Author Topic: Humanism vs nationalism  (Read 2521 times)

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Online John Albert

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2018, 03:12:16 PM »
One of the main points of humanism is to explicitly reject the tribal BS.

That's not part of the Humanist Manifesto.

I do appreciate the nitpick, but I wasn't quoting anything verbatim.


There's a bit in there acknowledging that humans are social in nature and find meaning in relationships, and a bit about working for society to maximise human happiness, and then it says

Quote
Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

But that's as close as it gets to "rejecting tribal BS".

By "tribal BS" I meant the attitude that some people are less human than others, simply because they have a different culture.

And yes, the Humanist Manifesto presents the same basic idea in a more eloquent way.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2018, 06:29:44 PM »
By "tribal BS" I meant the attitude that some people are less human than others, simply because they have a different culture.

Well that's not what I would describe as "tribal BS". I would describe that as outright racism and xenophobia. So I apologise for misinterpreting your intent there.
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Online John Albert

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2018, 09:57:24 PM »
By "tribal BS" I meant the attitude that some people are less human than others, simply because they have a different culture.

Well that's not what I would describe as "tribal BS". I would describe that as outright racism and xenophobia. So I apologise for misinterpreting your intent there.

Tribalism needn't be about racism or nationalism per se. It just means holding allegiance to one's own social group over others, often to the exclusion of others.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2018, 10:35:12 PM »
By "tribal BS" I meant the attitude that some people are less human than others, simply because they have a different culture.

Well that's not what I would describe as "tribal BS". I would describe that as outright racism and xenophobia. So I apologise for misinterpreting your intent there.

Tribalism needn't be about racism or nationalism per se. It just means holding allegiance to one's own social group over others, often to the exclusion of others.

Exactly, which is why I objected to your apparent assumption that tribalism was all about racism and nationalism - that it was about seeing one's own culture as necessarily superior to all others. As I said, this may have been a misinterpretation on my part.

But let's move on.
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Online John Albert

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2018, 11:25:12 PM »
Where did you get the idea that I think tribalism is just about racism and nationalism? I don't think I ever said that. I just offered racism and nationalism as two of the most obvious examples. 

In the broad sense, tribalism just means strong self-identification with a group, especially when it involves disparagement of outgroups. It could also include religious bigotry, beliefs of ethnic superiority, criminal gang affiliations, or even political rivalries.

My point is that humanists value our shared human condition over and above such ideological credos.

But by all means, lets move on.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 11:39:00 PM by John Albert »

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2018, 02:52:35 PM »
In my mind, humanism kind of has the baggage of being rebranded atheism, but a statement of what you positively do believe. I think the subtext is that religious doctrine is the biggest divider, and that humanism is an antidote to that.

But real question is, does it work? There doesn't seem to be any successful mainstream movement, in any modern culture, that has managed to actually stop nationalism. It seems that nationalism is directly related to having a national identity, plus any sense of competition with another nation. Maybe nationalism is like devotion to a sports team. People get beat up and killed over sports team rivalries. So with something so much bigger and less trivial (sovereign state and its identity), we should expect it to be that much nastier.

Maybe a better way to think of this is to look at cases where nationalism is correlated to other kinds of identities: i.e. island nations like Iceland and Japan where national identity and ethnicity/race are basically the same. If someone from one of those places is bigoted towards outsiders, is it nationalism? Or racism? Or something else?

Online John Albert

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2018, 10:03:04 PM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

Offline haudace

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2018, 12:09:53 AM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

Success / failure is a pretty good gauge whether or not something is worth the effort in my humble opinion.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2018, 12:17:58 AM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

Success / failure is a pretty good gauge whether or not something is worth the effort in my humble opinion.

John wasn't questioning that. He was questioning why replacement of nationalism was considered to be the criterion for success. Why that, and not something else?
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Online John Albert

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2018, 01:00:45 AM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

Success / failure is a pretty good gauge whether or not something is worth the effort in my humble opinion.

And the criteria by which you gauge success says a lot about your own values.

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2018, 11:21:56 AM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

The implied premise of [secular] humanism is that religion is the biggest creator of division. In today's more secular world, that premise seems to be outdated. Nationalism is the new sectarianism. If humanism has no realistic answer for nationalism, then its premise that humanity can be united/unified is not realistic (or not sensible, based on human nature).

Offline Billzbub

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2018, 02:30:47 PM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

The implied premise of [secular] humanism is that religion is the biggest creator of division. In today's more secular world, that premise seems to be outdated. Nationalism is the new sectarianism. If humanism has no realistic answer for nationalism, then its premise that humanity can be united/unified is not realistic (or not sensible, based on human nature).

I think I disagree.  The premise of humanism is that the humanist themselves doesn't create divisions based on religion, nationalism, or anything else.  I don't think humanism requires humanists to go out into the world and force humans to unite with each other.
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Offline stands2reason

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2018, 03:07:40 PM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

The implied premise of [secular] humanism is that religion is the biggest creator of division. In today's more secular world, that premise seems to be outdated. Nationalism is the new sectarianism. If humanism has no realistic answer for nationalism, then its premise that humanity can be united/unified is not realistic (or not sensible, based on human nature).

I think I disagree.  The premise of humanism is that the humanist themselves doesn't create divisions based on religion, nationalism, or anything else.  I don't think humanism requires humanists to go out into the world and force humans to unite with each other.

I see. That is a semantic difference. I don't doubt that humanism is a good philosophy to have.

Quote from: https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good.

But it also makes the general statement that humanity in general has the ability to rise above such divisions. If only humanists, and not humanity in general, have the ability to do that, then it is based on a flawed premise.

This does seem like a nitpick. I am not sure what exactly to call it, but they are basically saying what they want the future to be (that people or humanity in general is basically good, or can be), not what is currently the case. In my mind, the recent rise of nationalism suggests that as soon as sectarianism is gone, that tribal psychology is just waiting for something else to latch onto.

But maybe that is just a coincidence. Maybe the better question is, if/when a world government were created, would something replace nationalism just like nationalism replaced religion? Or is it just that faith and sovereign identity are the two fundamental sources of tribalism?

Offline Billzbub

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2018, 04:15:48 PM »
...
But maybe that is just a coincidence. Maybe the better question is, if/when a world government were created, would something replace nationalism just like nationalism replaced religion? Or is it just that faith and sovereign identity are the two fundamental sources of tribalism?

Look at America as an example of this.  We have one federal government, and just about every American truly considers themselves to be American, but we are still ridiculously tribally divided.  So yes, I agree with you that human beings are doomed to tribalism regardless of its form.

I dream of a future where metacognition is a science on the same level as physics and chemistry where every kid learns in school how tribalism infected our past because we didn't know enough metacognitive science to overcome it.  We could start a Metacog movement and try to bring this future about.
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Online John Albert

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Re: Humanism vs nationalism
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2018, 10:55:31 AM »
Why are you hinging the success or failure of humanism on how effectively it replaces nationalism?

The implied premise of [secular] humanism is that religion is the biggest creator of division. In today's more secular world, that premise seems to be outdated. Nationalism is the new sectarianism. If humanism has no realistic answer for nationalism, then its premise that humanity can be united/unified is not realistic (or not sensible, based on human nature).

I think I disagree.  The premise of humanism is that the humanist themselves doesn't create divisions based on religion, nationalism, or anything else.  I don't think humanism requires humanists to go out into the world and force humans to unite with each other.

Agreed. Secularism is the belief that religion should not be allowed to meddle in the workings of government. Humanism is the morality of treating all humans as worthy of dignity, respect, and care.

Secular humanists needn't be explicitly anti-religion.

 

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