Is There a Place for Environmentalism in Humanism?

John Shook

There is no escaping the accusation anymore: humanism, we hear over and over, can’t help the environmental movement. Sure, humanists can say that they love the environment, want to “go green,” and treasure their animal friends. Humanists can even script such devotion into their declarations and manifestos. Yet environmentalists frequently doubt that humanism can form a sound basis for genuine environmentalism. Can the principles of humanism really help protect environmental resources and the earth’s fragile ecologies?

Over at the website, for example, there’s not much love for humanism. An article titled “Eco-Humanism?” (posted September 23, 2009) squarely confronts the tough question: If humans are part of the problem, can humanism really be part of the solution? This article answers that question uncompromisingly in the negative:

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