I gave this book five stars because it is an easy read and gives you answers to any questions you might have about Humanism. It's a handbook on what Humanism is about and how you can apply it to your life.
Very good look at the basics of Humanism
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
Humanism is a system of belief that feels that problems can best be solved by logical, perceptive thinking and understanding the wway the world works. It doesn't believe in placing faith in a deity or philosophy where matters are accepted on faith and held to be true for all time. In early days, religion was used to explain natural occurrences like life and death, summer and winter. People now have scientific answers to such questions. Humanism is a philosophy without heaven, divine revelation or sacred scriptures, so humanists fix their attention on this life.To a humanist, God can be thought of as nature, as goodness in people or the way things work in the universe. An impersonal conception of God is not necessarily rejected, but there are better ways to express these parts of nature. The truthfulness of sacred scripture like the Bible or Koran is less important than how well they serve as inspirational guides for some people. Some humanists do go to church, in more liberal congregations like Quaker, methodist, liberal Jewish, or Unitarian-Universalist.There are two elements that make up the Humanist approach to personal problem solving. The first is a state of mind of self-reliance and confidence. There are perfectly natural reasons for people's actions, not the conjunction of the planets or the configuration of crystals. The second is to keep an open mind and be reluctant to jump to conclusions.Knowing absolutely nothing about Humanism before starting this book, I had no idea what to expect. The authors do a fine job at painlessly taking the reader through Humanism. Anyone who is not satisfied with, or oherwise questioning, their present religion, could do a lot worse than read this book.
Thnk You, Lloyd and Mary Morain!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
I cannot praise this book highly enough. It is brief, easy to read, informative, and deeply inspiring. If you are a humanist like me then you will be moved by this work. If you want to know more about secular or religious humanism for any reason then this book is essential reading. My only complaint is that I was done with the book much too soon; I want to read more!"Humanism as the Next Step" contains a brief overview of the history of modern humanism and the earlier cultural and philosophical movements that have led up to it. It introduces the reader to the humanist heritage by looking at some of the works and words of some of the more notable humanists. And it explains in clear, common-sense language just what humanism is and what it means for those who are committed to it.This book looks at humanism in all its subtle variations, including both "secular" humanism and "religious" humanism. Both terms actually mean basically the same thing, which can be confusing for new students of humanism. As the Morains put it, "Whether or not one looks at humanism as a religion, as a philosophy, as a life stance, or as a way of life is, we believe, largely a matter of personal temperament and preference."I was impressed by the way the Morains (and Fred Edwords, whose insightful essay "The Humanist Philosophy in Perspective" is included), explained the humanist view in a clear, logical, and easily understood manner. This satisfied the secular humanist in me. But they also looked at the aspects of humanism which are, for lack of a better word, "spiritual." This gratified the religious humanist in me. As a logical thinker with a bit of a spiritual bent I found that both sides of my being were being spoken to, and very persuasively. Indeed, this is what I find so wonderful about the humanist perspective. It allows me to find meaning, wonder, and moral guidance in life while following the guidance of reason. While traditional Western religion puts reason and spirituality at odds, humanism integrates them. But sadly this essential aspect of humanist thought is neglected by some humanist writers, who focus excessively on the critique of popular religious myths and not enough on the joyful, awe-inspiring nature of life when viewed through the humanist lens.
A brilliant down-to-earth guide on the Humanist philosophy.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
Humanism as the Next Step by Lloyd and Mary Morain is a brilliant down-to-earth guide to the Humanist philosophy. It is totally positive and deeply inspiring, written in a style that is easy to read and to understand. This book gives a great introductory overview for the general reader, but even more, its joyful presentation will surely be a delight for the newly aware Humanist who's just discovering that there's actually a name for the earth-oriented, human-focused, non-religious lifestance which they have chosen. When one rejects supernatural religious belief and follows the logic of their own reasoning, there may be no comfort or reassurance at all in this position; quite the contrary, one's stance might alienate or antagonize significant others, and cause one to feel isolated. This book is a joyous affirmation of the Humanist philosophy! How comforting to know that there are millions of other Humanists out there! It will serve also to reaffirm the convictions of even a long-time Humanist. And because it's jam-packed with important historical references: names, dates, descriptions and documents, so handy, right at the fingertips, every Humanist leader/speaker/teacher, as well, will find it indispensable.Sometimes Humanists can get bogged down with the burden of feeling responsible, knowing full well that there's no quick fix or easy out; there's no supernatural guidance for decision-making, no absolution for our shortcomings. Humanism is not for the faint-hearted. It's hard work "shivering in the draft of an open mind." This book is filled with very practical information and examples for helping us to tackle our problems with Humanist fervor and wisdom, and I'm finding that it is a great comfort to me.In early 1980 I enjoyed reading the First Edition of the Morain's book at the publisher's offices. Later I found a well-worn, book-marked copy on Corliss Lamont's desk top, beside his own The Philosophy of Humanism, and among other favorites by Payne, Dewey, Kurtz, Russell, and Santayana. How wonderful and appropriate that Humanism as the Next Step has been newly published by Humanist Press, along with a chapter by Frederick Edwords so concise it could even serve as Humanist Manifesto III. The group photo used for the book cover is like a little reunion of the human family and reminds that we are not really alone, but that we have each other.
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