I was talking to someone recently who seems to be leaving Catholicism to become an Atheist, or perhaps Agnostic? I’m not sure yet. She brought up one reason for staying in the faith was morality, but she now believes you don’t need religion for morality because we have predominately Atheist societies and they can retain their morals.
I told her, Atheists today tend to be Humanist. Although Humanism is a Christian philosophy, the word today has become synonymous with Atheism. Secular Humanism is Christian morality, but the motivations are different. Much like how Buddhism was made as a “philosophy” by stripping away the ethnic aspects of Hinduism to make it more convenient for export to other cultures.
What is interesting to me is how this philosophy manifests itself in a secular society. Christian morality is concerned with weakness, and in some manner overcoming that weakness. Religion does this through spirituality in some manner. I would say religion does it in more an introverted way. Prayer, meditation, teaching a person to overcome the weakness in themselves, or sin I suppose. Even going back to the Knight’s Templar who emerged during the Crusades, there was embedded in their philosophy that they were given power in order to defend the weak.
In modern secular society, they have similar notions, but expressed differently. It feels like the idea of a supreme power overlooking mankind, and attempting to win his sympathy will mean success in a person’s endeavors. This means that while the idea of overcoming weakness, and perhaps also defending the weak, still occurs among modern Secular Humanists, what appears to be more prevalent to an outsider is the victim mentality. For the Secular Humanist, the supreme power is man to win over, and the idea of others defending the weakeast is perhaps taken for granted today.
I am not saying either method is right, I am not a Humanist myself, just some observations for discussion I thought I’d open up. Maybe someone more well-versed in the philosophies of Humanism can enlighten me, how can it work without a god?