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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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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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