Robert C. Priddy

Writings on diverse themes from philosophy, psychology to literature and criticism

  • Robert Priddy

    In this blog I post information and critical views concerning ideologies, belief systems and related scientific materials etc. I am a retired philosophy lecturer and researcher, born 1936.

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Archive for May, 2010

Humanism educates, dispels ignorance and reduces miseries

Posted by robertpriddy on May 27, 2010

Humanism as it appeals to me holds that, within the conditions set by the natural world, human beings are themselves – either individually or collectively – entirely the cause of all the ills of the world, as well as all the good. It is safest and most likely by far that there is no other agency influencing humanity or nature.

Human history and enterprise, however fruitful or destructive, remain human, none of it is divine (or demonic). Whether material and practical, our works are ruled by precise and unavoidable natural laws, and conditioned by the environment, including social conditions. That an infinite power (the ‘God’ of ancient and modern beliefs) intervenes to rescue us is a ‘delusion and a snare’. Sometimes, when life seems to us too hard and unfair, otherwise sensible people looking for help and hoping for some ‘miracle’ delude themselves into religious beliefs. When succour fails to occur, many pray for salvation or invoke divine justice. There is, however, no definitive proof of any reasonable kind too show that a single divine intervention has ever occurred or  succeeded in saving humanity from its miseries. For every instance where it seems to have happened, there are countless others where it has not… it is just the law of averages at work, not any benign invisible agency.

If humans were the creation (or manifestation) of God or a divine will (though extremely unlikely) then he (or she or it) would also be entirely responsible for all human faults and so-called ‘evils’ which would be a consequence of that creation, known in advance to any omniscient entity. If it were that such a being existed who could create humans and provide them with a measure of ‘free will’, they would still not be responsible for their condition and choices, for these are made within a framework which is limited by creation itself and which gives very little room for overall change.  If we observe divine intervention in human history as this belief has been handed down to us from the most ancient of times when we understood almost nothing of the workings of nature, it is seen to be a superstition, a faulty primitive conception derived from ignorance combined with fear, escapism, desire and hope.  There have been and still are many thousands of claimants to divine knowledge and power. The India gurus especially know how to take advantage of those who listen to them, having a long and highly sophisticated tradition of priestly doctrine and means of control and manipulation of people to draw upon. It is constantly handed down by word of mouth with the vast pseudo-spiritual community of swamis, mendicants, gurus and the common herd who have been totally indoctrinated to accept their ‘teachings’.

However, enough wonder and beauty is in nature and our human world to make supernatural wonders superfluous.  Both beauty, ugliness, pleasure and pain are almost perfectly explainable by natural laws, which are experienceable and understandable. Even our origins, and the origins of the stars and galaxies are now understood to a vast extent – a development which has taken place within 100 years or so… which is a tiny time span compared to the billions of years of our solar system. The secret of how human have developed and how DNA programmes this is cracked and science is on the threshold of the creation of the most elementary life form from which all else came. All that was a most securely ‘closed book’ to the writers or ‘channellers’ of scripture… their wisdom was in fact simply a speculative mask for their ignorance of natural law in its myriad detail.


Posted in Belief, Creationism, Environment, Evolution, Free will, Ideology, Religion, religious faith, Science, Understanding | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »