“God is Dead. So What?” – Humanist Community Discussion Starter

Yesterday I spoke at my home Humanist community, the Humanist Community at Harvard, to spark a discussion on the possibilities and challenges of building local community spaces for Humanists. This is one of the primary topics of my blog: I believe the development of local, meat space communities for Humanists is critical to our success as a movement, and I spend lots of my time attempting to make that case to the wider freethought movement. This is also why I work for the Humanist Community Project, designed to help develop such communities around the USA and the world.

Here’s the recording of my talk, “God is Dead: So What?” – a shortened version of a talk I’ve given before which addresses the demographic shifts facing the USA and their implications for American civic life.

God is Dead So What – Short Discussion Opener

I’ll be addressing some of the questions which arose as part of our discussion in later posts, as well as answering common criticisms of the idea of Humanist communities.


About James Croft

James Croft is the Leader in Training at the Ethical Culture Society of St. Louis - one of the largest Humanist congregations in the world. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently writing his Doctoral dissertation as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book "The Godless Congregation", co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.

  • Tony Debono

    I really enjoyed your presentation, and I’m glad I was able to be present for the subsequent discussion. I think what I liked most about your presentation is that you start with the question “God Is Dead. So What?” and then subtly and necessarily reframe the question to imply “God Is Dead. So What NOW?” I think it would be appropriate to end your presentation with the latter question *explicitly*.

    Two of my main concerns in the Humanist movement have been (as you pondered in your discussion opener) whether the idea is ‘marketable’ in a time when labels and organized moral communities are less and less ‘cool’, and whether the movement risks becoming authoritarian and dogmatic. It’s scary to think that Humanism would become Church-like in its authoritarianism and dogmatism, however that is powerful theme in human history; no matter how good the original intentions of the movement. How do we safeguard against that? Can we? I hope so, but I don’t quite know how to begin exploring that.
    Thanks again for all of your great and thoughtful work!