an open letter to a

Dear theist,

thank you for your letter that you wrote to us. It was well received. From it you said you were a secular humanist but you left. If you don’t mind my asking, what was your understanding of secular humanism and why did you leave?

What in the philosophy of secular humanism did you find most untenable? Is it embrace of human reason, ethics and philosophical naturalism or is it the rejection of religious dogma, pseudoscience and superstition that you didn’t like?

Or is it the claim that  human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god that you most disagree with? I hope you will be kind enough to indulge me.

As to your question, you ask what is the meaning of life? You say this question is fundamental and being that it has been asked by several generations of humans, I will take it to be so. Do you ask about all life or just human life? In my time I have seen men, mostly men, kill other life forms for pleasure. I am sure you heard of Cecil. Do these lives matter or do they exist for the pleasure of men? I digress. Life is to be lived. Trees have life, they grow and then die. Animals live and then die. We are unfortunate. We find ourselves in an absurd universe with the faculty for reflection. And we often think every question that occurs to us is answerable.

This is not to evade your question but to point out the futility of asking it. Maybe we should start by answering what is life before we get to what is the meaning of life. I hope you can shed some light on what is life?

In your letter you mention Belgium and it’s suicide rates and laid the blame on secular humanism. Assuming for a moment you are right and secular humanism is to blame, what is your argument against suicide? Who’s to decide when a person should quit this life? Does the alarm you raise about the low birth rate have anything to do with your Catholicism that sees women as breeders or something close? Or is it intellectual? I would love to know why you decry low birth rates.

You say the fatal flaw in secular humanism is its attempt to give meaning where there is none and me wonders really whether you thought about this statement fully. How it would be a flaw?

Your final question is unclear.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours naturalist and secular humanist.


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

38 thoughts on “an open letter to a

  1. carmen says:

    Mak, there are so many points of attack in that person’s blog entry. I’m sure your commenters will do a good job of dissecting it. For me, the slogan, “I believe in GOOD, not (a) god” has been working for awhile. .

    Oh, and loved the pics you put on yesterday! Those falls are gorgeous! Did you go swimming?



  2. KIA says:

    she seems to be assuming that SHs have no meaning or purpose in their lives without a Purpose outside of themselves. she seems to not be able to conceive of the possibility that lives have purpose that we infuse into them. and when we are gone, we trust our legacy to the judgment of others. -KIA

    Liked by 1 person

  3. there is purpose in life from what we give it. I just had to euthanize a beloved cat yesterday. Her life had much purpose, in her enjoyment of it, and the pleasure she graced me and my spouse with.

    I always have trouble believing these folks who claim they converted to Christianity from being a humanist. it strikes me as just another story told, to make them seem more important, quite similar to so many Christians claiming that they were such “horrible” people before they supposedly converted. I would suspect very strongly that this person has no idea what secular humanism actually is.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently converted from secular humanism to out-right cannibalistic atheism. The food’s better. 🙂 “What’s the meaning of life?” I don’t know. Find a helpful, useful meaning for your life and stay outta other people’s business who aren’t interfering with you living it. No invisible, unreal, magical guys needed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. john zande says:

    Now that was a link to some utter, utter, utter nonsense.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “… this question [the meaning of life] is fundamental and being that it has been asked by several generations of humans…”

    Several generations of humans? As in the Christian fundamentalist 6,000 year history of Earth known as Creationism? Oh, please! I call them as I see them, and this person is an UNABASHED LIAR not an ex-SECULAR HUMANIST. The nerve of these people… geez!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. niceatheist says:

    Noel, how did you even read that? I know I’m long winded, but that article is something else!

    I did catch a glimpse of how absolutely miserable the author assumes our lives are without god. Oddly enough, since leaving Jesus, I work on my marriage, family and myself more than I ever did as a Christian. As an atheist, I face my flaws more honestly and actually do something about it. Gone are the days of me “waiting on the lord” through prayer and his followers to resolve my issues. I was a physical and emotional mess before deconverting.

    There is something about the godless life that gives us clarity of mind, it’s the absence of all that god stuff.


    • makagutu says:

      Someone had to read it, Charity.
      I don’t know what bothers these religionists with our very peaceful lives. Do they think we are so depressed, so lost that without their unknown god life is miserable


      • niceatheist says:

        As a former Christian myself, I can tell you that they cannot even perceive a life without a god. He/it is pretty much all they know. He is their identity. It’s honestly quite sad. I feel for them. Being bound to a dangerous philosophy/religion is dangerous and self destructive. I found most aspects of Christianity abusive.


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