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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

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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