Enlightenist Manifesto

Enlightenists believe in the awe-inspiring, wonder, beauty and complexity of the universe, and aspire to unpick its mysteries by reason, constant questioning, observation, experiment, and analysis of evidence. The bedrock of our morality is empathy, from which logically springs love, forgiveness, tolerance and a profound desire to make a just, egalitarian society and reduce suffering. The more knowledge a person has, the more they question and understand the real world, and the more they are required to analyse what is true then the greater the increase in empathy. Enlightenists care and wish to do good not because a vengeful God tells them to, but because intelligence suggests it is the only and the right thing to do.

Muriel Gray

3 thoughts on “Enlightenist Manifesto”

  1. Empathy certainly can lead to love. I question that it MUST lead to love however. Humans being fallible, we cause pain in each other all the time. One could imagine an empathic individual being very intolerant, even hateful to those that cause pain.

    As for her tolerance, what if we reversed the equation. A religious person who allowed you to believe what you wanted, but demanded that your kids be exposed to and even indoctrinated in their belief system would not be considered tolerant.

    ‘Question Everything’ may be a wonderful thing to be. Objectively though it is a belief system, and it cannot be logically shown to be better or worse than any other, it can only be put above another by subject value comparisons. I happen to be all for ‘question everything’ (of course my expirience with religion says that is not only not incompatible with religious faith, but demanded by religious faith) but I am not quite so arrogant to say that just because I think something is a good idea it must therefore be correct.

    I can point out a lot of cases where ‘folks’ of all types have shown major lack of empathy. I don’t think that the ‘religious’ qualifier is necessary there. Most religious people would be the first to tell you that man is a sinful creature, far from perfect.

    Most Religions of course welcome everyone too. Welcoming everyone, and being tolerant are not the same thing. Would a religious kid in her school be ‘welcome’ to share their belief system with his classmates? Would they be welcome to sing a religious hymn in the school talent show?

    Secular schools in the U.S. sometimes have problems with all of these.

    From what I can tell, she would tolerate those who convert. That is hardly a high standard.

  2. <blockquote>Hmmm. I don’t think one can logically claim that intelligence demands empathy or even that empathy leads to love.</blockquote>

    I agree with the statement about intelligence, however, empathy does indeed lead to love. When one is empathic towards others, one understands – and feels – their pain and joy. Most humans prefer joy to pain. Therefore, you would think that empathy would lead towards helping others overcome their pain, and find joy. Thus, living in a loving manner.

    <blockquote>It also seems that her vaunted tolerance doesn’t extend to any empathy or love for those who have ‘superstitious’ beliefs.</blockquote>

    She is at least allowing others to believe as they see fit. She is not saying "You cannot believe want you want", but rather, "Believe what you want, but question everything. And don’t brainwash young kids in state sponsored schools to believe a certain way – they need to learn to think for themselves and question".

    I can point out a lot of instances where religious folks have shown a major lack of empathy towards those who do not believe as they do. Up to and including killing folks and children for not believing, or having parents that do not believe. She states "Children would be welcome from any religious or ideological background, with the parents only having to fulfil the brief of allowing their children to be taught in the Enlightenist manner." In other words – everyone would be welcome.

  3. Hmmm. I don’t think one can logically claim that intelligence demands empathy or even that empathy leads to love.

    It also seems that her vaunted tolerance doesn’t extend to any empathy or love for those who have ‘superstitious’ beliefs.

    Lastly, for someone that complains about religious ‘whiners’ she is doing a lot of whining.

    That article told me more about her ignorance regarding religion than anything else.

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