Updating Humanism

Many humanists wonder why it doesn't much attract younger people. Most of us are older and we need to recruit the younger generation is we want it so survive, lest it die out when we as individuals die. So how then can we bring them to this philosophy that is so meaningful to us? This sermon last Sunday from the pastor of UU Santa Fe helps us to realize that we are in dire need of updating humanism is we want to carry it forward into the future.

After giving a brief history of humanism's early, sweeping, optimistic, liberal enlightenment hope that reason and science would solve all of our problems, exemplified for example in Star Trek. But younger people today are not buying it. They feel betrayed by such a vision, since it hasn't solved the problems they see all around them. We live in times of turmoil, disease, death, climate chaos, the rise of fascism, income inequality and attacks on the very nature of truth. 

And yet some forms of humanism are adapting to the above. While it maintains its core principles, nevertheless it needs to be more humble. Our problems are much more complicated than perhaps we assumed in those optimistic times. We need to take more recent advances in cognitive science to expand our humanism, that rationality itself relies on integrating our emotions, bodies and interactions with nature and culture. We need to include former ways of knowing that we perhaps rejected as irrational, like ancestral, indigenous traditions of story and ritual. And perhaps most importantly, we need to expand the very definition of science as the arbiter of absolute, objective reality to one that explores the very nature of how humans perceive and conceive, which filters that reality based on unconscious assumptions.

Ball: Democratic tax giveaway for the rich

After Krystal explains how 'tax the rich' is incredibly popular, and how Biden has been supporting it, what is the Democratic Party doing about that in the reconciliation bill? They're continuing tax cuts for the rich in the form of restoring the SALT (state and local tax) deduction, which in effect would totally offset any other tax increases on them. In addition, they'll continue the tax loopholes on wealth accumulation as well as capital gains on their estate. Biden had proposed ending these loopholes but the Dems want to keep them. Once again the Party spins the popular notion but continues the corruption. 

An obvious truth

It is also true that too many good people who are fortunate just can't see this truth. And they are indeed too complacent to get up and do something about it because they think they're doing just fine. How then are we to effect a mass-scale psychological transformation?



Study: Elevated glucose levels correlated with COVID severity

From this Frontiers in Public Health study (7/28/21):

"The machine-driven framework we developed repeatedly pointed to elevated blood glucose as a key facilitator in the progression of COVID-19. Indeed, when we systematically retraced the steps of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, we found evidence linking elevated glucose to each major step of the life-cycle of the virus, progression of the disease, and presentation of symptoms." 

"Controlling glucose levels could therefore reduce the severity of the disease and consequently also the mortality rate. [...]  The mortality rate is lower among diabetic patients where glycemia is well-controlled and recent studies show that patients with uncontrolled hyperglycemia or newly diagnosed DM (i.e., untreated) are even more at risk than those with known DM (i.e., treated)."

"According to the hypothesis that well-controlled glycemia is critical for determining the outcome of COVID-19, the most standard strategy is to use glucose lowering drugs, widely available and low cost. [...] According to the literature reviewed, metformin may be an effective glucose-lowering drug for COVID-19. Metformin is an old drug and the first line therapy for diabetes management. [...] The literature supports the notion that patients on metformin do better than those on other diabetes medications. [...] It remains possible that patients on metformin show better outcomes not because of the beneficial effects of metformin, but because their underlying dysregulation of glucose metabolism is less severe."

"The strong link between COVID-19 severity and diabetes and obesity has led to consideration of nutritional interventions in the treatment of the disease, as for example the use of low-carbohydrate diets or ketogenic diet (low-carb, high fat diet) The basic principle is to diminish the intake of carbohydrates, providing fat instead of carbohydrates for the body to switch on ketosis and produce ketones as the primary energy source. [...]  It is contra-indicated for some groups such as those with type 1 DM."


A key difference between our two Parties

Dems at least want a little diversity in the few majority owners of our country's wealth.


Sanders on standing firm on the reconciliation budget bill

It started at $6 trillion and has been already compromised down to $3.5 trillion. And that is not nearly enough to address the climate crisis but it's a start and cannot be whittled down even further. We need to hammer home the scientific reality of the destruction that will ensue to much of humanity if we don't take bold action on this front. And we need to also repeatedly emphasize the ethical and moral implications of the human suffering caused by that crisis as motivation for that action. Bernie said:

"We have started off, as you know, with, I would guess, 80% of the Democratic caucus supporting a $6 trillion bill. Remember, this is over 10 years. Per year, it's less than we spend on the military. Now maybe you can tell me, or somebody else can tell me, how much we should spend to save the planet. Because what the scientists are telling us is that if we don't get a handle on climate change within the next few years, there will be irreparable damage. And you know what? I got four kids and seven grandchildren. And I think we have a moral responsibility to leave them a planet that is healthy and is habitable. Right now we got 50, we got 50 votes. We're going to have to work it out, as we did with the American Rescue Plan. But I have already made, and my colleagues have made a major compromise, going from six trillion down to three and a half trillion.

"Look, right now what we are doing is we are engaging with the House and the Senate. It is a complicated proposal. All I am telling you is the $3.5 trillion is much too low. A compromise has already been made; an agreement has been made. And the American people, by the way, poll after poll after poll are telling us, that now is the time to stand up to powerful special interests. Now is the time to start representing working families. On all of these issues."

Debs on capitalism and socialism

Capitalism has won the political war by successfully bribing the majority of the politicians. And those politicians have maintained it through its successful propaganda war. And yet the progressive caucus is once again waking us up to this reality and is gathering more steam by the day, keeping Debs' spirit alive.


Old blog archive

Welcome to the next generation of my blog. The old blog is archived here .