Friday, January 17, 2014

Humanism: The activist atheist’s wimpy brother.

I’d like to call my self a Humanist.  It has such a nice connotation and at face I seem to have much in common with them. Their code of ethics is based on positive assertions.  You know, like respecting science and being kind to our stupider theist brethren (my words not theirs).

But the fact is the few times I’ve brushed elbows with Humanists I tended to find myself being looked down on like some kind of bomb throwing radical fiend, out to destroy peoples beliefs, ridicule them, and cause them angst in the process…as though that’s a bad thing.

I read a blog today by the executive director of the American Humanist Association that really tweaked my hump.  Among a lot of pastoral avuncular babble he included condemnation of Richard Dawkins for things he said that make nonbelievers seem arrogant and which are hurtful to religionist / non-believer relations (as though I want a relationship with believers).  Two examples were Dawkins’ statements that "… religion is an organized license to be acceptably stupid."  and that the “…combined number of Nobel Prizes won by Muslims was less than that won by a single English university.“

Here’s the whole article if you care to read it:

Both of those statements are true, at least by any thinking person’s standards. Without organized religion and it’s doctrine of inculcating stupid, and maintaining it, people who independently “believed” in creationism would be declared stupid by the entire planet. There is no reasonable debate about that.  Only the fact that organized religion supports and promotes ancient ignorance and rejects scientific fact is what keeps religious people from understanding and accepting the fact of evolution.  It’s mass stupidity by doctrine. 

As for the Muslims’ notable lack of contributions to civilization over the past couple of centuries; the inference is real.  Muslims represent 1.6 billion people / 23% of the planet’s population, yet they garnered less than 1% of the Nobel prizes awarded. Compare that to the 13.8 million Jews who represent 0.2% of the planet’s population and have been awarded 23%  (TWENTY-THREE PERCENT) of the Nobel Prizes.

Dawkins’ comparative example’s point is clear:  Islam does not (any longer, nor for some time) promote, foster, nor admire intellectual growth and academic achievement. It contributes little to the advancement of civilization. Indeed, it goes beyond that even to being a detriment to our advancement. 

Yes, the truth sometimes hurts.  That’s life.  If Humanism is about sugar coating, caging reality in less in your face terms, playing word games, and making nice to the point where the telling of a truth - in all its ugliness - is interpreted as "arrogance" that puts freethinkers in a bad light and hurts the feelings of the willingly deluded who would impose their delusions on all of us just as they do to their children, well… that's why I remind myself why I won’t call myself a Humanist.  Fact is, I’m now suspicious of those that do. 

As Humanists are the wimpy brother of activist atheists, so too are they the first cousin of Uncle Tom atheists; those Neville Chamberlain, appeasing atheists, who decry the activism of the FFRF, or Americans United for the Separation of Church and State as “inflammatory.”  
Fuck ‘em both.


NewEnglandBob said...

This is a terrific post, your Humpiness.

Some Humanists are just involved with the 'doing good' part but others join the Faithiests, Apologetists, theologists and accomodationists into falsely accusing Atheists of arrogance.

The accomodationists are the worst. They are 'atheist, but' deferential to theists, primarily because they are cowards.

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks for the kind words, Bob.
We are on the same wave length on this issue.

I have no patience for "Don't say that, or do that, or be so overt in expressing your aversion to their beliefs lest they hate us." mentality.

Hell, they already hate us and if they were true to their Bible they'd demand our deaths. Somehow that negates the need for my showing them social niceties.
Benign contempt and dismissal is about as social as I will get.

Carl said...

That's why I am a member of American Atheists no sugar coating or being nice to stupid beliefs hit em hard and let them know their religion is stupid and moronic.

Riley the Atheist Dog said...

Great column, Hump. I just want to point out that what is now the Muslim world made huge contributions to mathematics and science, yet virtually all of those contributions predate the birth of the pedophile prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Coincidence?

Dromedary Hump said... perspective precisely.

Riley.. yes. Even as far as the 7th and 8th centuries, Islam contributed to science, poetry, mathematics... but then it all went to shit pretty quickly.

Thus my comment:
"Islam does not (any longer, nor for some time) promote, foster, nor admire intellectual growth and academic achievement."
The operative phrase being "any longer nor for some time"

zczhan said...

To Hump: excellent post.
To NewEnglandBob: "The accomodationists are the worst." Agreed. A recent example of a very shameful accomodationist act came from the "vice-chancellors' group: Universities UK", a learned body. For those who are not familiar with the UK university system, a vice-chancellor is the equivalent of a university president in the US. It was a great disappointment to read that "Universities can segregate women and men for debates, says university guidance" (

It was a great surprise to me that they stooped so low to please Muslims.

Though the guidance was withdrawn after Downing Street weighed in (, the damage has been done to the reputation (if they have any left) of the Vice Chancellors' Group. These so-called learned people have lost their backbones.

Graham ASH-PORTER said...

Trying to appease (Religion) is like being friendly to a crocodile in the hope that it will eat you last!

LuWeeks said...

Something wrong here. I understood that over 90% of the National Science Foundation were atheist. So it is surprising that so many Nobel Prize winners are must be those peace prizes and fiction prizes go to atheists.

On the other hand, in defense of some religions not getting a share of prizes, it could be a biased selection for them as well as atheists.

Dromedary Hump said...

I've heard about many instances of the UK kowtowing to their Muslim minority. Wrote a chapter on it in one of my books. This is just another example. I fear the UK is trading away its birthright to placate the radical Muslim movement.

You'd think they'd have learned from Neville'd think we'd all have.

Graham... well said.

LuWeeks: 93% of US' Academy of Science, 96% of the UK's Royal Society (the counter part in the UK). Yes, atheists. Here's some info:

"...60% of laureates come from Christian backgrounds, 24% Jewish backgrounds and 16% from other backgrounds but even here we do not have direct accounting only implied likely religions based upon biographical data such as familial or personal influences by association. One could say anyone has a christian background but that speaks nothing as to his current belief or non-belief at any given time."

Atheists represent approx 2.5% of the world's population.

I agree with the article's closing statement above. But even if some Identified as Xtian are in fact non-believers of some sort, the fact that "16% from other backgrounds" would/could imply that atheist Nobel winners are disproportionate to their very small 2.5% representation on the planet.

But who knows?

Drenn Workman said...

This is why I call myself Atheist first, and Humanist only secondly. How can you get rid of an unwanted houseguest? Treat them in an accommodating fashion? I don't think so.

Dromedary Hump said...

LOL..well said.

Anonymous said...

Oh for goodness sake. While I'm as keen as many to slag off the current crapness of Islamic culture and its frightening tendency to follow the Xtain nutters into creationism and all kinds of anti reality nonsense can we at least try to criticise them accurately. Please just go and look at In particular "The Abbasids were influenced by the Qur'anic injunctions and hadith such as "the ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr" (also see ijtihad) that stressed the value of knowledge". It is truly depressing that people who claim to be pro learning repeat these falsehoods about religions so frequently. I don't know when Islam went to pot,but if the Nobels had been around between about 800 and 1200 they would all have been going to muslims.

Dromedary Hump said...

Not sure what your objection is...nor where I criticize Islam improperly. Perhaps you can show me after reading this comment reply:

Yes, Islam was a font of learning, the protector of great manuscripts, inventor of the numerals we use, learned astronomers. etc.etc.

Then it all went to shit over the past ..what did I say in my blog?... "past couple of centuries". Right?

Much of the blame for this turn around in Islamic respect for learning is due to Wahabism which started in the 18th century. Wahab said the Koran contained all the learning we need, is good enough, and endorsed wholesale book burnings and the rejection of secular knowledge.

So..yeah.. "if the Nobel prize" were there in pre-Wahabism period, Islam would have indeed shared in them. But it Didn't, and they currently Don't. Period. , how does your comment lend additional insights or prompt me to correct my article?

Anonymous said...

Ah, the joys of posting quickly. Your article was fine, as a humanist I could quibble but that would be mainly over definitions.

My ire was mainly directed at the sentiments expressed by Riley The Atheist Dog, that is "what is now the Muslim world made huge contributions to mathematics and science, yet virtually all of those contributions predate the birth of the p(a)edophile prophet Mohammed" which is stunningly wrong. Almost exactly inverted from what I understand. I have heard similar assertions made a number of times in a number of places and they wind me up. The worst was the assertion that Islamic culture has given NOTHING to the world - made in all places on an Astronomy Blog!!!

The following comment also stated "Even as far as the 7th and 8th centuries, Islam contributed to science, poetry, mathematics... but then it all went to shit pretty quickly" which seemed to bolster this comment. On rereading I note that this is from you Hump. Given your response to my previous post am I to take it that this is in fact a typo and should read 17th and 18th centuries? If so then I think we're actually in agreement.

Indeed your discussion on Wahabism actually fills in a blank for me. Given the nature of islamic civilisation at its peak in the 800 - 1200 period and its tolerance in place likes like spain before the reconquest it has always saddened me that it has fallen so far and I've wondered why.

Its a bit like comparing the views of renaissance christian Europe with US fundies in the 21st century.

Dromedary Hump said...

Yes, I see the typo in my reply to Riley. Indeed, it should have read "17th OR 18th century", not "7th and 8th centuries".

Glad the info on Wahabism was helpful in identifying Islam's decline into institutionalized backwardness.