I still haven't voted.
Curious, what do you think about this old episode (transcript) in which the Rogues dismiss secular humanism? It's right there in the beginning, in the memoriam part. (Note how Steve seems to have the impression that "humanist" is just another word for non-believer.)
I have a feeling that their current editorial stance would not permit this kind of discussion. So this old episode offers a glimpse into their viewpoint on the subject (at least their viewpoint in the past).
I assume you're referring to this section:
S: ...I think we tend to have a more of a scientific background and we care mainly about defending science. Just like—for myself personally I really couldn't care less what other people have as their personal faith. It's an internal, personal choice.
S: Who cares? It really does not bother me. I'm interested in defending science and reason and logic. Whenever—when any—if anyone makes a factual claim, a claim about the factual state of nature then they step into the ring of science, then they're fair game. But if they're talking about personal faith in the unknowable, they're outside the realm of science and I really couldn't care less. That's—which is why I'm involved in organized skepticism but not organized...
P: Secularism or atheism.
S: Secularism. Even though I consider myself an agnostic, it's just not something I care to put my time and effort into. Which is fine. I think—again I—I wish these secular humanists well and I certainly am... I certainly support their philosophy and their beliefs and what they're doing. I just don't think that I need to take it on as a skeptic. And that's what it really comes down to is the secular humanists, to some degree, feel like skeptics need to be fighting for their banner, too. That they're one and the same and they kind of resent it when we won't do that. "Why won't you take on religion. It's just as bad as UFOs and Bigfoot." It's like, "Yeah, but it's different. Because..."
First thought: that was over ten years ago (August 2005) and I think that it just might be possible for someone's views to evolve and change over that length of time.
Second thought: I don't think Steve was "dismissing" secular humanism, he was saying that secular humanists have a different mission
. The two movements - skepticism and secular humanism - are not the same, though they do overlap in some areas. He was saying that he feels that issues of belief (where they do not cross over into evidence) aren't a part of what he feels strongly about as a skeptic. He doesn't see a need, or a requirement, or an interest
for skepticism to address those subjects. To a certain extent it is impossible
for scientific skepticism to address those subjects. And I agree with him (and Perry). That's why there are two different and separate movements.
Third thought: I don't think Steve was using "secular humanist" as a synonym for non-believer. Notice how frequently he refers to "atheists and secular humanists". He is separating them. If he thought they were the same, he'd just use a single term to refer to them. Later, Steve says "Seventy percent of self-identified skeptics are also non-believers, also either atheists or agnostics or secularists." once again separating atheists from agnostics from secularists.
Final thought: I want to quote this bit of the transcript in its entirety, because I think it's very relevant:
S: Yeah. So, it—again, there's certainly a tremendous overlap. I think that the majority of both groups are in—are members of both groups, are both skeptics and non-believers, but as skeptics we need to be tolerant of what people profess as their personal faith. Again, I think we have to respect the freedom of religion. The freedom to believe whatever you want to believe. And if it's outside the realm of science, then it's not amenable to the rules of evidence. And then the only other thing you can really demand of the belief system is that it's internally logical. It does not, sort of, contradict itself.