Although featuring the work of the artist and philosopher, Alexander Curtis, as the name suggests, the aim of Reloading Humanism is to go beyond the endeavour of a single individual. Reaching out into the web of life, “Fellows” have been found whose work, taken together, can be seen as constituting the beginnings of an answer to the fundamental question of our age: “Is it possible for us to live happy and fulfilled lives without placing an undue burden on our environment, without exploiting other human beings and without jeopardising the quality of life of those who come after us?”
This is not only the question of our age, it is THE QUESTION that since The Enlightenment has been hovering over humanity with the answer deciding whether we as a species have a future or not. Reloading Humanism is conceived in the spirit that we may, if we take heart and pull ourselves together, be able to work towards the beginnings of a positive answer. The task is however immense and calls for changes in attitudes in every aspect of our lives and in all modes of thinking, feeling and being – and even then the outcome is uncertain. Yet if we address the issue at hand we may find a new found dignity that gives a meaning and purpose to our lives that modernism has consistently failed to deliver. To access the „People“ page of Reloading Humanism, click on the glass prism top left.
All the people featured at Reloading Humanism show that there are other ways of doing things and that we are only stuck in a rut, due to our being unwilling and too cowardly to look for alternative ways of living and thinking about things. The message is that we can escape from the destructive corset of consumer culture, we can overthrow our reliance on fossil fuels and we can kick the habit of taking more than we give. This however assumes that we see ourselves in a way that accords us these abilities. We must return to a more Renaissance orientated view of our place in the world and see ourselves as beings that, depending on one’s beliefs, either God or nature has singled out and endowed with unique abilities and along with them, a unique set of responsibilities that it is our task to address.
This widely spread, all-embracing aspect is balanced by a regional focus on the Wachau Valley in Austria, where three Reloading Humanism humanists live. Introduced in a manner that offers tips to would be visitors and prompts residents to look again at the things around them these regional facets often result in something that one might call „applied philosophy“. It is also an attempt to sketch out something that one might call „responsible tourism“.
At Reloading Humanism the question of whether there is or is not, a life after death, is left open and it is left for each individual to make what is seen as a fundamental, existential decision. Whilst an affirmative answer generally entails the embracing of some sort of religion with a set of ethical guidelines, a negative answer does not necessarily entail an immediate slide into a world-view where there is no rhyme or reason to life and no system of ethics to guide us. This is one of the up-shots of Alexander Curtis‘ book, „Order at the Heart of Chaos – Life and Consciousness in an Exploding Universe“. At Reloading Humanism, the decision of what awaits us after death is seen as forming the foundation from out of which a system of ethics may be embraced, this in turn providing the means by which we can endeavour to lead responsible and fulfilled lives. Implicit in this, is a holistic view of life which along with the fundamental, existential decision already referred to, is seen as being that which underwrites responsible behaviour. Accordingly, Reloading Humanism distances itself from all forms of humanism which are dogmatically aetheist and by „reloading“, a return is meant in which the Christian Neoplatonic Humanism of the Renaissance is taken seriously and seen as a source of inspiration. To this effect there is a „math lab“ where a number of projects relating to a Neoplatonic view of the world are presented.