Don't Label Me Dude

One of the things I like about Humanism is that it encourages us to respect every person we meet as the individuals they are. Which to me means don't assume you know who a person is just because of some assumed affiliation you think they hold.  When you do that you generalize. And besides, we all know what happens when we make assumptions. We not only make an ass out of ourselves, we are usually wrong.

I bring this up because on Google+ I was just accused by a guy I don't know of equating Humanism with Atheism. For those of you who know me and have read my book, seen my videos or heard me talk, you know that is something I have NEVER done. In fact, I've written pretty extensively on the fact they aren't the same thing.  He just assumed that because I am a vocal Humanist that I equate Humanism with Atheism. As it turns out he has just published a book on Humanism, considers himself a Humanist, and feels like I do about the atheism issue. I am not going to link to his website though because the guy made such an annoying first impression on me by assuming I think things I clearly don't.

The point is that you should never assume to know what someone else thinks. And, if you claim to be a Humanist, you should probably:

A) Try applying your Humanist values of respecting the fact that people are in fact individuals to the people you actually meet. In other words, don't label them dude.

B) Get your facts straight. This guy didn't bother to find out if what he thought was even true. Which means he didn't bother to challenge his own assumptions which led him to make an ass out of himself when it turned out his rather angry and snarky comments to me were unfounded.

C) Don't assume you disagree with someone you've never met. Find out if you do first. And most of all, allow people to surprise you with just how wonderful they really are. 

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