Welcome to the 10th edition of the Humanist Symposium!!!
I know I said earlier that this one was going to be "the dirty edition." But the problem was that (aside from that ex-Mormon serial novel which has taken a rather questionable turn lately) nobody sent me anything dirty. They just sent me a bunch of articles related to "Humanism." And some fantastic ones at that!!!
So I'll just be presenting these articles to you, and my original contribution as host is a Humanist side illustration "Helping Hands."
As a Humanist, you have to find or make your own meaning and purpose, but we're up to it. Lynet presents some hauntingly poetic musings on tragedy while Greta Christina covers both life and death. On the spiritual side, David talks about what it means to be fully present. And Miller talks about the value and excitement of being an active participant in the trend towards atheism.
Paul has written a clear, concise explanation of universal moral grammar: how the moral framework we're born with isn't quite the same as absolute universal morality.
Then Dale wishes us a very Merry Christmas! while explaining that whatever Christmas's origins, the combination of public and private meanings attached to it have developed according to no one's conscious plan, and will continue to do so. Then to celebrate our place in the universe, the Ridger has written a song: "We Are Starstuff".
One of the first steps towards helping other humans is education. Vjack states it clearly: "If we are serious about every child deserving the opportunity to succeed in college, then we need to get serious about making sure they are adequately prepared." Black Sun cautions against widespread homeschooling because of the many ways it can limit a child's educational experiences. PZ has persuaded his readers to lend a helping hand on science education (though he'll be scandalized that by including him here I'm hinting he may be a humanist ;^) ). And Holly Ord gives some amusing examples of educating the public through non-theistic billboards.
Joel McDonald has saved a few trees by suggesting electronic alternatives to procedures that required excessive document printing -- the sort of improvement that could be made in so many workplaces if people care enough to think before always hitting "print."
GrrlScientist reviews a book that explains the basics of cloning and how it can benefit humanity (while creating some interesting new questions for us to deal with.)
Theory and Practice:
How do our proverbs fare without God? Lubab No More still follows the golden rule. David discusses the serenity prayer noting that we shouldn't be too hasty about accepting the big problems of the world if we can change things at least a little.
Speaking of how to handle the world's big problems, James suggests that if the various religions can't live in peace, perhaps we should go with none, and Shaun Connel explains that violence should not be used to deal with non-violent people.
And I've posted about how our human values are starting to change in the right direction so that reducing wasteful consumption -- thinking of the future -- is seen as the highest virtue. This essay completes own overview of strategies to cooperate and build a sustainable future for our little species!
I hope you've enjoyed this Humanist Symposium!!! The next one will be held on November 25 at the Greenbelt!!