There is a burning hypocrisy that we see with religious and non religious minorities. By saying that I do not mean to generalize but this hypocrisy is native to every person in a minority who does not understand Humanism. This post is for that minority within a minority. And if you belong to that minority subset within the minority then it is time to change your views to make this world a better place to live.
Humanism is an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
I am going a bit further with an opinion that comes from the understanding and knowledge that religion is there to stay and there will always be a good amount of people who believe in things that cannot be proved but still will substantiate them with a set of beliefs they derive from whatever their faith or stance in life is.
So for me humanism comes more as a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, social justice, while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making. The specific words of Social Justice and ethics are important for me here as they can even supersede the evolutionary studies that if it states that man and women are different or that races have a significant difference should be overruled in the light of equality and equal rights. And I say that because social justice and ethics are not necessarily a scientific stand either just like it should not be a religious stand.
Humanism strongly stands on the understanding (and progress on that understanding) that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. It does not however, assume that humans are either inherently evil or innately good, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature. That is why we understand things like we need to address climate change and make this planet livable as we (at least now) cannot create another living world. This is all we have got. It strives us to take responsibility for what we do and this would branch into both religious and political arena where as a humanist you will have to weigh even political stands in its impact to Social Justice and ethics.
It is a continuous discussion and discourse between what we think is the right view. We can see this when we look at views on capital punishment, treatment of mental illnesses, reformation over punishments, ethical animal slaughtering for meat, animal rights activism that have made people aware to not use beauty products that engage in animal testing. Tomorrow we might come up with meat like products that could make animal slaughter completely a thing of history (of course having to the fight the backlash from the meat industry).
We all know of non vegetarians who do not wear leather or fur products and vegetarians who look down upon non-vegetarians but pose for selfies with leather bags, and fur caps. There is an irony in the world we live and our role as humanists is to leave and speak in a language that connects us from inside as the most intelligent species on this planet who can make a difference in both a good or a bad way.
Another Irony that I realized was that The term humanism was coined in 1808 by Friedrich Philipp Immanuel Niethammer who was a German theologian, religious philosopher and Lutheran educational reformer. The irony is all these came from a person who had dedicated his life to understand religion(s) as well as it was in Germany which after a few decades after his death saw the biggest blow to humanistic ideals under Hitler and the nazis.
Now coming to the Hypocrisy part, when you are a minority and do not understand or abide by humanistic values and philosophy (at least try to learn it) you end up like the Hindus and Muslims who wept when trump won the US elections. I have seen many weeping Hindus in America who always marked free speech advocates in India as unpatriotic. I also know people from muslim minorities who cried out loud in America against Trump but keep completely silent when it comes to minority rights in Pakistan or atheist bloggers and oppositions of the kingdom are flogged, incarcerated, tortured and executed in Saudi Arabia. These are the people who do not understand the value of humanism. Their silence to the atrocities in places where their denomination is in majority is what is called ‘HYPOCRISY’ at work.
The question is not where you are a minority where you live, the point is you always have to stand with the minority where ever you are. And this majority-minority business extends beyond religion and into politics where the people who spoke openly were a minority in totalitarian rules like the stalinist and maoist and pol pot regimes irrespective of their religious standing if they had any.
But yes there are humanists (a very large number) among religious sects and these are the people who while keeping their religious faith (which I would call irrational as a non religious person) look at the world rationally and have a strong stance when it comes to social justice and Ethics. In my opinion they are on their path to moving from religious dogma into a state of spirituality. Spirituality is also an area that is being discussed and debated in atheist and non religious circles with books like ‘waking up’ from Sam Harris who is a neuroscientist. As we understand the brain and its working and the many mysteries in our world both land and water we have come to understand or rather explain better or merely question better many of the things we feel and act upon as a species conscious of its actions.
I say hypocrisy of Non Religious people because Science’s job is not to give meaning for life (life as in what is our purpose in this world kind of questions) at the same time it is important to acknowledge that faith, spirituality etc… can provide many people with a sense of meaning and purpose for being complete. And this feeling for those people very real just like science is for the non religious. This also brings up the fights I have witnessed among some rationalists over the topic of feminism deciding what is real feminism or women’s equality some rationalists even bringing up and highlighting the evolutionary differences between man and woman and trolling them. To them I would say what George Carlin said “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”
When it comes to ethics and social justice we have to walk beyond science and religion, not even as a species but as a natural offspring of this planet.
Finally to put my thought through I say that the hypocrisy of the minorities should be discussed because I am a minority. As a minority atheist if I do not voice for someone being prosecuted in the name of their religion or religious faith then I am hypocritical. I will also be hypocritical if I do not say boldly that there is a hypocrisy among minorities.