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Humanism and the Culture War

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Title: Humanism and the Culture War


1
Humanism and the Culture War
  • The Emerging Transhumanist Culture at
    Transvision 2004
  • Jende Huang, field organizer,
  • American Humanist Association

2
There is a religious war going on in our country
for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as
critical to the kind of nation we will one day be
as the Cold War itself.
Patrick Buchanan at the 1992 Republican National
Convention
3
Progress in Society
  • Society envisioned as
  • Democratic
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Open
  • Progressive
  • Pluralistic
  • Secular

4
Where Orthodoxy Reigns
  • Society envisioned as
  • Traditional
  • Monocultural
  • Religious
  • Autocratic
  • Closed

5
The Culture War battles that the Humanist
movement takes part in will not guarantee a
transhumanist future
  • but Humanists can create a culture where
    transhumanism has the opportunity to thrive.

6
Dominion Theology
Followers of dominion theology, more commonly
known as Christian Reconstructionists, view the
government, law, education, science, religion and
the family as a few of the areas where Gods
dominion must be reestablished.
Based on Genesis 126 Then God said, 'Let us
make man in our image, in our likeness and let
them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds
of the air, over the livestock, over all the
earth and over all the creatures that move along
the ground.' (NIV)
7
Postmillennialism
Postmillennialism is that view of the last
things which holds that the Kingdom of God is now
being extended in the world through the preaching
of the Gospel and the saving work of the Holy
Spirit, that the world eventually will be
Christianized, and that the return of Christ will
occur at the close of a long period of
righteousness and peace called the Millennium.
Loraine Boettner, The Millennium (1966)
8
Philo Evolution
9
The Culture War Goes On
  • Political Aspects
  • Marriage rights for gays
  • Faith based initiatives
  • Abortion as a litmus test for judges
  • Cultural Aspects
  • The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11
  • Influence of Christian entertainment, especially
    the Left Behind series

10
The Culture War isnt about what people think
its about how people think.
11
These are banned in Alabama
12
This is because of Hollywood
13
The Politicization of Science Policy in the
United States
14
Rep. Brian Baird
  • Limits on questions asked
  • Limits on methods used
  • Limits or elimination of funding provided
  • Biased people in government agencies
  • Active suppression of information
  • Raising unjustified claims about research or
    scientists
  • Punishment for asking the wrong questions
  • Retribution

15
Rep. Brian Baird Continued
  • Disregard for science
  • Placement of ideological scientists to
    international panels

These Factors Result In A scientific community
which has created an atmosphere of
self-censorship.
16
Rep. Henry Waxman
  • Appoints people with scant scientific credentials
    but strong industry ties
  • Stacks advisory committees with numerous
    pro-industry or ideological appointees
  • Appoints nonexperts with right-wing ideological
    agendas
  • Opposes the appointment or reappointment of
    qualified experts, including some of the most
    respected scientists in their fields, on the
    basis of political litmus tests

17
HHS
the current practice in which the WHO invites
specific HHS officials by name to serve in these
capacities has not always resulted in the most
appropriate suggestions.

William R. Steiger, Ph.D., Special Assistant to
the Secretary for International Affairs
18
Science becomes the first victim of ideology run
amok.
  • The door is starting to closing on honest,
    critical scientific debate.

19
The Bush Administration Takes Steps Backwards on
the Global Stage
  • Reinstating the Mexico City Policy
  • Refusing to sign onto the Convention on the
    Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
    against Women
  • Deciding against ratifying the Rome Statue of the
    International Criminal Court
  • Withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

20
The Culture War isnt about what people think,
its about how people think.
Our fight is against an absolutist mindset that
claims to already know the answers.
21
"...the responsibility for our lives and the kind
of world in which we live is ours and ours
alone." -- Humanist Manifesto III
22
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