Friday, May 29, 2015

Is Unitarian Universalism the same as Secular Humanism?

I'm wondering...  Is Unitarian Universalism ("UU") the same as Secular Humanism ("SH"), or is it the same as what Secular Humanism wants to be?  UU is all about inclusiveness.  I've heard it said of UU members, that "if you believe the same as the person next to you, then one of you isn't thinking enough!"  You can be a UU member and still be Catholic, Baptist, Muslim, Buddhist, or even Atheist.  They're willing to accept anyone who is interested in being with them.  While some "believers" say you need to "believe in something bigger than yourself, but we don't care what or about the details," UU members don't even go that far!  You don't have to believe in anything at all and you can still be a member!

Secular Humanism is all about what's good for Humans, here and now.  They tend to be very inclusive, because there's just too much "us verses them" happening and building a wall of separation between groups isn't conducive to helping Humanity.  SH members are, of course, secular, so they still see at least a little separation of "us" (those who do not believe in a God) and "them" (those who do believe in a God).  Maybe this is the biggest difference between UU and SH; namely, if you believe in a "higher power" then you can't really be SH, but if you do not believe in a "higher power" you can still be UU.

So, if UU's are willing to take anyone, no matter of belief, then what defines UU?  If you're willing to accept any members, no matter of what they believe or do not believe, then do you really have a "group" at all?  Isn't your group, "the Human Race", if you're willing to accept all members of the Human Race?  Isn't the whole definition of a "group" based on something which makes "us" different from "them"?

I'm thinking that UU isn't really a "group" at all; it's simply a bunch of people who like to get together on Sundays, sing songs, and "feel good" about themselves and others.  While this is fine, it's not really a "group", since anyone is welcome.  Actually, maybe it is.  Maybe it's the group of people who like to get together on Sundays, sing songs, and "feel good" about themselves and others!  I admit that some people wouldn't be into this.

Actually, SH members can learn a lot from UU, however.  If the discussion can be kept open, if friendship can be maintained, then there's always the possibility that others may come to a realization that this "God" stuff is a bunch of bull.  When they do, they'll need a lot of friendship and support.  If Secular Humanism can be as inclusive as UU already is, then there's hope for a Humanist movement.