Enjoying The Happiness of Others

Is Humanism about reason or about emotion? It might seem that reason is all we need, but as scientists such as Antonio Damasio have demonstrated, without feelings, we are unable to make choices. Reason guides us toward our goals, but to have goals and values, we need preferences, which come from emotions.So, is it all about the pursuit of happiness? In some sense, it is. But not just our own personal happiness. The happiness of others matters. In their book, Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart, Lex … [Read more...]

Mindful Leadership

Lately, there has been quite a bit of controversy about the use of mindfulness training in the corporate world. Are mindfulness programs just a way of making workers more stress-tolerant and thus more easily exploited? This is a question I discuss with the authors of the new book, The Mindfulness Edge, in the audio below.To give you the quick answer, if your goal is to exploit workers, having a mindfulness program is probably a poor investment. Mindfulness encourages people to consider how t … [Read more...]

Dr. Jelani Cobb Marks Day of Solidarity for Black Nonbelievers at the Humanist Hub

Today marks the national Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers. Founded in 2011, it is a day that has grown more relevant and important each year, and feels particularly relevant this year: not only has racial justice finally risen to the very top tier of national priorities for discussion and debate in a major election year, but the current generation of civil rights leaders has been nationally noted for keeping religious leaders "at arms length." Even some of today's most prominent young … [Read more...]

Finding Meaning with Science and Mindfulness

How do we find meaning in our lives? Can mindfulness help? That’s the subject of my discussion with Gleb Tsipursky of Intentional Insights, author of Find Your Purpose Using Science.In my book, Secular Meditation, I claim that mindfulness can be half the secret to happiness. I cite a paper in which psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton(both Nobel Laureates) discuss happiness in terms of two components—moment to moment emotional well-being and long-term life eva … [Read more...]

Atheist Meditation: Mark W. Gura and Rick Heller in Dialogue

Three's a crowd, and we now have three offerings for atheists interested in meditation. Is that too many books on one topic or rather, an indication of burgeoning interest? I think it's the latter.Besides Sam Harris's Waking Up, the others are Atheist Meditation Atheist Spirituality by Mark W. Gura and my book, Secular Meditation. Mark and I recently talked by phone about our books.After listening to the conversation, I encourage you to check out both by following the links and clicking o … [Read more...]

Science Must Always Be Skeptical of Its Own Findings

One of the reasons that science is such a useful guide to reality is that, over time, the body of scientific knowledge updates as new information comes in. So, it turns out that one of the studies I reference in my book, Secular Meditation, has been falsified by the very people who originally produced it.Failed Replication of Oxytocin Effects on Trust: The Envelope Task Case finds that a previous study, Oxytocin does not only increases trust when money is at stake, but also when confidential … [Read more...]

Cultivating Kindness During the Holiday Season

Though this is the season for good will, holiday shopping madness sometimes points people in another direction. Then there are the family gatherings that bring loved ones together to dredge up arguments about who said what in 1987. In such times, it’s good to have a tool that helps you cultivate good will.One way to do this is through loving-kindness meditation, also knows as metta, from a word in the Pali language of ancient India that means friendliness or loving-kindness. This practice, d … [Read more...]

Humanist Community Day Speaker #3: Sasha Sagan on the Solstice

This is the third in a series of three posts about the upcoming Humanist Community Day mini-conference in honor of the 2nd anniversary of the opening of the Humanist Hub, a community home for atheists, agnostics and allies in the greater Boston area. Our third Humanist Community Day speaker session will feature Sasha Sagan: a writer, producer, and film editor, and the daughter of renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan and author and producer Ann Druyan.Sasha Sagan's session will focus on the … [Read more...]

Harvard Humanist of the Year 2015: John Amaechi, OBE

This is part two of a series of posts about the upcoming Humanist Community Day mini-conference in honor of the 2nd anniversary of the opening of the Humanist Hub, a community home for atheists, agnostics and allies in the greater Boston area. For our second of 3 Humanist Community Day speaker sessions, The Humanist Hub and the Humanist Community at Harvard are thrilled to honor John Amaechi, OBE as our 2015 Harvard Humanist of the Year.John Amaechi, OBE is a  New York Times best-selling auth … [Read more...]

Humanist Community Day Speaker #1: Ron Suskind on Life, Animated

This is part one of a series of posts about the upcoming Humanist Community Day mini-conference in honor of the 2nd anniversary of the opening of the Humanist Hub, a community home for atheists, agnostics and allies in the greater Boston area. Our first of 3 Humanist Community Day speaker sessions features one of the finest and most recognized writers and orators in the United States, on his beautiful recent book about his son’s autism and redemption through Disney stories. Ron Suskind is a P … [Read more...]


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