Absolutely! It is essential to rally for accessibility to safe abortion services, comprehensive sex education and a complete array of reproductive options as these are continually assailed here locally and across the country. As a humanist, how can one not support this cause? A rhetorical question, you think? Not really. To bridge the immense rift the abortion issue has created in society, we need better ethical arguments than the simple appeal to “rights” that has largely defined the issue.
The Bible proclaims "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:22) and "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives" (Luke 11:9-10). Adherents of the Christian faith and other religious traditions are quite convinced of the power of prayer. Whether it is a family member getting well, a home run during the baseball game, or a new job offer, many people perceive that someone out there is listening to them. However, once you review the evidence, the effects of prayer appear to be entirely psychological.
When someone has "blind faith," they tend to hold onto their beliefs even when there is significant evidence suggesting they are false. This is different from standard faith, which is based merely on the absence of evidence. So what drives people to be so unreasonable? Psychology has some interesting answers.
On March 12, 2014, atheists and humanists in Minnesota made history when Minnesota State Representative Phyllis Kahn introduced what is believed to be the first legislative bill to ever mention us. House File 2966 (HF 2966) is titled “Marriage solemnization by atheist and humanist celebrants authorized.” It allows for our celebrants to legally perform civil marriages.
Theists are in love with the idea of faith. They often use the word as though it is a magical and indescribable force adhering them to their religious beliefs. However, as with all other aspects of the human experience, it is not beyond description or scientific investigation. Upon review, faith is an inherent drive which is ultimately necessary for our emotional wellbeing. At the same time, despite its positive attributes, it can be quite dangerous if taken too far.
"A community or society without a clear image of what it wants to get is hardly likely to end up wanting what it does get."
Your future is being designed for you. Is it the future you want? Numerous social, technological, economic, environmental, political, and values trends continually push us into the future. Tipping points are crossed, new equilibriums are reached and familiar stabilities are broken. The ground seems to shift beneath us, often catching us unprepared. Past decisions create constraints, yet our tendency is to think we walk paths of our own choosing. Past developments also open new possibilities, but we're so often clinging to and reifying the familiar that we fail to see the freedom of movement that surrounds us. All of these forces and factors, trends and potentials beg for a perspective, a method or tools to reduce uncertainty and complexity. What can we use to decrease the tragic frequency of humanity blundering yet again into problems it could have anticipated and dealt with more intelligently? One such perspective and set of tools can be found in futures studies.
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