Someone suggested mariner should expound on humanism, referenced in his last post about ABBA. He proposed that computer intelligence was damaging the humanistic elements of society.
Generally, humanism refers to a focus on human wellbeing and advocates for human freedom, autonomy, and progress. It views humanity as responsible for the promotion and development of every human, advocates the equal and inherent dignity of all human beings and has concern for humans in relation to the world not only politically but in the human relation to the planet as a whole. Wikipedia uses the word ‘agency’ which means capability to perform as intended.
Humanism has no theology; the core ethic is the responsibility of humans to do what is best for humans. Humanism often is compared to secularism because both philosophies espouse a human-based morality that includes self-imposed responsibility for the wellbeing of humans, including the reality within which humans must exist.
The difference between the two is that secularism focuses more on the separation of church and state while humanism has no argument with the existence of theological beliefs – as long as it improves the agency (ability to perform as intended) of its believers. Humanism depends on science and existential circumstances to define both reality and moral agency.
What is important to humanism is its concern for success in life for all people and extends that concern to all of reality such that humans and reality are in concert. A large part of that position is the inclusive nature required. Many of the ethical principles are similar to those in the New Testament, that is, respect everyone without prejudice, do no harm, bond with humanity using compassion and assuring one’s agency is focused on the wellbeing of humanity.
Caring for humans is a natural instinct for the species. The ability to read the emotional state of a person by the expression on that person’s face, without even realizing one is analyzing, is a simple example of how important human emotion is. Compassion is a particularly strong emotion in humans but it is damaged by being abused or by constricting normal behavior. Humanism is a political advocate for equality and freedom and it promotes the agency of society generally.
When an individual frequently withdraws from interaction with humans in order to focus on a smartphone, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? When the information on that smartphone is unreliable or manipulative, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? When too many trees are cut down and it affects global warming, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? When economic policy is unbalanced by classism, does that improve the wellbeing of humanity? Whatever the issue, humanists will ask: Does that improve the wellbeing of humanity?