@Ter, looking at Micah 6:8 that way helps a lot. I’m sensing that most of the time when we see people committed to justice and compassion but rejecting God, we’re probably looking at humanism.
@b4marshall, I’ll attempt an example of humanism from my reading material this year. I’d love feedback on whether I’m interpreting this correctly.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani is about a twelve-year-old girl, Nisha, who becomes a refugee during the partition of India in 1947. Her father is Hindu. Her mother, who died when Nisha was born, had been Muslim. Nisha considers herself half Hindu and half Muslim. This book treats religion like a trait inherited from one’s parents.
Nisha can’t understand why the Hindus and Muslims are killing each other. Nisha writes in her diary, “We all have the same blood, and organs, and bones inside us, no matter what religion we’re supposed to be.”
Later in the book, she says, “I used to think people were mostly good, but now I wonder if anyone could be a murderer.”
In The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani promotes tolerance, demonstrating the need to love each other no matter what our religion is. She founds this ethic in our common humanity, implying that her morals come from humanism rather than religion.
She leaves the question of the origin of evil unanswered. I’m curious how humanists would answer that. I’m also curious whether the humanist values of the main character reflect the values of typical refugees during the 1947 partition or whether they are contemporary values superimposed on historical fiction.
If you’re interested in a more detailed summary of the book, see LibrisNotes: The Night Diary.