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Objections to Humanism H.J. Blackham

Objections to Humanism

H.J. Blackham

Published February 28th 1974
ISBN : 9780837172354
128 pages
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 About the Book 

Harold John Blackham (31 March 1903 – 23 January 2009) was a leading British humanist philosopher, writer and educationalist. He has been described as the progenitor of modern humanism in Britain.Blackham has been Chairman, Social Morality Council, Great Britain, and a former director of the British Humanist Association.In 1977, he was elected an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association. He is on the editorial board of The Humanist. In 1980, he signed the Secular Humanist Declaration.He has written that “Unitarianism in England is negligible intellectually. Of course, the Hibbert survives and holds a place, but that is because it is open to all comers in its fairly broad field. The Unitarians here are hostile to humanism. They are diminishing and count for little.”Blackham, Jaap van Praag, and Julian Huxley] were the key founders of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), an organization which in 1974 granted him a Humanist Award “for his long and creative service to humanism in England and in the world.” From 1944 to 1965, he had edited the Ethical Union’s Plain View. In 1978, Blackham received the group‘s special award “for 25 years of devoted service to IHEU.”In the New Humanist (July 1993), he is interviewed by Jim Herrick and recalls his involvement with humanistic causes. At the age of ninety, his sharp mind recalled his early interest in religion, his meeting Stanton Coit, his teaching philosophy and current affairs, his becoming chairman of the Ethical Union, his being in the Auxiliary Fire Service during World War II, his involvement in the founding of the British Humanist Association, his involvement with the World Union of Freethinkers, his working with Julian Huxley, and the writing of his several books.Stalin, he stated, “was not a Marxist-Leninist in his heart. He paid lip-service to the creed, but was a Russian Czar, an imperialist who used the dictatorship of the proletariat to extend the dominion of the Russian State. The KGB was a continuation of the surveillance of the Czarist police-state.Asked if liberal humanism is dead, Blackham reacted by saying, “How can it be dead really? It may be outmoded, or not the vogue, but what is the implication of saying it’s dead. Sartre said that liberalism was a betrayal to the Nazis of civilisation. To the liberal everything is worth entertaining, all is a level ground, everyone can exchange views. You have to make choices, you can’t be liberal in the sense of entertaining all things. But liberal humanism can’s possibly be dead. It is not merely, nor mainly an attitude: it is a commitment to which one gives priority.”In 1993, Blackham completed a history of Western Europe from a new, transforming perspective, part of which was published in New Humanist. The work is entitled The Upshot of History, and it focuses on three claims to universality, those of Hellas, Zion, and Romanitas. They have led, he states, to our awareness of One World with its evident disorders, which he names: “disproportion between the prosperity enjoyed by the few industrialised nations and the penury endured by thousands of millions in the so-called Third World- the aggravation of over-population- the ecological damage, entailing serious threats to the survival of many species, and even of life on the planet- the existence and availability without adequate controls of annihilating weapons that make international security a political priority.” By recognizing such problems, he asserts, man has the chance to go beyond Hellas, Zion, and Romanitas. . . to universality.His book, Six Existentialist Thinkers, became a popular university textbook.He died on 23 January 2009 at the age of 105.More: http://blackhamfellowships.org.uk/who...http://infidels.org/library/modern/h_...http://philosopedia.org/index.php/H._...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._J._Bl...