Saturday, January 9, 2016

"Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?" - Snoopy

"I do not go to church anymore... I guess you might say I've come around to secular humanism, an obligation I believe all humans have to others and the world we live in."
 - Charles Schultz (1989)
The Kansas City Star just ran a nice piece by Helen Stringer with the Kansas City Oasis about how "people are more important than beliefs." You'd be hard pressed to find a better and more succinct definition of humanism. It captures the idea that you can be a BuddhistJewish, or Christian humanist, or you can be a secular (atheist or agnostic) humanist; however, it also suggests that beliefs should be questioned and revised (or abandoned) when they conflict with humanism. Doubt and skepticism are essential elements of my own secular humanism, so I was also pleased to discover this gem yesterday via a local Presbyterian minister I follow on Facebook:

"Schulz was a deeply spiritual man, as evidenced by the many times he quoted the Bible in his strip. But he had little patience for those who claimed to have all the answers. In a 1976 strip Snoopy is seen writing a book on theology called "Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?" Schulz loved that punch line so much he used it again in 1980 when Linus concluded a Bible class by asking the teacher the same question."
 - Michael Schuman. "'Peanuts' fans find nirvana in Schulz museum." Chicago Tribune. 
While we're on the topic, if you haven't watched it already I highly recommend Kathryn Schulz's Ted Talk on being wrong. Ubi dubium ibi libertas! And remember, you can be an atheist and a Presbyterian and still be a humanist! You can even be introduced to humanism by a Muslim...if you are willing to connect and believe people are more important than beliefs.

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