Scribblings Resurrection

What kind of humanist?

Thursday, 17 November 2005

I don’t really consider myself a humanist. I’m not really sure what I am, sort of drifting between atheism and agnosticism, but when I came across a questionaire at New Humanist designed to work out what kind of humanist I am I couldn’t resist trying it. I answered as truthfully as I could, although one question in particular had no options which entirely suited me, and this is what it said about me:


Hum bahbug
Grumpy looking playing card king reading The Selfish Gene

You are an atheist, a rationalist, a believer in the triumph of science and of reason over libido. You can’t stand mumbo jumbo, ritual, spiritual nonsense of any kind, and you refuse to allow for these longings in others.

Astrologers, Scientologists and new-age crystal ball creeps are no different in your view from priests, rabbis and imams. They’re all just weak-minded pilgrims on the road to easy answers. Nature as revealed by science is awesome enough for you, but it’s a nature that needs curbing and taming by us on our evolutionary journey to perfection.

Your heros are Einstein, Darwin, Marx and — these days — Gould, Blakemore, Watson, Crick and Rosalind Franklin. Could you be hiding a little behind those absolutist views, worried that, if you let in a few doubts and contradictory ideas, the whole edifice might crumble? Loosen up a bit and try to enjoy the amazing variety of human belief systems. Don’t worry — it’s unlikely you’ll end up chanting your days away in some distant mountain cult.

While it’s reasonably close to the ball park it doesn’t get me right in a number of ways:

I guess one of the problems with these sorts of questionaires is that there’s such a huge range of beliefs, at least one per human when it comes down to it, that one questionaire couldn’t possibly suit everyone.

Posted 17 November 2005, 22:13 GMT

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