What is the case for Christian humanism

A humanist about religion

At the request of the Würzburg GWUP group, Timm Grams is to speak on the subject of "Skepticism and Religion". Since, in his opinion, a skeptic should hold back on questions of worldview, he asked for support from a humanist. So I - Frank Stößel - appear as the second speaker. We have agreed on the topic “The tension between skepticism-humanism-religion”. We will have a table discussion about this with those present on June 12th.

My part is to illuminate the relationship between Humanism and religion following the article Skeptics About Religion.

As a member of a humanistic ideology community, I am not talking about the relationship between religion and humanism in general, I am offering myView as a humanist on religion and humanism at.

Skeptical and self-conscious about religion

Skepticism is not my field of experience. But I am skeptical of ideologies that are all too often confused with principles, such as when using the term secularismwhen you actually Secularity as a prerequisite for a fruitful coexistence of religious and non-religious convictions. I like to avoid debates about religion because as a humanist I got to know it in many ways, including its superstructure (theology), middle (clergy) and substructure (church people). I don't miss religion at all. Even as a child I refused to obey her and later turned my back on her when I left the church. I try to shape my life as a convinced humanist. To as from Religion free manabout religion and humanism To get into conversation, I fall back on generally known ideas from history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology and ethnology

Liberal socialization

I owe the fact that I have a good deal of skepticism towards religion and humanism to my liberal socialization. I come from a typical German mixed marriage. My mother, Protestant like her mother, saw herself as a believer in God like her father, who was close to the free religious. My father was influenced by the Rhenish Catholics like his mother, while his father was Protestant. There was no prayer in my family, religion was a private matter.

It looked different on the outside. Going to church with the father was voluntary. All of us children were sent to communion and confirmation. Our education in kindergarten and school according to the Catholic Confession was a concession by the parents to the Catholic Church after an evangelical wedding that was not yet recognized at the time. That my parents sent me to a Catholic boarding school so that I could be a Late bloomer Coming to my Abitur would enable me to gain further experience on religion, faith, piety and the church. As a 14-year-old I had the idea atheist pastor because I liked working for and with people so much.

Before I graduated from high school, I wanted to quit religious education with some classmates, which we preferred not to do because of the enormous pressure from the school management. At the University of Education you could choose philosophy instead of religious education as an examination subject. That was an intellectual release for me. As I was making my own money paying church tax, I realized that I should be paying for something that I hadn't had to do in a long time. Because of foreseeable disadvantages I delayed leaving the church.

Only after my second degree as a special needs teacher did I leave the church and therefore had no chance of applying to private special needs schools. Fortunately, I was able to work at state special schools.

I did not become an atheist pastor, but since 1988 I have been trained by the HVD Humanistic speaker for funeral, wedding and name celebrations. For years this activity was an obstacle to my official promotion as well as to my public honorary posts, until I was appointed head of a public school in Bavaria in 1995. Since the mid-1990s, as a self-confessed humanist, you could of course work in the Bavarian school service. According to the school laws one was nevertheless obliged to educate the pupils according to the Christian worldview and to cultivate the school prayer. As an avowed humanist, I was not asked to do that. They were glad that I took over ethics classes for the non-religious students.

As the headmaster of a state school for the sick, I did not have to attend religious instruction, but before that I had to face an embarrassing questioning of my employer as to whether I was a non-denominational nihilist, even though my work as a funeral spokesman was well known to a worldview community recognized as a corporation under public law . After explaining my humanistic image of man, the employer's reservation was dispelled. Accordingly, as the headmaster, I was still given permission to take on secular funeral services for relatives of non-denominational members on a part-time basis. As a non-religious rector, I was under special observation, but also experienced cautious respect but hardly any interest in humanism as a principle, worldview or even as an alternative to religion.

Disobedience to religion

Is such disobedience to religion humanism? Especially the controversial one Martin Luther in his impropriety to the Pope's infallibility is an eloquent example of disobedience to the faith and its authorities. Because of that, however, he was far from being a humanist, because that was true for him Homo-Mensura-Sentence of Protagoras not, that Let man be the measure of all things, the existing that they are and the non-existing that they are not.

Did his rebellion have something humanistic about it, because it wanted to lead people from the supposedly God-willed immaturity into direct personal responsibility towards God through a new, more understandable interpretation of the Bible? The reformer did not want to take the next step towards secular humanism, namely to bring down the dogma of God. He defined it more openly, but gave humanism no chance without God. The progress was that every human being can enter into dialogue with God without an intermediary. According to surveys, less and less non-religious people even want to know about this today. You prefer to go Immanuel Kant following on the assumption that man can use his own mind.

Be good with and without God

Accordingly, one must also be able to be good without God. 2013 emphasized that one can be and do good with God as well as without God Henning Vorscherau at the German Humanist Day in Hamburg in front of a small audience. At the same time, tens of thousands of visitors to the Evangelical Church Congress reassured each other of their belief, with all too generous support from the state, that man is only good with God. The former governing mayor of Hamburg, however, exemplified this with his statement Principle of the secularity of the state and had thus made a typically humanistic offer of dialogue, with which dogmatic free thinkers the hair could stand on end. With that the free spirit left Look ahead similar to the evolutionary biologist Bernd Hölldoblerwhen he presented himself in the Main-Post interview as good-natured atheist referred to, the controversial question of the existence or non-existence of God cleverly out of the way. Humanists are convinced that by virtue of their, of Frans de Waali.a. explored innate morality can be good without God.

Everyone should be saved according to his own style

The humanist is owed to intellectual freedom, tolerance and religious peace, the statement of the enlightened absolutist Frederick the Great accept as generally valid: "Everyone may be saved according to his own style." Our limited minds on questions of the existence or non-existence of God dictate this, as do the principles of democracy and human rights. In both codes, the rights and duties of both positive and negative religious freedom are laid down as universal, inalienable basic rights for believers and non-believers. But where is the tolerance towards non-believers, which is also required of believers, who are all too happy to be referred to as unbelievers and who are declared to be second-class people with reference to God and his holy scriptures.

Tolerance between religious and non-religious

Apparently very different Pope Francis in his controversial sermon in 2013 claiming that Jesus liked atheists too. Jesus died for all people. Believers and non-believers could therefore find a common meeting place where good works are being done. Doing good is not a question of faith, but a universal principle that unites humanity beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions. At first glance, this seems conciliatory, but you immediately notice the casual volte that all people, including atheists, are supposed to be from God.

If the pontiff were to actually proclaim his special humanism with and without reference to God, the Roman Catholic building of faith would collapse like a house of cards. But what about humanism if the representatives of the world religions would admit what has long been a fact that people can be good and live in peace even without God, religion, clergy and church. However, this view would jeopardize religion as a profitable business model.

So shouldn't humanism simply be exchanged as religion without God for religion with God? That would be unthinkable now and in the long term. Because if humanism would not be deformed into ideology instead of in an open society like Gunnar Schedel it demands, represented as a principle and lived as an attitude?

Religion made by people

Researchers inclined to humanism like Edward O. Wilson do not ask wrongly when thinking about the Meaning of human life for the benefit of religion. Just like music, it can lead to rapture with the release of the messenger substance dopamine. May be; but that is not yet evidence that God or nature, according to Spinozas The idea that God is nature or that nature is God, who has placed such a high diversity of religions on people.

I tend to think so Ludwig Feuerbach to the fact that God and religions are made by men. Could the idea in ethnology from Consesus gentium not to be used as a verifiable proof of God as an agreement of the peoples in the assumption of a universal belief in God was sufficient long before Ciceros Conception of the similarly interpreted Consensus nationem also does not meet the requirements. Such interpretations of the biased ethnologists were too transparent when it came to the question of the meaning of religion in human life.

Gave up Friedrich Engels in explaining the Function of religion nor the illusion that the Human instinct for personificationIn the last century, according to this theory, gullible freethinkers expected that religions would dissolve with the progress of the Enlightenment through dialectical materialism. Nowadays we experience a rollback of old and new religions in the poor houses of the world as well as in the affluent countries, promoted by a low level of education and a high missionary, media potential.

As a result, there is discrimination against non-religious people in private and public life instead a kind of ecumenism of believers, those of other, unbelievers and non-believers, let alone that one can change one's belief or reject it, which one has the right to do according to human rights in free self-determination. Tried a new view of human cohesion Eugene Drewermann with a psychoanalytic view of the central beliefs of the Catholic denomination, and Hans Küng constructed the Global Ethic. This did not lead to more tolerance among the religions and their numerous subdivisions. All too obviously such gimmicks were aimed at the salvation and moderation of one's own religion in order to prevent emancipation from it. The fundamental endeavor to moderate and tame religion with regard to its fateful connection between belief and violence, like you recently, was correct Norbert Lammert warned. Can humanism contribute to this endeavor? Yes and no. First and foremost, this task must be taken on by the religious societies themselves, with enlightenment and human rights as core elements of humanism providing guidelines.

You have to believe in something

Even this often-heard sentence that one has to believe in something does not help, since there is no general obligation to believe and there are too many arguments against religious belief. After all, it is extremely futile to convince people that one lives with or with God right, better, healthier or longer. Everyone should decide for themselves, for which there is plenty of guidance available. So should Navid Kermanis Warning that it is not enough to say that violence has nothing to do with Islam and that it also applies to all other religions as soon as they try to assert themselves with violence.

Finiteness as a measure of man

With the Janus-faced religious freedom in the open society will turn out thegood-natured humanist can be satisfied today, but he too would like to be respected in his worldview. He himself is not necessarily free of elements such as universality, humanity and spirituality, which religions claim for themselves. So could a guest at Humanistic celebrations of life definitely get the impression that he was at a free, yet religious event because of these observations. It is a community of like-minded people. The celebration is organized by a spokesperson commissioned by the community. Humanistic rituals, texts and images are used. The celebration is human, individual and worthy without any reference to the hereafter. The honored people are under the protection of the community. The place of the celebration is determined by the participants Sanctuary, in which certain rules apply. The emotionally strong experience that all people are finite and have to die is something that the participants take with them, which is highly memorable. In table conversations one philosophizes about God and the world and casually ends up in ideologically very personal dialogues. So each participant contributes to what has become concrete cultural evolution by not only about humanity, individuality, solidarity, principles of life and of Karin B. Schnebel The values ​​described are spoken, but these values ​​are visibly lived. The Spark of humanity from person to person without the mediation of any god or one chosen by him skip. Humanists believe that the good life succeeds and makes one happy even without God, although they like religious people about their frailty and the Democracy of death knowledge.

Ability to be compassionate

What religious and non-religious people can communicate with each other from the experience described above, and also occasionally do so, is fortunately always seen after natural disasters, famine, war and terror. Obviously, regardless of their religion or worldview, people in such situations forget the trenches that are more or less present in the societies of the earth according to their religious affiliation. Then concrete help and peace are more important than true faith, because love for people in the sense of Edward O. Wilson highlighted Anthropicity breaks new ground again and again. The philosopher saw the principle of being human Werner Marx in the Human ability in the face of other people's suffering to be able to suffer, to what end the innate ones discovered in the recent past Mirror neurons empower even without experience of suffering. Such experiences can create a culture of cohesion that needs to be cultivated mindfully.

Foundation of human cohesion

According to the French ethnologist David Emile Durkheim, Religions and their followers tried to find a foundation social cohesion and social identity. But Religion paired with the right to sole representation, as was also characteristic of an ideologically abused form of humanism in the last century, can lead to exclusion with fatal consequences for those who think differently and the suppression of freedom of thought.Despite recognition of the Charter of Human Rights, contrary to the knowledge of diversity and empathy, tolerance towards being different all too often comes under pressure, as if it were just a matter of dividing the world into claims. As nonsensical examples of the division of the world with the help of religion, let me give you papal bull Aeterni regis in favor of the naval powers of Spain and Portugal or to the current one Idea of ​​the Islamic State remind.

The historian made contracts between religion and the state that are incompatible with democracy and that are still effective today Karlheinz Deschner with his Criminal history of Christianity just as attentively as liberal theologians did with their research into scientifically no longer tenable biblical truths. Today religions and world views should write their crime stories, admit their errors and negotiate a reorganization of religions on the basis of human rights. But who would be in a position to do this if not even the United Nations, which is characterized by enlightenment and humanism, could not do it? Interreligious conversations, taking into account ethnicity, skin color, language, culture, rights of women and children, unfortunately all too often reached dead ends when negotiating accordingly, precisely because of the religions. Could humanism be helpful in such an interreligious dialogue? Yes. He would only have to be asked to the table so that the religions can see the other side of their medal in front of you. You recognize that every person is allowed to live, change or quit his religion.

Humanism as a solution for everyone?

Could be humanism since Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God to be the solution to the dilemma with religion? If one assumes that humanism defines itself as the opposite of theism, then humanism would be free-thinking, non-religious, anti-religious, free-religious or atheistic, depending on whether one is the deist Spinoza, the free spirit Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the free religious Johannes Ronge, the free thinker Wilhelm Liebknecht, the monists Ernst Haeckel, the founders of Humanist Union (HU) or of the Humanist Associationit Germany (HVD) for advice? All humanist currents have in common that they wanted to serve the Enlightenment, which influenced the American Revolution and the French Revolution, then all democracies and contributed to the different degrees of secularization of Western societies.

Restrained secularization marginalizes humanism

However, since 1803 we are still in a phase of braked secularization. In 1919 the Weimar Constitution demanded in vain To replace state payments to religious societies based on law, contract or special legal titles with state legislation. Hitler put the Roman Catholic Church politically cold, while at the same time rewarding it for its good behavior with the Reich Concordat of 1933, which is still valid today, and which other religious communities understandably refer to in order to obtain equal privileges.

Since the adoption of the Basic Law in 1949, we have been waiting for the second time for the decision to replace state payments to the churches to be implemented in order to improve the relationship between the ideologically neutral state Religious societies and the associations that make the maintenance of a worldview their task to be democratically compatible. Neither humanism per se nor the HVD, as a recognized ideological community, can alone offer the solution, but they can provide essential impulses for the equality of religion and humanism in an ideologically neutral state.

Weighing up arguments about how to lead the good life cannot be based on uncheckable truths. For worldly humanism there is no dialogue with God and gods, with spirits and ancestors. Even if, according to this assumption, there is no extraterrestrial help in weighing up the various arguments for a human-appropriate way of life, humanism still resides as a method Paul Kurtz` View a dialogical force that can help people make decisions. In this dialogue, the Human rights to freedom and self-determination be taken into account in both private and social life. The fact that these rights are largely respected in the Federal Republic of Germany in comparison to other states is a great step forward, but the current extent is far from being satisfactory, since one is not only available in European Germany Reorganization of the relationship between state and religion Like the proverbial devil, shies away from holy water.

Humanists for enlightenment and dialogue

Secular humanists are understandably skeptical of religion. They consistently stand up for one curricular humanism because they don't believe in ultimate truths. That is why they are committed to education and open dialogue with all groups in society, including of course with religions. In the so-called Luther year 2017, the HVD has the supposedly Lutheran Theses posted by Wittenberg taken as an occasion and a paper with me 33 theses against discrimination against non-denominational people in Germany published, which I recommend for the debate on humanism and religion in an ideologically neutral constitutional state www.reformation2017.jetzt as well as that Report on the disadvantage of non-religious people in Germany of the HVD Federal Associationwww.glaeserne-waende.de as well as the Humanistic principles of the HVD Bavariawww.hvd-bayern.de

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