I suggest you read Peacebang's post first.
First of, all I don’t think her ideas are crazy or stupid, so no one should assume that I will. In general, looking for negativity makes us find more of it.
This is a really thought-provoking post. As someone who has been studying formal logic, I can’t agree with
1. Most religions mention God in a creed except for Buddhism
2. UUism doesn’t mention God in something that isn’t a creed anyway.
3. UUism must be like some form of Buddhism.
4. Strong Buddhists have set beliefs.
5. UUs don’t have set beliefs
6. UUs must be like weak Buddhists.
So I don’t see her conclusion as following from her premises. (I realize I’ve oversimplified what she was already terming as an oversimplification. But you get my point.)
I’m not really the “spiritual” type. I tend to shun meditation and really anything overly ritualistic. OK, I don’t exactly shun it, but I don’t tend to get much out of it and I don’t look for it. I did read some texts on “Mindfulness” that included some Buddhism last year, but they didn’t resonate with me the way historical Humanism does. Give me Emerson any day.
I’m not reading as much Humanism I should, but as PB noted that’s going to be true of just about anybody who doesn’t do religion professionally. I gaurantee you my mom hasn't read any Christianity books in decades and my record is better than that.
I think I do better on the faith life and ethical commitments, though. I often think about the old joke about the guy trapped in a flood who refuses a raft, a boat and a helicopter, pronouncing that God will save him. When he eventually drowns, he meets up with God in Heaven and upbraids God for not saving him. God says “I sent a raft, a boat and a helicopter. What did you expect me to do?”
For me, whether God exists or not and in whatever form, Humanism is about facing the reality that I am the helicopter. Ethical commitments are of tremendous importance to you if they’re all you have and humanity’s need to take care of one another becomes very obvious.
The only religious ed I’m involved with is YRUU. For them, my Humanism comes out in doing my best to give the YRUU folks tools to live an unambiguous life in an ambiguous world. My particular calling at least right now seems to be to teach respect for Republicans, Christians and the groups generally less fashionable among liberals and UUs. But my YRUU kids are generally in good shape. At least, I never smell pot on them, which is more than I can say for my GRE students.
. I like to point out to the YRUUers that one can do worse than to take the simplest premises of science and apply them philosophically. Matter is neither created nor destroyed, chaotic behavior appears to be random but is ultimately internally deterministic, All things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed together. If I’ve gotten across a message or two about not living your life by other people’s standards, but not selling yourself short either, so much the better.
But viewing things scientifically also teaches that we shouldn’t run around excluding theories just because they aren’t what we’ve believed before. (Non-String-Theorists will tell you that I’m being idealistic, but this is a religion conversation.) After all, infinite examples won’t prove us right, but one good example can prove us wrong. So I think that there is great value in having Pagans, Christians and other people who are researching similar data around, even if their methodologies differ from my own.
So anyway, that’s where Humanism takes me. If that’s not exactly a historically Humanist direction, OK, but I don’t think it is a Vague Buddhist one either.