Critical humanism suggests an opening eight-point agenda to get us going. I explore all these in the book chapters – they roughly organise the chapters.
1. Critical humanism What is this thing called ‘critical humanism’? Why do we need it? Where is it heading? What are its challenges?
2. Damaged humanity How have we come to construct such a mutilated, disconnected world? How might we repair it?
3. Divided humanity Why is humanity so divided? How can we learn to live well together with our amazing and vast array of differences?
4. Traumatized humanity How can we make sense of the atrocities of our past? Why have we treated each other so badly and with such cruelty? How can we build narratives and institutions of reconciliation, justice, truth and accountability with each other?
5. Narrative humanity How has humanity been assembled through narrative? We have become the distinctive, even distinguished, storytelling animal. So how can we cultivate stories that will encourage a better future, a flourishing world? Can there be a narrative of worldwide connection?
6. A valuing humanity How have we built a long and distinguished history of human values? We have become the distinctively ‘moral animal’ that dwells in a culture with ‘values for living’. Can there be worldwide values that will bring us together?
7. Transformative humanity What kind of futures do we want? We have become the creative creatures: we bring new things into the world. Can we create ways of making a better future that will connect all peoples, life and the earth?
8. A politics of humanity How can we act in the world to bring about change? How can we use creative political actions to bridge the local and the universal? And reconnect us all to earth, life, world and the cosmos. Can we create a globalization of better worlds for all?
Critical humanism establishes a politics of humanity. It asks (a) How can we reduce the human harm and hazards in the world, especially for the vulnerable, exploited and marginal? (b) How can we connect lives to the continuity and richness of the earth we live on? (c) How can we build creative and flourishing human worlds for all?
We look for harm reduction, connectivity, flourishing.