From time to time, I get obsessed with the Dawkins humanist bus ads, the ones that read “There’s probably no god, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.” And that’s great, and fair enough, but there’s more to humanism, isn’t there? Of course there is: humans are pretty awesome, normally. We like to launch things and probe things and discuss things, and out of that we get new pictures, new data, new ideas. Us! Slow, fleshy, awkward things who can’t survive three days in the winter without whisky and comforters! Every person around you is part of a species that knows how to build the LHC and mille-feuille and e.e. cummings!
All those people sitting beside you on the subway are humans. Do you see what I’m saying? What I’m saying is that these people are capable of ridiculous things. Right beside you! That person is a human! Turn your head! Go, turn your head and say hi!