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Blog: Humanist Voices

Earthquake in Nepal: Humanist Outreach in MN

nepal quake2My name is Narayan P. Dhakal and I am from Kathmandu, Nepal. I am affiliated with the Humanists of Minnesota and currently working as a freelance Interdisciplinary Environmental Expert in Minnesota. You might have heard about the devastating earthquake that struck in Nepal on Saturday. Fortunately most of my immediate family members are safe, but the damage to life and property of my friends and relatives has been monumental. A total of 2400 people have been confirmed dead and 5900 are critically injured and many missing. There is no communication with some of the rural areas of the country where the situation is worst. The immediate relief assistance has not yet reached rural Nepal where people have been buried for more than 48 hours.

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Every Day is Earth Day

earth day every dayEvery day is Earth Day for humanists and naturalists.  But there’s no time like springtime to celebrate the earth and reflect on our relationship to the natural world.   Especially here in Minnesota.  The long-awaited changes from increased daylight and warmer temperatures are becoming more apparent every passing day.  Minnesota’s springtime rebirth brings an awareness and vitality to life that borders on the therapeutic.  Mindful observation of this cyclical change easily leads one to the philosophy of naturalism and a deeper connection to the earth itself.

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Humanists Support Literacy Effort in Guatemala

Guatemalan GirlsWhat kind of people are humanists anyway? They are people like Autumn Meta.  She's a University of Minnesota student organizing a large Spanish-language book drive to facilitate library growth and literacy efforts in Guatemala.  After an experiential learning trip to this Central American country last year, Autumn returned with a passion to do some good in that part of the world.  She's realistic and determined.  As a pragmatic humanist, she's learned that you don't have to take on the whole world as a project.  Just do some good where you can. 

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Humanist Dad to Be: Why is this a good idea again?

 

My wife and I want children, and in May, we will be welcoming our baby girl into this non-womblike world. To most people, the desire  to have kids requires no explanation. After all, our families, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers all seemed to assume a baby was forthcoming within 9 months of our wedding day. It’s a tradition passed down by, well, every single ancestor of mine that has ever existed. As Humanists, however, my wife and I don’t really consider “tradition” to be best reason to do anything, let alone go through the inevitable tough times that parenthood tends to bring about. So why do I think this is a good idea? Certainly, there has to be a logical explanation. As mentioned, I AM a Humanist after all.

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Restore the Vote!

restore the voteI was among hundreds of people at the state capitol a couple of days ago supporting the Second Chance Coalition and their work with ex-felons.  This 2015 “Day on the Hill” event was spent advocating for Restore the Vote.”  Humanists of MN has endorsed the work of this Coalition since hearing from one of their key leaders, Sarah Walker, at a chapter meeting in the fall of 2013 when they successfully lobbied for “ban the box” legislation. But why should humanists take a stand on these issues?

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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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Upcoming Events

Thu, Jul 9, 11:45am - 3:00pm
Mobile Food Shelf Volunteers
Fri, Jul 10, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Humanist Happy Hour St. Paul
Sat, Jul 11, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
TED Talk Salon: Will our kids be a different species?
Mon, Jul 13, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Tenets of Humanism: Naturalism
Sun, Jul 19, 11:00am - 3:00pm
Freethought Community Potluck Picnic
Mon, Jul 20, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Tenets of Humanism: Ethics

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