Reason in Action PDF Book by Hector Hawton (Humanism)

Reason in Action PDF Book by Hector Hawton (Humanism) (1956)

Reason in Action

HUMANISM is not a single, comprehensive system of philosophy that you must take or leave. It is an attempt to deal with the situation in which no such a system and no religious revelation is conveniently available to resolve all our perplexities. If we are thrown on our own human resources, compelled to create our own standards of conduct, unable to count on some future existences in which mistakes and injustice will be redressed what then?

The essays in this volume are personal statements by five humanist writers. They do not agree on all points, and this is to be expected of a philosophy that throws total responsibility on the individual for making his own judgments and deciding what kind of life he should lead. But the points of view expressed here belong to the same family of ideas. They have sufficient in common to bring all who think on these lines to desire an organization that will exert an influence on public opinion and affairs. Humanists and rationalists the terms are regarded as synonymous may differ about high theory but they will usually be found voting in the same lobby on questions of social welfare and reform.

The plan of the book is to show how humanism is related to other philosophies and religions to state, for example, what the 'unbeliever believes. Then the long, historical tradition out of which contemporary humanism emerged is described. The remaining essays deal, in effect, with morality without religion (at least in the usual sense), the relationship of the individual to the community, and the various organizations which have acted as vehicles of these ideas. It is to be hoped that these essays by writers prominently associated with various humanist organizations will satisfy some of the curiosity which is felt about humanism itself and perhaps remove certain misconceptions from and clarify the minds of those who cannot accept the usual religious solutions and have not yet found a satisfying alternative.


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