Quick Note on Humanism
In the beginning, there was man, then man made God(s). Once man made God, that became the foundation for human progress. God was, at first, a beacon into enlightenment; an awakening of the spirit, and a pathway to the stars. Over time, humanity decided that there wasn’t enough room in the stars for both God(s) and the universe, so man made it illegal to explore the nature of the stars and everything that exist around them. In fact, it was considered blasphemous to think anything but God(s) resided there, and heresy to discuss it. This inevitably slowed down any cosmological research and limited humanity’s level of intellectual progress for centuries. One beacon humanity still had were revolutionary thinkers, free thinkers who would challenge the status quo and forever alter our perception of the universe and how it works.
Humanism is the Evolution of Philosophy
Centuries and eras ago, humanity’s greatest asset was the philosophers and astrologers, who gazed upward toward the sky and saw what everyone else ignored. They sought God(s), but unable to find that–decided to focus on what they could see. With God(s) not speaking or showing themselves, the focus was placed on constellations. Constellations inevitably received stories of their own, and mythologies grew. From those mythologies, even more, God(s) was born, but with one very interesting alteration. These Gods didn’t hinder intellectual growth, they actually fostered them. Men/women like Plato, Aristotle, and Epictetus began to use the stars themselves, coupled with mathematics to explain the universe and how it worked, rather than relying on only spiritual/religious explanations. Throw in a little philosophy and the concepts of modern science were being born.
As modern science began growing in popularity, philosophy was being taken to a whole new level. Somehow, there was plenty of room for both philosophy and Gods, that is until the Abrahamic religions began to take over, and monotheism slowly dominated the polytheistic structure that worked so well in the building of Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. The advent of the Abrahamic religions did not hinder the philosophers, however, who chose to incorporate the God(s) into their theories on life and the afterlife. One thing that the ancient philosophers did well, made a case for the intellectual evolution of man, insofar as encouraging men to look beyond what their environments could explain to find the answers to their existence. Men like Plato challenged others to push boundaries and human limits in search of truths before landing in an eventual Utopian oasis. The case for humanism had begun.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. ~Plato
Humanism: To Boldly Go Where No one Has Gone Before
When you allow the religious arguments about the Godlessness of scientific research to be cast aside, you quickly learn just how much of a hindrance ancient religious idealism can be when it is applied to modern circumstances. Humanistic ideals don’t seek to remove religious concepts, it only seeks to shift humanity’s focus from the hereafter to the here and now. It seeks to assist man in preparing for the future, rather than stay limited to the past. It seeks to push scientific discovery forward, as opposed to limiting its progress. In essence, the goal of the humanistic structure is to let humanity evolve beyond the constraints that ancient paranoia once thought were necessary for our survival, as now those very beliefs threaten us with extinction. No, humanism doesn’t seek to remove religious ideas from our world, it seeks to allow us the freedom we need to evolve past its restrictions. Seeing the galaxy didn’t take God(s) out of it, it only allows us to get a greater look at what a potential God(s) may have created. For those who gain comfort from religious idealism, this should be a tribute to his/her/their awesomeness and not a threat to his/her/their existence.
Humanistic idealism seeks to advance humanity’s belief in its own worthiness to exist without first receiving divine judgment from a Deity. It holds humanity under its own scrutiny and forces us to be responsible for our own actions. It provides us with accountability for our current weaknesses, and acceptance that what we lack in ability is caused by our reluctance to grow as individuals, and our insistence on refusing to let others do the same. Humanism is a way for us to nurture the divine wisdom within ourselves that allows us to seek out life beyond what we see as acceptable. It makes science fiction seem more possible and places magic within our reach in a manner that is more tangible than what physics or religion can explain. It is that first step on our future journey toward galaxies well beyond our reach. Someday, we will understand just what Star Trek meant to tell us about how far humanity can go if we just let go of our fears of what is really out there.