He may have joined a cult.
He’s the new executive director for a shiny new organization, Transformative Humanists of America, which may not be so new: their web pages sometimes refer to themselves as humanist.com, which seems to be some kind of generic humanist forum. But they’ve gotten together and put together a nearly unreadable mass of words. I’m not sure what they’re all about, but what they seem to consider their main selling point is their mediocrity.
Society is fracturing at an alarming rate with the right hemorrhaging integrity while the Left is cannibalizing itself. As a result the majority middle is increasingly apathetic, disillusioned and without a home. Most people are good, which means suffering is increasing at our own hand. Transformative Humanism can and will help reunify society so we can get back to the business of the Greater Good.
They’ve got a whole section on the Extremism Horseshoe. Yup. Horseshoe theory again. The idea that the left is just as evil as the right, but those who straddle the fence are the best people. Politics are just the worst.
Trump took over and he was more polarizing than Obama had been. Now the left is doing anything it can to make Trump fail, even if it is good for the country. Just imagine the dehumanization and echo chambers that are in effect when we cheer for the failure of nuclear arms talks with North Korea! Trump is a pussy-grabber, so he hates women, so all of his supporters hate women to some degree – that is what the left is saying – dehumanizing en masse, shouting in their echo chambers, and indeed posting things like “please unfriend me if you support Trump”.
How dare you dehumanize Donald Trump for dehumanizing women and minorities! Don’t you realize that makes you as bad as he is?
I tried to figure out what “transformative humanism” is, but the section on “About transformative humanism” wasn’t at all helpful.
Humanism is not a religion, and therefore, is secular by default, like golf is secular. You can be a religious or nonreligious golfer, and you can be a religious or nonreligious Humanist. The rules in golf are secular, because they have no religious position, and the secular morality that we champion here at Humanist.com are also devoid of religion. “Secular Humanist” organizations by definition are exclusionary, divisive, and can be pretty hostile to religious people, but we at Humanist.com are doing this right. Everyone who agrees with our secular reasoning and wants to be a good person by the definition we set forth, is invited, whatever your opinion is on God.
Wait a minute…they differentiate themselves from other organizations that are hostile to religion, but they hired David Silverman as their director? The David Silverman I saw at the World Humanist Congress a few years ago, in which he pissed off a fair number of humanists for aggressively telling them they were all actually atheists, and they ought not to be pretending otherwise? Dave Silverman, Firebrand Atheist? I am mystified.
But maybe this explains the association. It has a whole section that emphasizes forgiveness, and condemns that whole social networking thing.
On-line, with echo chambers in full effect, redemption is often hard to come by. The ability for people to just disconnect from others makes redemption easy, because dehumanized ostracized people are easily replaced, so there is very little incentive for anyone to go through the process that goes against their outgrouping brain and take someone back in, even if they deserve it. Additionally, the outward, proud ostracization that accompanies the echo tunnels creates the Culture of Fear, making it incredibly scary for people who disagree with the outgrouping to voice their support for the ostracized person for fear of being outgrouped themselves. So the silent majority sits in fear of the social extremist minority and the latter rules and the former sits in fearful silence.
Then there’s the section on civil discourse that starts with a quote from Steven Pinker.
“Left-wing and right-wing political ideologies have themselves become secular religions, providing people with a community of like-minded brethren, a catechism of sacred beliefs, a well-populated demonology, and a beatific confidence in the righteousness of their cause.”
― Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
If there is one place where the need for social improvement is most evident, it is the area of civil discourse. All over the country and all throughout the Internet, the apparent demise of calm civil discussions and their replacement with hate, extreme labeling and dismissal, and intellectual echo chambers dominates those of us who miss such ideals.
Yeah! The left and right are indistinguishable, just look at the hateful extremism that condemns people like Donald Trump. We need calm civil discussions to deal with Nazis…oh, fuck it. This is just another centrist gang of status quo warriors who want to adopt rules that promote stasis and acceptance of whatever the assholes at the top tell us to do. We may be sliding into a pit, but don’t you dare criticize the people who pushed us in, and you will accept your fate graciously. Namaste.
I find it hard to believe that Silverman has joined these do-nothing wankers, but he himself announced it. I guess it’s all about desperately trying to retain relevance, although I don’t think he’ll find it with these do-nothing babblers.
They really do go on and on at painful length without saying anything. For instance, I read their Who and What We Are page to try and find out who was behind it, who the organizers are. They don’t say! It’s just more platitudes, with a little rebuking of the Left, but nothing specific. It’s tediously empty of any specific content.
You know what else it’s missing? Any mention of major social issues, like racism or misogyny. I guess they’re taking the middle ground on that, too. There’s nothing about science, or concern for the environment — I guess they don’t want to risk colliding with the righties they want to woo! Nothing about politics other than “why can’t we all get along”? No concern about church/state separation. Its only message seems to be that they won’t criticize anyone for being far right reactionary assholes, therefore you should join them.
I don’t think the American Humanist Association has to fear any competition here.