What 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.
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.
I 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?
I 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.
"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.