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Skepticism and Reason
Author: Bob Rees
About the Book:
Secular Humanism offers an easy introduction for newcomers to humanism. It explains what humanism is, how it works, and where it came from. It describes what it is to be a sceptical humanist, and it discusses some of the moral dilemmas facing us as humanists in the 21st century. It also looks briefly at some parallel philosophies and life stances, identifying how and why humanism differs from them, and finally, some famous humanists are briefly mentioned and quoted.
About the Author:
I was already alienated from Anglican Christianity when I travelled the world as a sailor, and saw and learned at first hand a little about other religions; Islam, Hinduism and so on. None attracted me - I felt closer to God in a storm in the Atlantic than in a church or mosque, or even sitting under a Bo tree with some Buddhists in Sri Lana.
During my time at sea, I came to realise just how privileged I was to be a fit young man with a white skin and a good education … up there in the top 5%, even though I owned nothing. In those days, 50 years ago, these ‘qualifications’ gave me an enormous head start in life that most westerners took for granted. The world is still very unfair, especially when you get to see it from the other side. All the more so when you discover, as I did, that the people I met on my travels, who seemed so different, even primitive, in so many ways, were mostly clever, resourceful, hard working and cheerful. I found it surprisingly easy to respect them and identify with them.
I left the sea, married an Irish girl and came to live in Dublin. Well qualified as an engineer, I came from England at a time when tens of thousands of Irish people were emigrating from Ireland to England, qualified only with a good knowledge of the Catholic Catechism. Ireland was a poor country, dominated by a reactionary Catholic Church that seemed intent to keeping it poor. Fifty years ago in Dublin, my irreligion was finally validated!
With this background, it was perhaps inevitable that, sooner or later, I would be attracted by the humanist movement. My first book, Clerical Errors, which was critical of religion, was published by Glasnevin Publishing in 2012.