Humanism Is Aight


Last week for my Age of Reason class we read a story by David Brooks called The New Humanism, which was essentially about the modernization and evolution of Humanism. There are many definitions of Humanism but the official definition is “an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.”  


This piece of writing had a great impact on how I thought about how we value humans, and categorize others based on skills and attributes that would better them rather than better humanity. He states that the expectations that we have for a person which have been emphasizing I.Q, degrees, and professional skills should rather be these five skills which could make people “better humans” rather than corporate monsters:


Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.


Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings.


Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations.


Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups.


Limerence: This isn’t a talent as much as a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God. Some people seem to experience this drive more powerfully than others. (


These skills represent a repertoire that David Brooks thinks that each human should have, and I completely agree with him. With these, and maybe a couple more skills being in taught in school and people being awarded for them could have a drastic change on the way we live, and in my opinion, for the better.



  1. matthewthemadscientist

    What do you mean by “corporate monsters” ? after all, corporations are people…
    In all seriousness though, what are you actually getting at. I know that those are some helpful attributes, but WHY are they helpful?

    • sebby123

      Well, first of thank you for reading my post Matthew. But to answer your question if you would look back at the post I state that with these skills, people could become better humans in a sense that we can better humanity interms of a well rounded human, which is what Humanism obviously is.

      – Sebby

  2. jackr224

    I find it interesting how humanism can be broken down into 5 separate attributes that make people “better humans”. How do you think we actually view what makes a person a better human in today’s society?

  3. mralexacademic2014

    Hey Sebby,
    Very interesting post, I really enjoyed it. I agree with you that those traits are important, and people should have them, but the way you phrased it leaves me wondering: Do you think that everyone already has these values, or just that we should? Furthermore, if we don’t already have these aspects, should people really be expected to have them? Again, good post, thanks, it was fun to read.

    • sebby123

      Hi Alex, thanks for the reply and I am sorry for wording it wrong. What I was trying to convey is the idea, that most people do not have these skills, minus the people that just seem to have it all together. (We all know one) But I personally do not think that people should be expected to have these skills, but rather attain them through a modified curriculum. Once again thanks for reading my post.

      – Sebby

  4. janine248

    I really enjoyed reading this. It made a lot of sense to me because I wrote about something similar. How do you think this will shape what you study in college? Do you think OES agrees?

  5. zach2342

    Hi Sebby, I really enjoyed your piece on humanism. It made a lot of sense to me as I think about my own values and life. Your definitions of those five skills were really clear and made sense. Well done, thanks for posting this.

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