On my mind. . .
Who defines these things, like secular, freethought, humanism, atheism?
Some might question my definitions, but these are my own understandings for my own life.
So, here goes:
“Secular”: the world as it is, and as we experience it; includes the human and non-human; religious believers and nones; pretty much everything (like Nature). Secular is.
“Freethought”: reasoning free of other people’s definitions (!); questioning and challenging the “right opinions” of anyone, theists or atheists; freely expressing what is true while reflecting on the meaning of truth
“Humanism”: identifying and affirming humanness (which we still seek to define); the relation between what is human and what is not (not always clear); a rational ethical practice that consistently asks: what is rational? what is ethical?
“Atheist”: obviously non-theistic, though a person might sense or suspect there is “something greater” (such as Universe, Nature, “Mind”); the nuance may come in what they do with that sense (honoring/respecting may be atheistic, worshipping would not); atheist is not equivalent to being anti-religious
Now, I hear some objections arising out there:
“Wait a minute, those aren’t the definitions I find in Websters, on Britannica, at the American Humanist Association, in the ‘Secular Community’ etc.”
Ok, got it.
Now, what makes you think I don’t draw from those sources PLUS my own thinking, my own experience? Is that ok? Does that count?
“But, you can’t make up definitions?”
Well … but don’t we all?
The dictionary is not my experience. Other seculars don’t speak for me. How others define Humanity, or my humanity, doesn’t dictate how I think or how I view who I am as a human being, how I should live, etc.
“But many people have written about these things. You should listen to them.”
Because. . .?
Once again, please don’t assume I don’t draw from the perspectives of many others. But my “authority,” though a compilation of authorities, is my choice. My final authority has to be truth.
And I have my views on that, as everybody does.
This has been on my (secular, freethinking) mind today.