Volume 29 (2021)
It’s Not Just Personal: The Collective Trauma of Religion
by Marlene Winell
Abstract: Institutionalized religionism is even broader than institutionalized racism but it has not been understood or named. Yet it is taking an enormous toll. We are so far from being a “Christian nation” if compassion for people is any part of that ideal. Perhaps naming institutionalized religionism will be transformative in the same way that naming institutionalized racism has been galvanizing. We need to see and recognize the collective trauma we carry. Celebrating the nation’s religiosity in public ceremonies only reinforces our trauma. This article addresses the destructive effects of authoritarian religion, not the more progressive, liberal forms. There are churches and groups that are inclusive and life-affirming, and active in social causes, from a concern with this present life instead of being what is essentially a death cult focused on the hereafter. Marlene Winell, Ph.D. is a psychologist who specializes in religious recovery and has experienced in her own life the transition from being a devout religionist to being a “reclaimer,” a person who has left religion and reclaimed her life.
Secular Humanism in Europe: A Comparison of Two Current Approaches
by Dr. Florian Baab
Abstract: This paper introduces two approaches written by representatives of current secular humanism in Europe: Richard Norman’s “On Humanism” and Michael Schmidt-Salomon’s “Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism”. Although both books were published more than a decade ago, they still are the most widely circulated works on humanism in the European countries. While both authors reject religion and turn to humanism as the allegedly better alternative, their views differ strongly when it comes to the question what humanism is capable of: Is it primarily an individual life-stance for people without religion, or does it aim at improving the totality of human thinking and living? Do humanists still believe in historical progress, or do they represent a way to accept the limits of human fortune?
The Deplorable God Scandal and the Divine Lost Cause. Part 2: How the Megadisasters of the Innocents Disprove the High Moral Status of Religious Worshippers. A Decency and Science-Based Analysis
by Gregory Paul
Abstract: Even though experiencing historical declines, worship of a speculative creator continues to be practiced by a majority of humans despite the continuing lack of compelling evidence that the entity if it exists is righteous, moral and loving. Scientific statistical analysis was used to disprove the existence of a benign, wise and virtuous creator based on the overwhelming evidence contained in the Megadisasters of the Innocents.. Persistently downplayed or ignored by theologians who are unable to deal with the fatal problem, the suffering and premature death of immature humans and animals is too vast for a supernatural designer to be caring and moral. Having overseen the greatest criminal homicide against humanity, a putative creator lacks the moral authority to ban abortion or murder, or provide sound guidance for humans and their societies. Because any creator is gravely immoral, worship of such a deity in search of divine boons is immoral narcissism, and needs to be abandoned by humanity. This is all the more true because the statistics show that the most atheistic democracies are achieving the best socioeconomic conditions in human history, including the lowest rates of homicide.
Culturally Relative Self-Actualization for the Person of Today: A Precis for Empowering Children: A Multicultural Humanistic Approach
by Christopher J. Kazanjian, Ph.D.
Abstract: Growth-promoting relationships are more relevant than ever in a post-pandemic world. This precis of Empowering Children: A Multicultural Humanistic Approach (2021), explores the phenomenon of growth-promoting relationships through a multicultural humanistic psychological after-school program called Kidz n’ Coaches. This program seeks to facilitate the culturally relative self-actualization processes of volunteer college student Coaches and emerging children through group activities. The author also synthesizes humanistic psychology and multiculturalism into a multicultural humanistic psychology paradigm, where the consilience approach allows for a more relevant approach to the diverse human needs of the 21st century.
Review of This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom by Martin Hägglund
by Charles Murn
Abstract: Hägglund’s vision for democratic socialism is critiqued for its religious overtones, failure to describe any way to operationalize it, and lack of consideration of the political opposition to it.
Purism: Logic as the Basis of Morality
Abstract: In this article I attempt to overcome extant obstacles in deriving fundamental, objective and logically deduced definitions of personhood and their rights, by introducing an a priori paradigm of beings and morality. I do so by drawing a distinction between entities that are sought as ends and entities that are sought as means to said ends. The former entities, I offer, are the essence of personhood and are considered precious by observers possessing a logical system of valuation. The latter entities – those sought only as a means to an end – I term ‘materials.’ Materials are sought for their conditional value: Important for achieving sought ends, they are not considered precious in and of themselves. A normative system for how this dichotomy of entities should interact is consequently derived and introduced. This paradigm has applicability for modern humanism and beyond. Assuming societal technological progression whereby human bodies and their surrounding infrastructures continue to evolve and integrate, the distinction between beings and their supporting materials, and a moral code for their interactions, will become ever more relevant.
Moral By Nature: How Humans Get Good without God
by Don F. Selby
Abstract: Contrary to the assertion that without God there can be no morality, we can produce a coherent, evidentially well-supported account of morality requiring no appeal to gods. Human morality expresses itself as an intrinsic orientation to moral community, an orientation that is objective, because it is irreducibly social; heritable; and paradoxically clannish, yet permissive of dissent.