10 March 2012

Humanist's Card, version 2

In response to comments, here's version 2 of my "humanist's card" in response to the rather sad "faith card" that made the rounds recently.
Version 1 elicited some comments, which I sincerely appreciated.  I don't want people getting the idea I just ignored their comments, so here's some notes:

It was brought to my attention that the card seemed more consistent with humanist principles than secularist principles.  That made sense; I've changed the heading to "humanist" from "secularist."

It was suggested that the "Gnu A" would be a better symbol.  Two reasons I didn't change the symbol.  First, given the change from "secularist" to "humanist," using the humanist symbol made more sense.  I did, however, find a Wikipedia Commons image by Andres Rojas that I think looks nicer than what I had originally.

Finally, it was suggested that denouncing incompetence shouldn't be listed.  The argument invoked the  Dunning-Kruger effect.  I'm a big fan of the DKE, but there's three reasons I decided to keep this item on the card: (a) not every comment was against the inclusion of this line (so more discussion is probably warranted), (b) the DKE has been noted predominantly in American culture (so its explanatory power globally may be rather limited), and (c) I consider incompetence something of which one ought to be self-aware.

...maybe some extra words are warranted about incompetence.  In the professions, incompetence is something that one must guard against in one's own behaviour.  This requires reflection and collaboration with others, both of which are themselves generally desirable characteristics.  There are any number of practises that are easy to implement to avoid incompetence.  Making a mistake is not a demonstration of incompetence; we're only human after all.  (Pun intended.)  But if one's practises repeatedly ignore correcting for errors in spite of being aware of those errors - well, that's just not on, in my books.

In any case, this card is just a quirky idea of mine and certainly isn't intended to represent the entire humanist community.

More thoughtful comments and discussion are most welcome.


  1. I like it, and I agree that the Humanist logo should go with a Humanist card, but I just don't like that logo, but that's what we got. We infidels need better branding. :-)

    1. Thanks! Given I'm an engineer by training, I'm no good at all with logos. Still, you're right; it's what we've got.

      (There's plenty worse logos out there. Try googling 'worst logo ever' for some fun.)

    2. Mr. Salustri, that is the greatest definition of the principles
      that humanists should practice. If everyone practiced them the world would be a much better place.