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HUMANISM AS THE NEXT STEP
by Lloyd And Mary Morain
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Arthur Hoppe, syndicated columnist
"I admire the campaign you're waging for humanism."
Werner Fornos, president of The Population Institute
"In Humanism As the Next Step, Lloyd and Mary Morain have performed an invaluable service, not only by competently defining humanism, but also by masterfully answering virtually every conceivable important question about a philosophy to which they have dedicated their lives. Whenever I think of humanism, I think of the Morains -- two individuals of uncommon decency, integrity, intelligence, tolerance, and courage."
Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice & the Blade and Sacred Pleasure
"A noble and practical book written by two outstanding examples of the nobility and practicality that is at the heart of humanism, Lloyd and Mary Morain."
Lester Mondale, Ozark philosopher
"Your humanism is a very much down-to-earth philosophy of daily living....Here, unquestionably, is the viable alternative...the promise of a more meaningful as well as more equitable society."
Howard Radest, philosopher and founder of The Humanist Institute
"Humanism As the Next Step is clear, direct, and comprehensive. It is a useful and readable introduction to humanism by two people whose life work have helped to make humanism what it is today. Anyone looking for a relevant and constructive way of living in the modern world will find it truly helpful in his/her search."
Fran Hosken, editor of Women's International Network News
"This book should be required reading for everyone turned off by what is going on around us every day...the endless power struggles, commercialism, exploitation, and ever worsening violence against those least able to protect their rights and lives....I could not put it down once I started reading, and took notes because there is so much that is so important....It is such an inspiring and encouraging work...beautifully organized and most impressive. Humanism certainly offers a...positive belief structure that supports women's needs and demands for justice."
Anatol Rapoport, scientist, philosopher, and general semantician
"For many centuries unification has been the dream of visionaries. In recent decades it has been recognized as an imperative. The Morains present humanism as a system of thought and a commitment to values focused on unity in diversity, the key to a rich and serene personal life and to the survival of humanity beset by self-generated threats."
Albert Ellis, president of The Albert Ellis Institute for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
"Beautifully and intelligently answers all the relevant questions about humanism that anyone would want answered. Succinct and comprehensive!"
Anne H. Ehrlich, population scholar and author
"In this increasingly globalized world, where people of diverse backgrounds and cultures find themselves meeting together every day to solve common problems, a need arises for a philosophic and religious view with universal appeal. Humanism, by no means a new idea, could be that philosophy, one that embraces the concept of a common humanity and the ideals of all major religions. Lloyd and Mary Morain's Humanism As the Next Step explains clearly what humanism is and how it can enrich everyone's lives."
Lou Harrison, composer and musician
"...beckons to all with friendly prose and clear reason."
Nowhere else in the United States is there available a book like this. While there have been technical studies of humanism in the past, never before has there been such an authoritative, popular treatment of the whole field. It is for the 20% of the population who no longer receive satisfaction from traditional religions and technical philosophies. A much-needed resource for people who have independently come to an alternative to religious faith--whether they call themselves humanists or not.
From the Back Cover
New Revised Edition from Humanist Press
Humanism As the Next Step -- the only book of its kind available in America today!
While there have been technical studies of humanism in the past, never before has there been such an authoritative, popular treatment of the whole field.
In Praise of the First Edition (1954):
"A book which carefully preserves the undogmatic excellence of the humanist philosophy."
"...pioneering material on the worldwide humanist revolution."
"A significant book."
"At last I can feel comfortable applying the humanist label to myself."
Mary Morain's interest in social reform led her to leave professional social work and teaching to become a full-time organizational volunteer, serving on the boards of many nonprofit organizations. In the 1940s and 1950s, she was on birth control boards in Massachusetts and San Francisco and participated in pioneering world conferences and meetings on family planning. Past president of the International Society for General Semantics, she has edited four books in the field. Both she and her husband Lloyd are Fellows of the World Academy of Art and Science.
Lloyd Morain, a former president of the American Humanist Association and editor of the Humanist magazine, was a founding director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He has worked in various capacities for industrial, mining, motion picture, and utility companies, including Earth Sciences, San Francisco Films, and the Illinois Gas Company. He has served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. His book, The Human Cougar, explores the life of working drifters.
Humanism, an alternative to traditional religious faith, can fulfill many of today's desires and needs. It is in tune with growing knowledge of our physical and mental worlds. It reinforces positive aspects of thinking rationally, and now, when long-held ideas no longer seem relevant, it provides an alternative source of joy, strength, kindliness, and morality. Rational thinking and its handmaiden science free one from the guilt brought about by giving lip service to ideas which are not believed. We no longer find ourselves existing in the waiting room to enter heaven or hell.
We know that there is no supreme power with a human face which controls us. We know that problems can best be solved by perceptive, logical, rational thinking. We know that with some understanding of the processes of the world our lives become energized and more meaningful. Vision is wedded to knowledge, and a sense of freedom lets each day be more exhilarating, more of an adventure....
Moral inconsistencies and social agonies throughout the world can usually account for the widespread retreat to religious fundamentalism as one extreme, and the narcotic escapism of some of the creators of New Age structures as another. Traditional mainstream religions do not accommodate current knowledge, belief, and emotional needs.
Humanism brings together the subjective and the objective. It is a philosophy which furthers moral values and prepares one to accept changes. Asserting from all approaches the value of human adventure, it provides purpose and meaning to our lives and energizes our motivation to carry on.
From Chapter 1: "The Alternative to Faith"
Among the reasons for the growth of early religions was the need for explanations of natural occurrences, day and night, summer and winter, life and death. Humanists realize we now have answers to many of the questions which once were explained by what now seems fanciful and unnecessary.
Humanists feel that there are evolving and fascinating explanations for the questions asked through the ages. They do not need to turn to the supernatural for answers to such questions. They feel at home in the natural world and do not need gods or a god, a heaven, or scriptures. Moreover, they feel that humans do not need the promise of a heaven after death to be just and kind to others, to feel loyalty to the whole human race and the environment. They respect scientific methods and the knowledge coming from the use of them. They are concerned with making use of this knowledge for the care of this marvelous planet....
This alternative to faith is held by a large number of individuals who have made or are making solid contributions to human welfare and understanding. We can note Carl Sagan, Ashley Montagu, Riane Eisler, Steve Allen, Betty Friedan, Buckminster Fuller, Linus Pauling, Erich Fromm, Isaac Asimov, Bertrand and Dora Russell, Kurt Vonnegut, Abraham Maslow, Benjamin Spock, Alice Walker, Richard Lamm, Margaret Atwood, and Albert Ellis. In many respects humanism's strength is found in the high proportion of eminent leaders and thinkers who today hold this alternative to faith. Yet, to an increasing degree, those following this way of life are individuals of average accomplishments who represent a cross-section of the world's population....
People everywhere are coming to realize that science makes orderly knowledge possible, as it is not limited to just local belief. They know that biologists, whether in Bolivia, Japan, Botswana, or Sweden, have a basis of common principles and share the fruits of their knowledge. There is no special kind of Bolivian or Botswanian biology which is radically different from Swedish biology. Political leaders in a few nations have tried to shape scientific studies to nationalistic ends but they sooner or later fail in this. People are also coming to understand that ethical principles and basic standards of moral conduct have common roots and universal application. It is only natural that those groups who limit or tie these standards to religious observances and theologies are probably fighting a defensive, losing battle. The human spirit is too needy and too vigorous to be kept in shackles....
Whether or not there will be humanist halls in every city of our land and tens of millions of members remains to be seen. It is not essential to belong to an organized group to be a humanist. Many in liberal churches enjoy membership in both their church and a humanist organization....Human fulfillment is the goal; institutions may or may not be instruments of that fulfillment.
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