If you’ve been following my rather tumultuous experience being an “undercover” atheist taking Apologetics 101, then you’ll know it’s been a rough ride. My professor tends to teach his opinions as facts, make up completely unfounded statistics, and give a lot of plain wrong or illogical information.
If you want to catch up on Apologetics 101, you can read Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and Lesson 3. In Lesson 3, I talked about an entire lecture that my teacher had devoted to humanism—or rather, his distorted, unbelievably twisted version of it. So what did I do about this? I wrote an entire 9-page term paper all about what secular humanism really is. I included real sources (from Christians and humanists) and actual studies backing my statistics, which I don’t see as too glamorous or surprising, considering that that’s how research, teaching, and learning should be. But, as we know, my professor never does either of those things.
So, it appears that Apologetics 101: Lesson 4 is indeed me teaching my teacher. The paper is just informational and not at all persuasive like the last paper that I shared with you. And before you say anything: I know he’s not going to listen. But I had to say something.
Apologetics 101 Term Paper: Secular Humanism
*Also, yes, I know this is written kind of from a Christian perspective in the beginning and in the end. I’m still going by the Christian facade when I have to; plus, trying to tie it into apologetics made it applicable enough to actually write about for this class. But at least my ultimate advice to the apologists is to. . . well, you’ll just have to read it to find out, won’t you!
21 thoughts on “Undercover Atheist Takes Christian College Apologetics Class: Lesson 4”
perfect, just perfect. I love the way you put in back on his shoulders (albeit gently) to reach out to atheists or secular humanists very gingerly, not grind them into the ground over it. And the citations are wonderful.
This is a very impressive, scholarly paper. At a guess I’d say he’ll skim it, give you an appropriate grade, and move on. But you have done what was asked, and he can’t fault you for that.
Thanks Judy! ☺️
Great paper. I learned a lot from it. I guess I always considered myself a naturalist these days. Secular humanism is a view I need to read up on. Good stuff.
Thank you! It really is interesting. I liked some of my sources as places to start learning, especially Phil Zuckerman’s work.
Wow, I found the paper both enlightening and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing it with us! My Aunt and Uncle – my Aunt at least- subscribe to being secular humanists, and that describes them perfectly. I suppose since their ideals have rubbed off on me, I can call myself a Humanist, but I haven’t found the need to cross the secular threshold as of yet.
You subscribe to this worldview yourself correct? If so, what are some of the basic ethical principles you’ve found? Also, let us know if you get a good response from your professor.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I would say that, yes, I’d consider myself a secular humanist. Atheist first, as it is more basic and I consider it kind of a ground zero from which I build the rest. I like the idea of consequentialism, and I’ve kind of started this system where I try to get to the root of different things and why people consider them right or wrong, good or bad, etc, especially with the bad. For example, I try not to use the word “wrong” but rather something more descriptive like “dangerous” or “unfair” or “dishonest”. I find it stimulating, and it gets me to find the real reason why I find things to be wrong. Not really an ethical principle by itself, but an interesting sorting system that helps me make sense of and organize things.
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I’m pretty sure that when he reads this he will know that your eyes are opened now enough to make the leap. Something he has been unable to do even though he has the knowledge. If he didn’t have it, he does now, and the only thing stopping him is his job. His money and livelihood depend on it.
Great paper. How much time do you think you spend trying to 1) convince yourself, 2) convince others or defend your new belief system 3) down play your new found intellectual independence?
Yay, I get to do whatever I want! lol. It’s like some Christians think we don’t have empathy
An excellent, well referenced paper! I love the way you’ve come at it from an apologetics perspective. I’m sure your “professor” will be disappointed in your lack of enthusiasm for taking it to the unbelievers, but I hope he finds the objectivity to give it the top marks it deserves.
For me, I still think you’re being unfair when you suggest atheism isn’t a world view, and humanism is. I joined a humanist group a few years ago, and went to their regular meetings. They undoubtedly spend a lot of time thinking about ‘how to live a good life without religion’, but should we imagine atheists don’t do the same? The main difference I could see is that humanists seem to love talking about death. They organise ‘death cafes’, and every other month screened films about death, dying, and the best way to dispose of human bodies after death. All very interesting, but a bit much for me. Which is why I left!
Nice job. I like the approach of answering Sire’s questions from the perspective of secular humanism.
I’m curious about some phrasing in the closing paragraphs, where you identify apostasy as a “conscious choice” and a decision. Is that language part of the Christian facade you’re presenting, or would you find some level of agreement with the notion that apostasy is an intentional act?
Have you ever been to a funeral?
Thanks for sharing. While I do hold to the Christian worldview, I sympathize with your position. I know apologetics in theism can be very dogmatic. I appreciate that you examine all worldviews. I think this is critical. I am currently taking biological evolution in school, and while I remain skeptical of evolution, I remain open-minded and willing to change my position if the evidence is sufficient.
I want to end with this charge: “If you can understand other worldviews better than your own, you have achieved intellectual greatness.”
Another fine post with a fine paper attached.
I do not consider myself a secular humanist. Although, I agree with most of secular humanists’ principles, I feel no need to delimit myself in this way.
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this is a really neat blog post!
i can’t believe you would say this to me
AOC for president