131 Theology of Humanism 1 Feb 2022
The title of this article is not an oxymoron. Theology refers to studying existence from God’s viewpoint and humanism refers to studying existence from the human viewpoint. Existence survives either stance, not changing because of what we call it. Ernstraudian philosophy conflates the two: deity and humanity are attributes of a unitary entity. This is the fundamental teaching that godhood is a future state of those who are now humans (article 52).
Some humanists use the word “spirituality” to describe their moral compass. The term is not poisoned for them the way the term “faith” is. In contrast, I express my humanism by saying I have great faith in the scientific method. This emphasizes to my readers that I am not hung up on terminology. I seek a consistent ontology (nature of being) expressible in whatever terms the reader will understand.
When we make our worlds different by attaching different labels to our values, we are isolating ourselves from a greater reality. The more we comprehend each other, the more of reality we encompass.
Our values lie in our actions, what we do, not in the words with which we describe those values. Breast milk nourishes the infant without regard to the beliefs expressed by the mother. Agriculture occupies soil without labeling it godly or worldly. Enlightenment is nourished by every understanding we acquire as we study each other’s perspectives. There is no single right orientation that makes all others wrong.
I expect church-going readers to tolerate my “worldly” humanist expressions, and atheistic readers to tolerate my theistic expressions. My experience lies in both spheres, which I insist on bringing together. Indeed, these words are umbrella terms. There are infinite variations and degrees of belief and unbelief, and simple dichotomy is unrealistic. Here we meld self with other by acknowledging the sameness of things we describe differently.
There is a Buddhist teaching that recommends regarding an opponent as a future Buddha. A corresponding theist attitude is to regard an atheist as a future god. The mindset promotes respect, being peaceful together.
I am being consistent speaking as a future god while also speaking as a nontheist.
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Am I a preacher? Am I an atheist? My readers reside in and between both camps. I write to them all, trying to do so in their languages. My personal thought process combines more viewpoints than these. Existence is unitary; our descriptions vary. I write as a future god while I am writing as an atheist, recognizing that my value is not what I write but rather what you think after you read it.