What is Secular?


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.

Categories: SecularTags: , , , ,

4 comments

  1. I like your way of thinking and find this very inspiring. Thank you!

  2. “Trust thyself. Every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

    : ) Define away!!

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