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Humanism

Beliefs and Practices

In the series
Religious Beliefs & Practices

Jeaneane Fowler was formerly Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Newport, and later an Honorary Research Fellow. Her publications include Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices (Choice Outstanding title, 1997); World Religions: An introduction for students (editor); and Perspectives of Reality – An introduction to the philosophy of Hinduism.



The best source book on humanism that is currently available. It is especially valuable because Dr Fowler not only deals with the theory of humanism, but its practical applications. She demonstrates how humanists deal with moral questions – such as equality of the sexes, education, abortion, euthanasia, genetics, etc. She also points out that humanists celebrate the rites of passage – all contributing to shared experiences within communities. I am glad to recommend this unique and comprehensive work.
Paul Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-898723-70-7
Hardback Price: £14.95 / $24.95
Release Date: June 1999
   
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. / 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: No
   

 



Foreword by Sir Hermann Bondi
Foreword by Paul Kurtz
Preface and Acknowledgements


Introduction

1 What is Humanism?
The complexities of the term "Humanism"
A working definition
The history of the humanist tradition
The Renaissance
The Enlightenment
Humanism today
The modern Humanist movement
Freethinkers
Ethical societies
The British and American Humanist associations
Literature
Humanist organizations
Is Humanism a religion?

2 The Human Being
The Christian view of the human being
The value of life
Death
The existential life-condition
Humanity
Human potential
The nature of the self
Spirituality
Individuality

3 The Case against Religion: The Rejection of God

Atheism
Agnosticism
Pascal's Wager
Theism and deism
The Bible
God
Theodicy
Free will
Can it be proved that God exists?
Cosmological arguments for the existence of God
The arguments to design
The ontological argument
Rejection of an afterlife

4 The Case against Religion: The Rejection of Faith
What is religion?
Why do humans need religion?
Adverse effects of religion
Belief
Faith
The Christian faith
The problematic gospels
The Jesus legend
Paul of Tarsus
The charismatic phenomenon

5 Society

Modern society
Freedom
Equality
Is the concept of equality rational?
Equality of the sexes
Education
The Humanist society
The "Good Life": the Humanist vision for all individuals

6 Morality
Ethics
The nature of morality
Good
Values
Morality as an evolutionary process
Religious morality
A universal ethic?
Humanist ethics
Moral autonomy

7 Rationalism and Reason
Intelligent living
Rationalism and reason
Rationalism
Reason
Reason versus faith
Science
Pseudo-science and the paranormal

8 Some Life and Death Issues
Genetics
Birth
Death
Abortion
Euthanasia
The Humanist response

9 Rites and Ceremonies
Birth
Initiation
Marriage
Death

Notes
Bibliography
Index


The best source book on humanism that is currently available. It is especially valuable because Dr Fowler not only deals with the theory of humanism, but its practical applications. She demonstrates how humanists deal with moral questions – such as equality of the sexes, education, abortion, euthanasia, genetics, etc. She also points out that humanists celebrate the rites of passage – all contributing to shared experiences within communities. I am glad to recommend this unique and comprehensive work.
Paul Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo

A sympathetic, comprehensive statement of humanism, exploring both its philosophical basis and its practical application living one’s life.
Humanity, British Humanist Association

“It is a pleasure to recommend this book to the reader. Humanism is important in our day but has lacked a recent thorough and scholarly, yet readable text describing it and entering into its spirit.” Sir Hermann Bondi

“Jeaneane Fowler’s Humanism: Beliefs and Practices (1999) is almost the only good academic book on humanism published in these years; it is an excellent volume, rich and dense with further references, which deserves a wider audience.” Andrew Copson and A. C. Grayling, The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism


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