How does humanism help people solve problems?

Humanism encourages a science based approach to solving problems. We look for the real problem we need to solve, we look for the real causes of those problems and we look for real solutions that will really work. Scientific literacy takes work, but it pays off in more effective problem solving.

There are 3 main ways Humanism helps people solve problems. 

Rejection of supernaturalism. A hallmark of the philosophy is that we reject supernaturalism. We do this for mostly pragmatic reasons. If something can’t be proven to work as a solution to a problem then there is no point in us wasting time, energy and money on it. We look for solutions that have proven their efficacy - and so reject supernatural solutions. For instance, is the reason it isn’t raining because of weather patterns beyond your control? Or did a neighbor put a curse on you? How you answer that question may be a matter of life or death. It’s important to get it right. If you think there is a curse, you are going to put your energy into lifting that curse. That is energy probably better spent - on finding other ways to irrigate your fields.

We judge solutions based on compassion. A solution is deemed good if it helps people and bad if it hurts people. We want to create the solutions that do the most good for the most people and do the least harm. We are not looking for solutions to get revenge. We do not look for solutions that help us and hurt our community. We are looking for win win solutions. This focus - tends to yield better results - not just for our community - but for ourselves as well.

We recognize our fellow humans as being fully human. This helps with problem solving because - most of our problems involve other people and the solutions require the help of other people. Treating people with dignity - helps us to avoid common thinking mistakes that result from dehumanizing other humans and discounting their knowledge and perspectives. The result is - we are slightly less likely to fall prey to certain fallacies that involve dismissing knowledge because you don’t like the person sharing the knowledge. Additionally, because we attempt to check our biases, we also do better at including people and making people feel valued and this helps them want to help us collectively solve our problems.

Critical thinking and free thought. Humanists are dedicated to this as a fundamental skill for problem solving.

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