Daily Archives: 12 February 2008

Secular Humanism

The tenets of secular humanism are:

  • Need to test beliefs – A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
  • Reason, evidence, scientific method – A commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.
  • Fulfillment, growth, creativity – A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.
  • Search for truth – A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
  • This life – A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
  • Ethics – A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.
  • Building a better world – A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

Does anyone agree that these are good ideas?


Filed under Atheist

The Lady, or the Tiger?

I was looking up thought experiments on t’Internet last night.  Look I do these sorts of things, OK.  I found this one which I’ve read before and thought I’d post it to see what you lovely blogging folk would say.

In an ancient land a “semi-barbaric King” rules.  He has an unusual form of trial justice for criminals.  Place the accused in an arena with two exits.  Behind one door was a beautiful woman and behind the other was a ravenous and slightly annoyed tiger.   The accused is given the choice of picking only one door. 

The door with the woman behind it leads to a declaration of innocence and as a reward he was required to marry the woman, regardless of previous marital status.

The door with the tiger behind it leads to a messy and noisy death as punishment for his crime.  Clearly he is guilty if he makes such a bad decision.

One day the king found that his daughter, the princess, had taken a lover far beneath her station.  The king, not being a progressive ruler, threw the man in prison and set a date for his trial in the arena.  When the trial day arrives the man looked to the princess for some indication of which door to pick.  The princess knows which door leads to the woman and which door leads to the tiger but is faced with a conundrum.  If she indicated the door with the tiger, then the man she loved would be killed on the spot; however, if she indicated the door with the lady, her lover would be forced to marry another woman and even though he would be alive she would never be with him again. Finally she does indicate a door, which the suitor then opens.

The question is:  Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady?
Not TiggerShe's a Wonder


Filed under Bad things happen, Reasons to be cheerful, Thought experiment