Introduction to Section III

The final section discusses how to live an Ethical Humanist life. It includes a guide to relationships, social justice, and how to live a flourishing life in general. If the previous section was about the theoretical, then this section is about the practical aspects of Ethical Culture.

Ethical Humanism

So, we finally get to Ethical Humanism.  Adler’s thought prioritized the supersensible and ideal as the ground of ethics but it was also visionary in its respect for individual worth and for the human basis of this spiritual, ethical universe.  The latter is a good description of the Humanistic understanding of life as a struggle for self expression in the interactive ethical, relational, and cultural experience of human existence.

This description of ourselves as Ethical Humanists states our place in the larger Humanist array.  Life is an ethical journey made by humans living within a human perspective.  We are not searching for absolute Truth, but we are making the best out of the empirical lives that we have been given.

To put it in Adlerian terms with a Pragmatist, Bergsonian twist: human beings participate in building a world together, and this process is an act of personal expression. It is an evolving fluid world of attitudes, tastes, judgments, and values, including feelings about good and evil, love and hate.  Our choices are creative acts. As each human expresses her deepest feelings and thoughts in action, she creates herself, and she helps create our human world.  This human world is the pure natural world filtered through the lens of human understanding; it is an ethical world of culture and relationships, of spiritual beings acting in harmony.  The ethical culture we strive for is one in which each individual is encouraged to express what is best in himself.

Continue to Intrinsic Worth and Adler’s Axiom