Naturally curious, compassionate & rational
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    Come pay tribute to Charles Darwin at our next chapter meeting, Saturday, February 21st at 10am.  Primotologist and anthropologist Michael Wilson will offer an evolutionary perspective on warfare to shed light on why people fight and what they can do to make war less likely to occur.

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    We aspire to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment and contribute to the greater good of humanity and the planet through reason, science, compassion and creativity. 

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Blog: Humanist Voices

Book Review: Plato at the Googleplex

Plato as talk show guestI was first moved to pick up the book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, because of other reviews I had read in The Humanist, and Free Inquiry.  Each had emphasized the dialogues that author Rebecca Goldstein had created to put Plato into the modern world, a concept that intrigued me. What I was not prepared for was the sweeping panorama she created by covering the roots of philosophical thinking, the timeless questions raised and discussed in Plato's Dialogues, and the entire historical background of the era--the eighth through the fourth centuries B.C.  

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Finding Meaning and Fulfillment

look into eye to see the cosmos within us

"So you believe in nothing?" is a common question I get when I tell people I'm an atheist and Secular Humanist. Often these theists believe that life has no meaning without God, and they consider the purely naturalistic view of the universe to be bleak, heartless, and devoid of emotional resonance. What these people simply do not understand is that humans are fully capable of having meaningful and fulfilling lives without resorting to supernaturalism.

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The Reason for the Season: Axial Tilt

happy winter solstice Everyone has their own take on the winter holiday season which is now upon us.  I’m inclined to think that the need for this annual rite in northern climes may be in our DNA.  The holiday that is now known as “Christmas” is really about winter.  Enduring the short days and long nights. Steeling ourselves against the snow, ice and cold.  Our species having survived with scant resources under harsh conditions.   Just shut off your own lights, turn off the furnace and go without all your electronic entertainments in these darkest days of December and consider what you might be doing to get through the season!

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Media/Tech group surveys membership

survey check"I want engagement! I want a wider variety of interesting activites! I want to grow this organization!" Audrey exclaimed last spring, her voice resonating throughout the mostly empty Golden Valley restaurant. From that conversation comes the membership survey we ask you to take on Survey Monkey to help us make the organization a more engaging part of your life.

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Reasonable Ethics

http://southhamps.humanist.org.uk/page1/files/jim-al-khalili.jpg

As one Christian website put it, "moral values do not derive from human experience. Moral values come from the one who knows us best and knows what is best for us-our creator, God. If moral values derived from human experience, we would be living in a chaotic world. We'd never know what was right and what was wrong, because moral values would change as human experience changed."[1] However, we Secular Humanists understand that it is easy to be good without any gods, and often reason can lead us to be even more ethical than many theists.

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Are you an informed voter?

Myour vote countsidterm elections are right around the corner. Are you ready to vote? An odd question, you think? Have you seen the ballot? There’s probably more to it than you know. Planning to vote straight party line or considering supporting a third party candidate? And how is anyone supposed to know who all those judicial candidates are!? Humanists should pride themselves in being informed voters, but sometimes that can be quite a challenge unless you do some homework.. As a former civics teacher, let me offer some practical help for Election Day, November 4th—along with some humanist thoughts on civic engagement.

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Death: Acceptance or Avoidance?

autumn bench emptyIt’s the first day of autumn, a picture-perfect fall day, and I’m sitting here on my porch contemplating this essay on death. Perhaps it seems a bit macabre on such a lovely day, but it shouldn’t be. All the better to reflect on death in some of life’s finest moments than at its worst.

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How We Know What is True

http://i.imgur.com/IOOcrqh.jpgAs opposed to religions, which are founded on unsubstantiated if not outright debunked ideas, Secular Humanism is a philosophy of life founded on skepticism, empiricism, and reason. As a result, we not only have the capacity to better understand what is likely to be true, but we can also discern what is probably false, including supernaturalism.

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Mental Illness: Stigma, Silence, Suicide -- or Support?

Omental illness caring handsn a recent August morning I was awakened to the terrible news of Robin Williams’ demise. The sadness of this loss and his death by suicide hung over me like a shadow for days. Of course I didn’t know him personally, nor was I an especially avid fan. But over the years my life had been touched by this comedian and actor who made me both laugh and cry, and more importantly, helped me reflect on and better understand the complexity of our humanity. His portrayal of a passionate and caring English teacher in “Dead Poets Society” is a performance I will never forget. Now Williams’ own death has reminded me once again of the fragility of life and the heavy weight of mental illness that some people carry.

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The Problem with Magical Thinking

http://static.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/MjAxMi1lZGU5YmM0NzUwM2M0Yjlm.pngMagical thinking can be defined as "believing that one event happens as a result of another without a plausible link of causation."[1] This sort of cognition has led to beliefs in gods, spirits, luck, "alternative" medicines and therapies, magic, psychic powers, astrological signs, the power of prayer, etc. While magical thinking can produce some psychological benefits, there are simply too many dangers and downsides which make it harmful to society.

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Upcoming Events

Fri, Feb 6, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Exploring Human Experience through Poetry: Determination
Sat, Feb 7, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
TED Talk Salon: The workforce crisis of 2030
Fri, Feb 13, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Humanist Happy Hour St. Paul
Sat, Feb 14, 3:00pm - 6:00pm
D-CUBED, Discussion Debate and Dinner
Sat, Feb 21, 10:00am - 1:00pm
CHAPTER MEETING Understanding Warfare: An Evolutionary Approach
Fri, Feb 27, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
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