Archive for the ‘anecdote’ Category

How did you come to humanism?

2007/09/02

I’ve sometimes wondered how a person’s history might affect their attitudes as a humanist.

For example, I sometimes suspect that people who were once evangelical believers become even more vocal non-believers – either because they are predisposed to that brand of belief, or because they want to distance themselves from beliefs they once held so firmly, and now reject. I know that the behaviours that I am most impatient with in others are those that I have overcome myself in the past.

For myself, I was raised non-religiously in a country where religion is neither widely-scorned nor overly prominent in the public sphere. Perhaps this is why I feel generally unthreatened by religion even though I have no religious beliefs. (I like to think this makes me a more balanced humanist, but all it makes me is more balance with respect to my particular experience of secularism. How well this translates to other situations is an open question.)

What do you think? Have you noticed a pattern in how different humanists’ past experiences affect their attitudes to religion and believers?