How is a Humanist Service Group Different from the Peace Corps?

Last month, I posted an interview with Conor Robinson, who began the Humanist Service Corps (a project of Foundation Beyond Belief). It’s sort of like a non-proselytizing, secular mission trip. Conor is currently leading a team in Ghana for his second stint overseas, doing a lot of incredible work over there.

One of the questions that popped up after that interview was one we really should have addressed up front: How is the Humanist Service Corps different from something like the Peace Corps?

Writing at Applied Sentience, he answers that question in detail:

The Humanist Service Corps is more than just a Peace Corps wannabe rebranded to attract a particular group of volunteers. Although we are interested in drawing more humanists into international service, the primary goal of the Humanist Service Corps is humanist service, not humanists doing service.

Humanist service is defined by culturally responsible volunteering, community empowerment, and safety. Though HSC doesn’t claim to be the first volunteering program to prioritize these values, we believe these values must be the conclusion if the starting point is humanism.

Check out his full response here in which he really explains the differences between the two organizations.

Even if you don’t think the differences are significant, I would love to see more Humanists opting to do some sort of service work, whether its through explicitly non-theistic channels or more traditional secular ones.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.