Real Humanism

This latest piece by the BHA is at last a balanced collection of views from notable humanists – about what humanism is about. (I made a plea for balance earlier.)

A little too much focus on the “life after death” issue maybe – surely a non-issue to a humanist. The “why we hold science in high regard” section is pretty balanced too; emphasising the contingency of layers of knowledge built up over time, and the open-mindedness to correction. But yet again the high priest of science put his foot in it. This was my comment on the video:

As a long term humanist / atheist I have no problem holding science in high regard. Bronowski inspired me 35 40 years ago to the massively important – awesome – place of science in human civilisation, and humans in the cosmos. BUT the self-importance of scientists who say

science is THE poetry of reality

are as closed-minded and deluded as any religious believer.

It’s a very important poetry (and rhetoric and logic) of the presumed “out there” reality, sure, probably the most important from that presumption, but poetry and reality are far more than that to a humanist. So much more to human nature and human reasoning in the world than science. Science is full of human creativity, and human creativity extends well beyond science, thank goodness, as Bronowski knew.

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