International Secular Pacifist Association
Today I was intrigued by a report of a new campaign by the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the UK Armed Forces Humanist Association (UKAFHA) asking their supporters to urge the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport to reverse their current ban and allow non-religious representatives in national remembrance events (see: http://forallwhoserve.org.uk/).
Whilst I agree that anyone non-religious should be allowed to pay homage to any dead person if they so choose there is something wrong about humanists being associated with the institutions that provide implicit support for wars. So why are these people calling themselves humanists when the armed forces represent the killers of global society, whether or not the killing is done on behalf of an employer (the State) or on grounds of patriotism? Do they have the moral right to call themselves humanists in either case? I would suggest that an apt name for UKAFHA would be UKAFNRA, with NR representing non-religious.
It is of even greater concern to note that the BHA initiated the ’For All Who Serve’ campaign which demonstrates its implicit support for wars under carte blanche British Governmental justification and therefore its endorsment of the killing machine of nation states: that is simply not being human. Further, what does BHA understand about humanity when it clearly states in its website that BHA only includes atheists and agnostics among its members and followers? The religious are therefore not treated as humans by BHA from this explicit exclusion. Thus, for the sake of clarity of what it stands and its vision for humanity, BHA needs to rebrand itself as British Non Religious and Agnostics Association or BNRAA.
I therefore object to the participation of both these organisations in the Remembrance ceremonies of the United Kingdom. Only a renamed UKAFNRA and BNRAA should be allowed to send representatives to this annual Cenotaph ceremony and associated Poppy Appeal that do a good thing for UK society by generating funds for war veterens and those who have been injured in State conflicts. In other words, since as a pacifist I consider myself to be the greatest of all human beings as an ideal that I aspire to they must not represent me under the banner of humanism in this annual homage to the war dead. I would instead like to be represented at the ceremony under the banner of Secular Pacifism that campaigns against wars to sort out all kinds of differences between human beings arising from evolutionary biology and also in pacifying human differences in outlook arising from the belief and commitment of humans to different forms of theism, atheism, agnosticism, deism, and atheotheism.
Today I therefore announce the birth of a truly humanist organisation, the International Secular Pacifist Association, with its British counterpart, the British Secular Pacifist Association. In order to do this we first need to understand what is secularity and what is pacifism. Secularity means not allowing the belief or non -belief in God to influence the desicions humans take in society so that we humans chart our own future. Secularity does not discriminate against the religious and nor does it discriminate against the areligious people. Pacifism is the understanding that all differences between human beings should be resolved peacefully rather then through wars and violence: this requires dialogue and commonsense reasoning on the fundamentals of justice and fairness. I felt I invented the term ‘Secular Pacifism’ during a consideration of how religious and non religious people might wish to iron out their differences under the term secularism and work towards eradicating divisions in society, that is to pacify and calm things down before they get heated and turn violent verbally and physically. Then I googled the term ‘Secular Pacifism’ and the following article came up: Secular Pacifism: http://nopolicestatecoalition.blogspot.
All aspects of life require consideration through the lens of secular pacifism. Secular pacifism in turn requires the deepest insights into humanity and what it constitutes of. It requires the study of biological science in relation to evolution to determine the direction in which humanity is proceeding and the pressures that exist within diversity to take it into different directions. Secular Pacifism does not take sides in any argument but seeks to assuage. Giving people a choice of doing what they wish to do and facilitating these options is a pacifist policy. Above all, Secular Pacifism believes that the correct manner in which disputes should be resolved is through the democratic consultation process, such that no person is left without a say in a matter and the majority decision prevails. Secular pacifists are therefore liberal democrats and not socialists.
Pacifists may be a minority of the population and secular pacifists an even smaller minority. Secular Pacifists campaign against mob rule that trample on rights of minorities. They advocate the democratic means of determining the best course of action on policies. The policies have to be ascertained by science as far as possible and put to the people on such a rationality. I respect these rights of all citizens of the world as accorded to them by society through the implementation of such a democratic mandate. That is the fairest way to settle individual differences. The pacifist is subject to the democratic decision making but he or she does not need to sacrifice his pacifism because the majority decision has gone another way to his beliefs. He can still voice his opinion and fight to protect the minority’s rights.
I invite expressions of interest from all around the world to join me in this project by entering their comments in the Comments section of this blogpost. The discussion forum for Secular Pacifists is at http://secularpacifistsdiscussionforum.tk where members can register and discuss all issues of concern to humanity.
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First published in Blog https://hantanup.wordpress.com October 26, 2012 - Posted by shantanup | Uncategorized | Edit