An Approach to Humanist Beliefs and Values
by Geoff Heath
ISBN 0-9544221-0-4 144pp paperback
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"There is no truth sure enough to justify persecution" John
Beliefs and values have erupted into a high level of public awareness
following the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 and the hostile
accusations of heresy made against the beliefs of the new Archbishop
of Canterbury and of the Chief Rabbi. When beliefs are mistaken for
certainties they sometimes result in the desire to kill, or to destroy
the reputations of those who believe differently.
Beliefs are, however, central to our human be-ing whether we are religious
or humanist. They define our sense of self and our attitudes to others.
Beliefs are the source of our agency in the world.
So what do humanists believe and what are their values? This book explores
a contemporary humanist approach and presents views which are a positive
invitation to both scepticism and debate.
- On beliefs and orthodoxy
- My approach to nihilism
- Intimations of nihilism
My sense of subjectivity
- Believing in something
My approach to humanistic beliefs and values
The values in which I believe
- My inconclusive conclusion
"I was impressed by your facility to present complex ideas in
a very straightforward manner without unnecessary or irresponsible oversimplification.
I will certainly recommend your book to students interested in/engaged
with such debates and wish you every success with it. The issues it
tackles are, to my mind, of utmost importance. I wish that more in the
counselling and psychotherapy arena were willing to consider and address
them as you have done. Good on you!"
Ernesto Spinelli, Professor of Psychotherapy,
Counselling and Counselling Psychology and Senior Academic Fellow, Regent's
"Geoff Heath writes in a flowing, engaging style and draws on
an impressive range of contemporary sources which are cleverly interwoven
with personal narratives. It is clear that writing this book has been
a thought-provoking, and at times, disturbing, experience. It will appeal
to anyone interested in applying philosophy to their own values and
beliefs, but beware it is likely to challenge you!"
Dr Robert Shaw, author of 'The Embodied
"Whilst it rejects key categories of traditional religion, and
refuses to take refuge in a vague post-religious spirituality, this
passionate book is not an example of simplistic reductionism. Rather
it is an invitation to join the author in continuing to wrestle honestly
with the contingency and surprise of life as a human being."
Paul Weller, Professor of Inter-Religious
Relations, University of Derby