Ethical Humanism is Beat Down Music
Ethical humanism is something I had not heard of until this week. Before I get to how I was introduced to this, ahem, fascinating world view, let’s do some cryptojournalism! Since ethical humanism is such a vague, innocuous, nebulous, so on and so forth phrase, it’ll be fun to see how they describe themselves. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Like anyone who wants to learn about a new topic, I took to the internet. No shit, kiddo. What’s your other option? The library? I thought they were retrofitted to be homeless alcoves. Did some new legislation pass or something?
Lo and behold, I was able to find an explanation of what ethical humanism stands for. Prepare to have your pants blown off your ass. I’ve come across plenty of crazy in my time on Earth. This is somebody who went to Scientology Summer School at the Delphian School in Sheridan, Oregon as a middle schooler. Ethical humanism is almost in the ball park of Scientology crazy. Which, FYI and BTW, is fucking nuts. The New Yorker’s recent article on the organization is illuminating, for those with a morbid sense of humor.
Sorry, I’m not trying to sidetrack into other realms of madness. Ethical humanism is balls to the wall crazy enough. Since 80% of cryptojournalism is misinterpreting things, we should have fun with this.
WARNING: There are ten bullet points describing this fascinating, textural, unrelenting madness. After an introductory passage. Please note any misspellings are from the original text. Buckle up, this could lead to a Scanners moment.
Ethical Humanism is a complex response to the world of those who hold that man is self-dependent. It rejects absolutes and cannot be characteristically represented by any tabulation of statements. Those that follow should be read as an indication of what humanism stands for, rather than as a declaration of what humanism is.
Complex response to the world of those who hold that man is self-dependent? That, to my four friends and admirers, is some of the most roundabout, say-nothing, contradictory, rhetorical doublespeak I’ve ever read. Nobody in the world is self-dependent. It’s impossible. Call it cynicism, call it realism, but no man is an island. And ‘complex response’ is a silver tongued way of saying ‘nothing’.
On a brighter note, ethical humanism rejects absolutes. Remember how you always thought fire was hot? Not if your an ethical humanist! Broad, vague assertions like rejecting absolutes make for fun cryptojournalism, but the actual real-world repercussions are insane. THIS is the breed of mindset which leads to ideas like “Up is down” or “Water is dry”. Because there are no absolutes, see? Overlooking hard scientific facts, set in stone absolutes within the universe, is courting disaster. Keep in mind this steaming pile of philosophical sophistry was published in 1965, so it’s not new. If you haven’t yet today, Thank God for the ’60s.
Now what in Piker’s Cove does it mean that ethical humanism “cannot be characteristically represented by any tabulation of statements”, besides being a complete cop out. It vaguely reminds me of Richard Dawkins explaining the Flying Spaghetti Monster to Ms. Garrison. Gross.
Explaining something as essentially unexplainable should be left for describing God or how you got home from the bar last weekend. Meaning it is for deities and black-out drunks. Unacceptable. If your bullshit detector is not blaring after reading that blather, you should get it tuned up ASAP. Indication vs. declaration? Really, fellas? Gee whiz, it sounds so mysterious. It must be great!
To the ten points!
1. Ethical Humanism expresses a moral conviction; it is acceptance of responsibility for human life in the world.
A moral conviction? Hmmmmm, which moral is lucky enough to garner the conviction of the E.H. community? Is ambivalence a moral? Shadiness hasn’t become a moral, has it? As for the second half?
Well, ‘acceptance of responsibility for human life in the world’ is certainly a mouth full. Some may interpret it as taking personal responsibility in your own life. Well, this wouldn’t be cryptojournalism if it couldn’t be morphed into something wild and wacky, like Plastic Man.
Read again, ‘acceptance of responsibility for human life in the world’ could also easily mean “taking control of people of Earth.” Not too far a stretch, is it? Like that ex of yours who, when y’alls were arguing, would drive you mad by slightly changing their tone of voice, people can play games with words.
Before you link over to Slate or Drudge, bear with me on this claim. Any time the names Julian Huxley and UNESCO pop up in the history of a movement’s umbrella group (in this case, the International Humanist and Ethical Union), some segment of the population will cry ‘World Takeover’. That’s not for me to decide. Is it? No, clearly not. Or I’d be working for UNESCO.
To be honest, while I figured ethical humanism was some daft UN front to whittle away so-called ‘traditional values’, I didn’t actually expect it to be the case. Yeah, my bullshit detector is working as well as I could hope.
Back to the grist of this mill.
2. It represents a way of life relying upon human capacities and natural and social resources.
Umm…….I’m going to let Depeche Mode take this one. Take ‘er away, boys.
Thank you, David Gahan. I don’t think my wrinkly brain could craft a reasonable explanation for what in tarnation human capacities and social resources are to ethical humanists. Screw it, gotta try.
Going totally off-topic, let’s talk education for a hot tic.
Namely, to use language crafted in the last century, the specialization and compartmentalization of skills sets and talents. Remember when education used to be general yet enriching? Reading, writing and Aramaic? Me neither, having been educated in the 80s and 90s. I remember doing cannonballs (where a person jumps across a doorway in cannonball form) by my friends’ classes in high school. Fall of the House of Usher? Buh? House of the Seven Gables? Never heard of it. In a roundabout way, I’m disparaging a high school education in America.
Want to see for yourself? Next time you go on your Facebook page, do a spell check. My favorite new nearlyism in the last couple of weeks is “God For Bid.” It’s a bastardized version of “God Forbid,” which makes plenty of sense. Us being a faith based country, etc, so on and so forth. God For Bid sounds like the Flying Spaghetti Monster is on the auction block.
Don’t take this as a direct jab at business students. But if you studied Marketing in college, I’d wager all you learned was how to hold your liquor and give a mean blow job. Rhetorically speaking, of course. Marketing degrees are great if you have a job lined up out of school. That’s relegated to American Mythology, as only the most nepotistic situations lead to such cushy job placement in these ‘dreary economic times’. You just figuring out I paint with a BROAD brush? It’s called hyperbole, but you get the gist of it, right?
Compartmentalized skills don’t always translate into the real world. I’ve got a masters degree education in communications, and I essentially do not function. But a masters degree must mean you’re smart?!! In fact, it means I was willing (and able) to pay for higher education.
As it stands, a pay-to-play system encouraging and emphasizing specialized skills renders people impotent to think critically, let alone deeply, even if they’re lucky to make it through an undergraduate degree. Sure, you may thrive in your job and enjoy what you do. That’d make you a lucky individual. The cryptojournalist in me wonders how the rest of your skill set rounds out, though.
Back to the matter at hand.
3. Humanist morality starts with an acknowledgement of human interdependence and the need for mutual respect.
Mmmmm, I always love the smell of contradiction. After touting man’s self-dependence, we see a virtual 180. Or as today’s youth call it, a 360. Acknowledging human interdependence in self-dependent species (or so the legend goes) is simply confusing. Which, in reality, is a peculiar 20th Century sophists’ trick. Sophistry is just a hoi polloi way to say lying. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Y’see, I mentioned earlier the Delphian School. Well the only thing I can remember from my ill gotten education in Scientology (besides using clay to replay personal events) is misunderstood words. The premise is, if you read a word you do not understand, you will not understand anything you read after said word, because of confusion, body thetans and the reactive mind.
It’s a perfect technique to snare stupid people into Scientology without them really making progress. L. Ron Hubbard had a unique gift. That gift was concocting words to replace words already in existence. Anyone reading any sort of Scientological material without having a pretty vast knowledge of the lunatic language within the organization. So the uninitiated and dull blades essentially get stuck running laps through books. Thousands of dollars of books. In a sci-fi tinged pyramid scheme style. Thanks to misunderstood words.
Ethical humanism employs the same tactic, to far less of a degree. Humanist morality and their depiction of human interdependence, jumping off their wacky logic, can essentially mean anything. Choosing such phrases lends itself to a broad spectrum of interpretation. Or misinterpretation, because I’m still clueless on exactly what ethical humanism is.
So let’s try to figure this out.
4. Ethical Humanism calls for a significant existence made worthwhile through human commitment and acceptance, as a basis for enjoyment and fulfilment.
Nobody wants an insignificant existence. At least nobody I’ve met. Then again, you don’t meet many hermits at the mall. Little known fact. Human commitment is different than canine commitment. But generally the same as simian commitment. So like us.
How exactly is human commitment different than the commitment between two alligators? Anyhoooo, this is supposed to be a basis for enjoyment and fulfillment? At least enjoyment is tough to misinterpret. Not the most noble way to choose to live your life, but a choice, I guess. Reminds me of Hans Wiederkehr, my old high school football coach. One of his main mantras was, “Don’t get fat and happy!” Needless to say, Hans is not an ethical humanist.
Don’t get fat and happy is a pretty good mindset. Keeps you working towards improvement.
5. Man becomes human in society; society should provide conditions for the fullest possible development of each man.
Wow. Even Orwell would be impressed. This also can be interpreted as If not P then Q. Right. Man becomes human in society? I’ll give the ethical humanists daps, they’ve got the vague statement down pat. Development is also one of those fun words for a cryptojournalist, which can be twisted X amount of ways. Yeah that’s right. X amount.
I do not wager to speculate what is meant by development. Use your imagination. Well, unless you studied marketing. Your imagination’s probably shot.
6. Human development requires continuous improvement of the conditions of free inquiry and of an open society.
The conditions of free inquiry and of an open society? Christ, this is better than Hanukkah. At least as many gifts. This sort of brain mush falls into the same class as President Barack asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Free inquiry and an open society would be nice. Too bad we’ve got neither. Obama’s stance on Freedom Of Information Act requests serves as a good running joke. Open society? The phrase itself is a running joke. So what ethical humanism has stood for lo these last 45 years is a punchline for a bad Harper’s cartoon? Sweet. Rickety is a word that comes to mind.
7. Scientific knowledge progressively established and applied is the most reliable means of improving welfare.
Happy Hanukkah! I mean, if that doesn’t make you laugh or cringe, you need to replace your emotion hole. You want to know the most reliable means of improving welfare? Caring. This is an alluring lie, a not-too-sophisticated means of relinquishing power to what can most accurately be called globocrats. Caring improves welfare. Not scientific knowledge. Isn’t Terminator carved into our collective psyche?
And if I’m not mistaken, isn’t scientific knowledge striving towards absolutes? E = mc2 still means a lot. I don’t have the time or patience to type out Pi, but this is another nifty contradiction. Is ethical humanism an elaborate mask for contradiction? Or is that too obvious. Methinks it’s more a confusing spiral, à la the Scientology Word Trap. No sensible group of people chooses to endorse and stand for a complete contradiction. Right?
8. Human progress is progress in freedom of choice; human justice is the progressive realisation of equality.
Freedom of choice and equality are good, right? How can this be some coded way to undermine what’s left of America? Well, my bullshit detector goes off at general redundancies. I mean, “Human progress is progress in freedom of choice,” has a much different meaning than, “Human progress is freedom of choice.” ‘Progress in’ is the trap. Speaking as a plutocrat, progress in freedom of choice is a whittling down of. Let’s wax nostalgically at some of the great duopolies in American History. North and South. SNL and SCTV (a worthy Canadian import, before the days of NAFTA), K-Mart and Caldor. Ahhh, those were the days.
A raw foods vegan might tell you a Wheat Grass smoothie is delicious. Sometimes you have to take a step back and consider the source. UNESCO and Julian Huxley. Corporate consolidation is just one aspect of the revolution of culture and society over the last 150 years. So it goes. But what about equality?
Everyone agrees equality is good. Well, let me piss in the pool and point out the obviously subtle. It’s right in plain sight, if you’re squinting, in this Australian News article. Get past the sexist bias, and there’s a real tangible point to take from this jolly bit o’ news.
Just as more modern men are unable to complete traditional male tasks, new research shows Generation Y women can’t do the chores their mothers and grandmothers did daily, reported The Courier-Mail.
Sure, the story is foolishly framed as putting down Ozzie females for their inability to sew and bake. In glossing over the modern man’s inability to fulfill his traditional tasks (which I can only guess might include changing the oil in your car, forging metal weapons, cleaning your gun and God knows what else). If both genders are losing these skill sets, whose picking them up? Or is sewing going the way of the record player?
Equality is important. It’s also important (and unseemly) to point out the negative ramifications. If guys are losing the ability to build a shed and women are failing at the culinary arts, what exactly are people equipped to do? That’s the underlying question. If men and women are losing skills, what’s filling that void?
9. Justice does not exclude force, but the sole desirable use of force is to suppress the resort to force.
Lemme clear that up for you. Justice includes force, to be used preemptively. Suppress the resort to force? Of who exactly? Well, we’ll get to that.
Don’t worry, we’re almost there. Just a little longer, then you can get back to reality.
10. Ethical Humanism affirms the unity of man and a common responsibility of all men for all men.
What did I just say about inherent redundancy? If it smells like bullshit and sounds like bullshit, you’re dealing with bullshit. Unity and common responsibility sound like it’s gearing people towards one set of rules. Who the fuck knows with these loony ethical humanists.
Now how in the world did I stumble across ethical humanism? Wait for it. Hold for that dramatic pause. You probably figured it out if you remember the title. Beat down music. I don’t mean electronic beat music. I mean Long Island Metal. A buddy of mine is in Doomsday Mourning. They were, as fate would have it, at the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island. Playing with another local band from the Island, From the Pawn, the main theme was beat down whoever doesn’t belong. Thankfully, I knew some guys there, or I’d have been catching hammer fists and flying kicks.
Excuse me for dating myself, but I remember mosh pits differently from what they’ve become. “When I was growing up” in the 90s, mosh pits were contained within the bigger crowd. It was more cohesive. Nobody threw kicks.
But things change. To describe a pit now, at least at the Ethical Humanist Society, the words atomized violence come to mind. Which, ironically, sort of fits the whole ethical humanist mindset. With hilarious results.
If you have any sensibility or good taste, you will disagree with my assessment of what’s funny.
Well, there was the guy who was blindsided by a spinning hammer fist. Not for the faint of heart. Or there was the dude who was targeted for and caught a crescent kick to the face. Also hilarious, but not why you think. The punch walloping the first guy was accidental. Jives with the axiom of society providing conditions for development like I’ve never seen. Because it doesn’t.
Which, inadvertently, makes total sense. Ethical humanism is a front propagated around inherent contradiction. But, BUT, some of the values of ethical humanism make it to the pit. Like the poor mope getting kicked in the face. Or, for that matter, the goth guy getting a garbage can thrown at him (inadvertently hitting his girlfriend…..more comic gold). Remember point nine, all that ramble about justice and force? Well, with no absolutes, all concepts of justice are subjective, and thus people seeking out the weak to beat down and make an example makes perfect sense. At a hardcore show. Or if you’re an ethical humanist.
One last nugget, then I’ll be off. There was a slogan at the Long Island center. Sorry for the shoddy quality of the pic, best I could do in a pinch.
Deed before creed, or as I like to think, ‘Do as I do, not as I say,’ sums things up pretty well. It’s another subtly obvious trick, unintentionally saying, ‘my words ring hollow’. Ironic, and perfectly fitting for a tale of beat down music teaching me all about ethical humanism. It seems guys beating each other through tables would contradict something called ethical humanism. Haha, joke’s on you. Ethical Humanism is the perfect forum for beat downs. As long as they’re ethical. That would be a subjective, in-absolute ethical. But you figured that.
Like most of the undercurrents of this blog, remember one thing: be skeptical of everything you come across. There’s at least three sides you’re not seeing.