Once we come to the realization that there is no such a thing as a god, we find ourselves in need of screening and modifying our secular laws to better represent the secular nature of our society. Our culture has been immersed in religion for more than two millennia and it is difficult to separate those mores that derive from practical experience from those derived or at least influenced by religious dogma. Rejecting the religious doctrines that we have formerly depended on means that we now have to develop our own standards of behaviour, etc. And, since there are only the two Magisteriums -science and religion– we naturally turn to science for answers and thus was born modern humanism.
Now we’re all set, right? .Well, not according to Carl Coon and others–giving up on god is but the first step–getting all that decayed sludge out of our heads is a life time project. It turns out it is not always that easy to cleanse our brains of past beliefs and prejudices, after having been brought up in such a religious environment,
In particular, religion’s need to oversee sexual activity — specifically to keep women under careful control— has been heavily indoctrinated into our psyches. By inducing shame and guilt in us from early childhood on, we have developed an almost instinctive distaste for overt signs of sexual activity. And the cost is high- -over sixty women were murdered in Vancouver while we looked the other way.
Yet one still runs into humanists who show some discomfort when the topic turns to such issues as homosexuality, abortion or prostitution, suggesting it is not all that easy for us to cough up all the sexual sleaze that was injected into our skulls when we were young and very malleable.
And most important, now that scientists, aided by modern computers are increasing our knowledge base almost exponentially, we are going to have trouble just trying to keep up. Science has discovered so much more about our genetic makeup and about how our brains work, that we are faced with the need to keep readjusting our world view to suit. So, as Carl Coon suggests, giving up on the god thing is just the start. Not for us the comfort of principles written in stone one can blindly, unthinkingly follow For the humanist, scouring the cranium of old decayed knowledge and replacing it with ever fresher information is a lifetime project.
We need to create our own culture., not lean on the existing religious cultures. If you read Derrick Jensen’s book: ”The Culture of Make Believe.” you’ll begin to see that our existing cultures are mindlessly, unnecessarily cruel. We Humanists need to give the world something better than that. And soon.
The Culture of Make Believe, Derrick Jensen
Paperback: 720 pages Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (Mar 1 2004) Language: English ISBN-10: 1931498571 ISBN-13: 978-1931498