Animalism or humanism

To be brutish or good.
That is the question.
Found this post on the Pakistan Observer website. (See: Animalism or humanism) It annoys me. Only a religious person could turn Humanism into a false dichotomy between acting civilized and acting like an animal. Being a Humanist does not mean thinking we are the pinnacle of creation as this writer claims. That is a religious idea, not a Humanist one. The Humanist does not deify humans. We simply strive to be the best human we can be.

Humanists know we are animals. We are human animals. And so there is no conflict between us choosing to be human or choosing to be animal. We are both. I realize this guy was just trying to extol people to be good people instead of brutish. The point is that we can be both wonderful and/or brutish. That is our nature as Humans.

I don't think that believing we are the pinnacle of god's creation is going to help us control our brutish impulses. Quite the opposite actually. It is when people believe they can do no wrong because they are the pinnacle of god's creation, that they feel most justified in giving free rein to their most brutish impulses instead of trying to control them.

We do not need to think of ourselves as the pinnacle of creation to choose to be good. We simply need to choose to be good despite the fact our animal tendencies, in addition to encouraging us towards compassion, can also encourage us towards brutishness. Denying those brutish impulses doesn't help us control them.

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