I asked an atheist Humanist a few questions:
edit: This was the Jewish Atheist, and the discussion is located here.
"I (usually) believe in free will because it feels so strongly like I have it. I'm also fascinated by the fact that I have no plausible explanation for how it works."
Me too, but the very fact that I do that bothers me. We take free will on faith, essentially, but in doing so we damage our stance in reason. Doesn't the theist do exactly the same thing?
I ask: "Why should the Humanist act morally?"
He answered: "Empathy plus the belief that no person has more worth than another."
I think it is a little more complex than that. Why should we necessarily trust our empathetic feeings? Emotions are notoriously irrational.
It bothers me that we really have two choices. We can go down one path and find our lives devoid of any meaning and worth. In the strict positivist stance we cannot even say that we are free, or moral, or conscious. We are mindless animals equipped with illusory control and a fictional sense of morality.
Or we can give credence to ideas that really do not deserve credence in a strict empirical sense, but which provide our lives with order and meaning and value. The Humanist might be able to restrict this urge to free will and meaningful moral commands, but can he truly judge himself as being less irrational than the theist? Maybe in degree, but certainly not in kind.