Humanist Network News: The Bookless Humanist

[originally posted through Humanist Network News]

How does a humanist, who doesn’t believe in a magic deity (or deities), navigate the rocky road of life without a guidebook?

Chaplains often ask the question above, or a version of it, when atheists and humanists come seeking support.  In an article for Humanist Network News, Candace Drimmer has endeavored to answer that question.

[F]or the non-believers we’ve always had within us the power to solve life’s questions using that most wonderful organ, the human brain.

Her answer does provide the solution to life’s problems – the brain.  Not just a simple intellectualism, but the opportunity our brain affords to gather wisdom, to interpret the world around us, and to lean on supportive friends and family.

I would add that no matter how limited our an individuals brain might be, it is the only solution available.  Reliance upon supernatural beings or powers is only an option for those who believe these beings and powers not only exist, but have laid out a happy, ethical, and meaningful life that we can discover, presumably in scripture.  Even then, the “Pascal’s Wager” of trying to select the right one among all the thousands of options offers slim odds.  Using our brains to understand the world through science and reasoning our way to moral action, is more difficult than fixating on one ancient scripture but the Atheist’s Way is also far more reliable.

So as to how a humanist goes through life without a guidebook, I’d say, very well, thank you very much.

We don’t just have one book, we have all the books ever written (and a smaller MAAF book list), and we have a responsibility to live the well-examined life.  Living Well through Secular Humanism is a challenge as daunting as it is inspiring and fulfilling.

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