be explained away

But demerits of Christianity, negativeness of Christianity, do not make positive merits of Humanism/Atheism automatically.

We want to know the positive merits of Humanism/Atheism for which you left Christianity.

I like your matter of fact style of writing; no complain with it.

Thanks and regards

Do Humanists (Atheists) excel in Morality from Christians?

March 9, 2014

Paarsurrey wrote comments on the following blog; the viewers could give their valuable opinion.


March 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm

@ Nate : March 9, 2014 at 11:41 am
“That said, there are definitely important aspects to life that we typically derive from religion, morality being the most important. And if I don’t believe in a god, how can I be moral? What does atheism provide as a basis?
Actually, I don’t think atheism does provide a basis for morality, since it only informs one’s stance on the existence of god(s). Instead, I get my basis for morality through humanism. The idea is that all people have value and are worthy of respect. You’ve shown great courtesy in your comments, for instance. And it’s not because we share religious beliefs, but because you obviously believe you should show respect to your fellow man. I feel the same way.” Unquote

Thanks for your response.

I agree that morality could be a positive factor for changing one’s ideology, as it is an important aspect of human life for peaceful co-existence.

So for the sake of morality for one you had opted to accept Humanism (not Atheism as you have yourself stated above, if I have correctly understood it).

Can you please enumerate the principles of morality and their wisdom that Humanism (not Atheism) provides with reference to a Humanist’s source of consensus so that we could make a comparison v Quran which is the first and the foremost source of consensus of Muslims?

Also please mention that the same morals which you have found out now in Humanism in fact were non-existent in Christians- your previous ideology, and that the Humanists have excelled them with a very big margin in codifying them theoretically as well as practically.

Thanks and regards

“It’s All Over?”

July 14, 2013

Paarsurrey says:

The only tools the atheists have are to ask others to provide evidence; if one counters them to provide one; they cannot come up with any.

Their others tools are to ridicule, to be sarcastic and to deride.

All religion(s) (there’s no end of them) should be investigated very seriously. Especially before acceptance, very few do so they are accepted and more ‘holy warriors’ swarm to the cause. Not good …


I agree with you; and Atheism , Humanism, Scepticism, Agnosticism etc.., should not be an exception; they should be continuously seen with doubt; as doubt is their basic approach. Doubt, however, cannot lead one to certainty, in my opinion.

I don’t see any much contribution of them in the human history that exceeds from the theists.


July 18th, 2013 at 4:29 am

I likewise try to be a good person. I just don’t like all the agony that various superstitions have created (and are still causing) throughout the ages, I try as best I can to fight it.

I do state without reservation that if there is a God — it’s nothing like many ‘religions’ would have us think.

Even Zen has a saying which means quite literally to “beware of false prophets”—

If you meet the Buddha on the road … kill him!

Fide Dubitandum

they_think_its_all_over_1999a-smallThe Spectator has published an article, proclaiming the end of the New Atheist movement, and the rise of a group of atheist thinkers who see religion in a much more nuanced way.

As much as I’d like to believe this, I’m not convinced.

Yes, I’d say that the New Atheism, like any movement, must always face the choice between adaptation or death. And, yes, they will eventually need to acknowledge the complex realities of life, and transition out of this simple atheism-good/religion-bad narrative that they hammer so tirelessly if they want people to keep listening.

But it is a bit premature to say that the movement is dead. Some are starting to realize that its treatment of religion has been unfair to the point of propagandistic, and journalists do seem to feel that the novelty of hearing someone proclaim “the world would simply be better without religion” has worn…

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