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Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism

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Der Mensch als Maß der Dinge

The second revised edition of the "Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism", which was written for the Giordano Bruno Stiftung, was published in 2006 and has been sold around 40,000 times. The book is a critical declaration of love to the "Ape in us", and at the same time a decisive plea for an "alternative mainstream culture" that draws on the best traditions of science, philosophy and art in order to defend the unfinished project of the enlightened society against its enemies.

About the content

We are living in a time of asynchrony: While technologically we are firmly in the 21st century, our world views are still characterized by ancient legends which are thousands of years old. This combination of high-level technical ability and highly naïve child-like beliefs could have disastrous consequences in the long run. We are behaving like five-year-olds who have been given responsibility for a jumbo jet.

One of the most depressing problems of our time lies in religious fundamentalists of all stripes casually making use of the fruits of the Enlightenment (freedom of expression, constitutionality, science, technology) in order to prevent its principles being applied to the domain of their own belief. For example, to further their beliefs, the 9/11 terrorists used airplanes constructed on the basis of scientific principles; principles to which their beliefs could never stand up. In return, the "fundamentalist with other means", George W. Bush, led the world into a devastating "crusade" against "terror" and the "axis of evil" making use of a technology which could never have been developed if scientists had contented themselves with the American President’s child-like faith that the Bible’s creation account is true.

In the face of the dangers arising from the renaissance of unenlightened thinking in a technologically highly developed era, it is a matter of intellectual integrity to speak out clearly – especially where religion is concerned. Anyone who is capable of
splitting the atom and communicating via satellites must possess intellectual and emotional maturity. That certain people or groups of persons avoid exposure to criticism by establishing "holy" (i.e. untouchable) rules and uphold their fallacies as mandatory for all time, may and can no longer be accepted practice in a modern society.

 

 

Michael Schmidt-Salomon
Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism
Plea for an alternative mainstream culture
Second Edition, Alibri Verlag (2006) 196 pages

 

 

 

Contents

Introduction

Fundamental Insults
Why science is seen as a disturbance despite its successes

The Ape in Us
On the difficult path from traditional to evolutionary humanism

"Bread for the World – But the Sausage Stays Here!"
The anthropological foundations of evolutionary-humanist ethics

Sense and Sensuality
Why evolutionary humanism suggests becoming enlightened hedonists

Goodbye to "Tradition Blindness"
Evolutionary humanism as an "open system"

Are You Still a Believer or Already a Thinker?
Why a rational belief in science should not be mistaken for "science faith"

Science, Philosophy and Art:
The cultural pillars of evolutionary humanism

"He Who Possesses Art and Science Has Religion"?
On the necessary conversion of the religious

On the Trail of the "Imaginary Alpha Male"
Evolutionary humanist answers to the question of God

Ethics without God
A decision for mankind

Old Values – New Stakes for Burning?
Why human rights had to be fought for against the fierce resistance of the religions

Kant Promised "Eternal Peace" – What Came was Auschwitz…
The problem of a semi-enlightenment

"The Spirit is Willing But the Flesh is Weak"?
Why naturalistic ethics can confidently abandon "morality"

Putting Self-Interest Into Humanity’s Service!
Rules for humane cooperation

"Subdue the Earth"?
Why we should say goodbye to speciesism

Mainstream Culture Humanism and Enlightenment
Beyond fundamentalism and arbitrariness

An Animal, So Clever and Friendly
Why there is a "right life in the wrong one"

Appendix A
The Ten Commandments of the Bible

Appendix B
The Ten Offers of Evolutionary Humanism

Epilogue to the second edition / Notes