Naturally curious, compassionate & rational
  • Humanist Community

    Como Conservatory and Dinner, Thurs. Dec. 25th @ 2:30pm

    At this dark and cold time of year what better way to escape the frightful weather than basking in the lush, tropical gardens under glass at Como Conservatory. Afterwards, let's relax over a delicious meal at a top-rated local Asian restaurant, Bangkok Thai Deli for more festivus for the rest of us.

  • Ethics in Action

    Holiday Donations to Bridge for Youth

    Every December Humanists and Atheists team up to support Bridge for Youth—a safe and welcoming place for youth in the Twin Cities. Your financial support and/or in-kind donations can help youth get off the street into safe shelter and on to a better life. Bring a check, cash or in-kind donations to our Winter Solstice Celebration on Dec. 21. Or go to The Bridge website to make alternate arrangements for delivery. Suggested donations may be found here.  

  • Our Vision

    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

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

As one Christian website put it, "moral values do not derive from human experience. Moral values come from http://southhamps.humanist.org.uk/page1/files/jim-al-khalili.jpgthe 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.

How We are Good without God

Humans are Innately Good

As I explained in my posts regarding groupishness and the evolution of morality, humans evolved the capacity to be moral because it improved the chances of our ancestors' survival. The earliest humans evolved within social environments, and we gained pro-social characteristics to promote the survival of our groups. When groups survive, so do the genes of the group members. Given these adaptations, psychologically healthy humans are innately moral. In fact, studies have shown that even babies have a rudimentary sense of justice and of right and wrong.[2]

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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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The Problem with Liberal Religion

"Religion has not civilized man--man has civilized religion. God improves as man advances." -Robert IngersollAs I define it, liberal religion is the adherence to religious traditions and beliefs that do not outright contradict modern secular ethics or science. Often, Secular Humanists and liberal theists agree on a lot of topics. For example, many liberal theists accept evolution, global warming, gay rights, women's rights, sexual freedom, and cultural tolerance. In the end, the world would be a much better place if fundamentalist theists embraced liberal religion. Despite this, however, liberal religion still creates many problems which harm society.

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Upcoming Events

Thu, Dec 25, 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Como Conservatory & Bangkok Thai Deli
Fri, Dec 26, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Humanist Happy Hour Mpls.
Fri, Jan 2, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Exploring Human Experience through Poetry: Healing
Sat, Jan 3, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
TED Talk Salon: Your elusive creative genius
Fri, Jan 9, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Humanist Happy Hour St. Paul
Fri, Jan 23, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Humanist Happy Hour Mpls.

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