Models for our Movement: Let’s Get Religious

As the secular movement grows and gains power, we frequently look to other social movements for inspiration. Our movement is frequently compared to the civil rights movement, and currently comparisons with the LGBTQ movement are often drawn. In my mind, though, Humanism is more akin to a religious movement: a broad values-based effort focused on social change. If we look to religious movements for inspiration, we may find strategies which better serve our ends. [Read more...]

The Humanist Hour and the 9/11 Cross

That American Atheists Inc. is seeking to defend the secular nature of the government of the USA is laudable, and often they take on necessary and unpopular causes. This cause, however, is only unpopular – there is no infringement of the boundary between church and state here, and to argue that there is one is to argue on the basis of numerous misrepresentations and inaccuracies. [Read more...]

How Should Rationalists Approach Death? – Skepticon 4 Panel

At the recent Skepticon convention I had the privilege of speaking on a panel with Greta Christina, Eliezer Yudkowsky and Julia Galef, moderated by Jesse Galef. Video of the panel after the jump! BONUS: You can hear me singing parts from RENT! [Read more...]

Skepticon IV: Profoundly Humanist, No Cop-Out

For Humanists, the opening was inauspicious: Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists Inc., told those gathered for Skepticon IV that to call yourself a Humanist is a “cop-out”. For Silverman, nothing less than “atheist” would do. If he had stayed for the rest of the conference, though, he would have seen a profoundly Humanist series of speakers – speakers who on no account “copped-out” of their responsibility to skeptically scrutinize beliefs and actions, and who had their eyes firmly on the use of skeptical tools to promote human welfare. [Read more...]

Gelatogate: To Err is Human, to Forgive Humanist

“Gelatogate” is a genuine and troubling instance of discrimination against the nonreligious, and as such should be deplored. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate our capacity for compassion and forgiveness – values central to the Humanist outlook. [Read more...]

Humanism and Politics 1: Humanism is Political, or it isn’t Humanism

Religion and politics – two subjects we are admonished to avoid discussing at all costs. But what about irreligion and politics? How does the life stance of Humanism intersect with the political sphere? Are there political views that are mandatory for Humanists, part of the definition of the term? Is Humanism necessarily political? Or can Humanism as a philosophy stand aloof from political concerns and embrace the whole range of political perspectives? [Read more...]

Discussion Continues Re: 9/11 Cross

I’ve just written another post on the 9/11 cross controversy, which I find particularly interesting as a philosopher of aesthetics and symbolism. You can find it here:

http://www.stateofformation.org/2011/08/museum-or-memorial-and-why-it-matters-thoughts-on-religious-symbolism/ [Read more...]


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