CONVERSATION, HYPOTHETICAL BUT REALISTIC
Mrs. Green : Exactly! In the Jewish Bible, or the Old Testament as it is called by Christians, God often takes out His anger on people who weren’t even there when a crime was committed. He punished the whole human race, except Noah and his family, just because many people – but not all – were, in His view, bad. God had power over everyone and everything, and so, at least according to the Bible, He was often cruel. When someone has unlimited power, it can be misused.
Chad : So you believe that God was wrong? How can that be? He is God after all!
Mrs. Green : If something is good, it is good whether there is a God or not. If does not become good simply because God says so. If we murder someone, isn’t that bad? Do we need God to tell us that we would not like to be murdered ourselves? If we are kind to others, and honor our mother and father, is that not good? Doesn’t common sense tell us we will be happier it we don’t fight and abuse others, but do kind deeds? Should we hurt defenseless animals? We can learn by experience what is the good and right thing to do.
Jenna : But God is always good, isn’t that right?
Mrs. Green : The God of the Bible, the one most people in our country believe in, does some things that seem unfair. For example, why would God answer some people’s prayers, but not others? Why should God favor one football team over another?
God is seen as a powerful force that is greater than anything we know or could imagine. He is thought to be beyond nature, so He is often described as super-natural. Humanists do not believe in the super-natural. They believe that everything we humans know is a part of nature. It is not God who decides who will live or die, as many people believe. Humanists believe that human beings decide their own futures. We live or die because of our own actions. Some people die because they take chances with their lives – they drive too fast; they smoke too much; they have accidents. Others die of old age or they find out they have a disease.
Joan : But why must everything be a part of nature? Who created nature and the world, if not God?
Mrs. Green : You’ve heard of the phrase “Mother Nature,” haven’t you? You know that she is not a real woman. It is a symbol of nature, of our “mother”, the Earth. The food, water, and shelter we get from things in nature take care of us, as a mother would care for her children. Just so, God is a symbol of the all-powerful mystery of creation.
Many people believe that our world didn’t develop over time but was created by God – you know, the way you create trees and animals and people out of clay during art class. Humanists do not believe that the world was “created” by anyone. The earth and all things on it developed or “evolved” over billions of years.
We humans are all part of the animal kingdom, which grew and developed and changed over the ages, from a single-celled organism – the kind you see under your microscope – to who we are as many-celled human beings. Charles Darwin explained evolution in the nineteenth century, and Humanists and most educated people believe he was right. You will study evolution in your biology class to see how it works.
Chad : But the Bible says that God created man in His own image! And then He created woman out of Adam’s rib.
Mrs. Green : Humanists believe just the opposite: that we created God in our image. They believe that the Genesis creation story is a myth, like the Greek myths about gods and goddesses and their efforts to influence how human beings behave. Every culture has its own creation myth. Though there is much wisdom in the Bible, it is a book written by humans, not God, and like other books written by humans it contains mistakes and parts that are confusing. Believers tell us that the Bible is a book that shows us that God loves us, but the Old Testament Book of Proverbs tells parents to beat their children. The New Testament Letter of Paul to the Romans says that those who are “disobedient to parents….are worthy of death.”
Joan : I can’t believe it! My parents would never let me killed. They would be very sad and cry! They never even spank me. Are they going against God?
Mrs. Green : I don’t think so. I just believe they are being humanistic, which is another word for humane.
Chad : You mean, like the Humane Society?
Mrs. Green : Humane means “kind.” Humanists believe in kindness toward all people – not just people of one particular group. They believe that human beings must take responsibility for their own actions, and not depend on a God that they don’t believe exists.
Mary : If you don’t believe in God, you can’t get to heaven!
Mrs. Green : Hunanists don’t believe in heaven either. They believe we should concern ourselves with our life on earth – now! Humanists want to make life better for all people. Since human beings “invented” the gods and the God of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, their own potential for doing good is unlimited. That means, they can be inventive, brilliant, and solve any problem that life presents, by themselves.
Steve : But why be good if you can’t get to heaven?
Mrs. Green : Because Humanists believe that being “good” makes the world better for everyone.
Jenna : What does it mean to be “good”?
Mrs. Green : For a Humanists it means looking at each situation carefully, and considering how your actions will affect not only you, but others. You don’t want to harm other people, and you want to help them whenever possible. Therefore, a Humanist would never deliberately bully, tease, or hurt anyone’s feelings. If he did that without thinking, he would apologize. Of course, a Humanist would never be violent toward anyone because that would hurt others the most. And a Humanist does not think war is the best way of solving arguments. People must learn to get along by talking and coming to agreements, not by threats or grown-up bullying, which is called war.
Steve : What if other countries want to go to war?
Mrs. Green : If another country begins a war, we must defend ourselves. Everybody has the right to defend themselves if they are threatened. But we must try everything we can to avoid war in the first place. The leaders who declare war do not themselves get killed. It’s our young men and women, our hope for the future, who risk their lives and often die in wars. Nothing is worse for a family than to lose a son or daughter.
Joan : If God or the Bible isn’t there to show us the way, then how can I know if what I do is right?
Mrs. Green : A Humanist would say that you must consider if your action might hurt someone else. Everyone deserves to be accepted and loved, just as everyone should have enough food, shelter, and clothing. We must all live in a safe world where others care about us and accept us for who we are.
Mary : But killing is wrong, isn’t it? So abortion must be wrong, too.
Mrs. Green : All of you know how babies come into the world, right? I don’t need to explain before answering Mary’s question, do I?
The Group : We know!
Mrs. Green : Good. Well, Humanists usually support a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, especially in the first three months of her pregnancy. They believe that the foetus only becomes a person after it is born. If someone kills a baby after it is born, that would be murder. But when the foetus is still an embryo – you know what that is – in the very early stages of development, it is up to the woman to follow her conscience. If she chooses to give birth to the baby, she can decide to keep the child herself or she could ask that it be adopted by adults who will love it. Or, she could decide to stop the pregnancy from progressing to birth. If abortion is made illegal, many women will die as unqualified people perform abortions on them.
Jenna : But why is that not murder, if you kill an unborn baby? It is a human, isn’t it?
Mrs. Green : Many Humanists believe that a foetus, although human, is not yet a person. Many agree with Andrew Johnson, who wrote in the magazine Free Inquiry, “….an embryo, or a foetus is not a person. It is for this reason that the rights of a pregnant woman – who is a person – to privacy, to equality, and to control of her body prevail by right and must continue to prevail by law.” A woman is considered a person, not just a “human”, because she has moral responsibilities as well as rights. She can judge the difference between right and wrong, but a foetus is not aware of such things. That means that a woman’s right to control her own body is most important here.
Chad : So Humanists believe in women’s rights?
Mrs. Green : Of course! Women must be treated equally and given the same opportiunities as men.
Steve : Don’t you think that boys are stronger than girls? That boys shouldn’t cry? That’s what my dad says.
Mrs. Green : Many people would disagree with your dad. Boys usually have more physical strength, but girls are more aware of their emotions. Both boys and girls must be able to express their emotions freely. If they hold their feelings in, they may get more and more anger inside which may later make them feel confused, or it could make them want to lash out and hit someone. We need to rely on both reason and emotion to live a balanced life. Reason means thinking things out clearly. Emotion concerns our feelings.
Source: Humanism, What’s That? A Book for
Curious Kids by Helen Bennett
MYTHICAL NARADA MUNI WAS LIKE GOOGLE -CM,Gujart
After Tripura CM Biplab Deb, this time his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani who equated Naradana Muni, the messenger of god in Hindu mythology, with internet giant ‘Google’.
“Just like Narada Muni, Google is the source of information” the CM of BJP ruling Gujarat said in an event organized by RSS-affiliated Vishwa Samvad Kendra to celebrate Devrishi Narad Jayanti. He equated Narada Muni with Google simply for the mythical story that Narada Muni used to deliver news to Balram (brother of Lord Krishna) during the Mahabharata period and also to others at various points of time.
‘Birds of a feather flock together’
Similarly the saffron leaders starting from PM Narendra Modi, HRD Cabinet Minister and the State Minister and the CMs of States do consistently derive ‘divine’ pleasure in comparing scientific findings as if it had existed in mythology. How long the saffron brigades prolong with these sorts of statements after they assumed the office promising ‘growth’ for the country. They will not set at rest till they deliver the goal of growth, perhaps, total myth to the people of this ‘divine’ country!