The Tide of History Flows Left

One of my history-minded friends has a long-range political view summed up in three words: Liberals always win. Complex social struggles may take centuries or decades, he says, but they eventually bring victory for human rights, more democratic liberties and other progressive goals.

Look how long it took to end slavery. Generations of agitation and the horrible Civil War finally brought triumph for liberal abolitionists and defeat for conservative slavery supporters.

Look how long it took for women to gain the right to vote. In the end, liberal suffragettes prevailed, conservative opponents lost. Read more about The Tide of History Flows Left »

“The Light in my Life and the Fire in my Soul” – Bette Chambers

[Editor's note: the title of this post by Michael Werner is a quote from Bette Chambers, who is a past president of the American Humanist Association.]

For all the talk about reason and science, humanism is really about a passionate love affair. It is a love affair with life, not a mythical hereafter. Humanism is a love affair with a progressive vision of civilization where each of us can add to our growing library of wisdom, our evolving knowledge of what there is, and what is truly important. None of the great achievements in history would have been possible without a love of the adventure of learning and of creating a better life. We have great cultural achievements in science, art, music, literature, philosophy, history, psychology, and political thought that all inform each other that have been borne of that long humanist tradition. Read more about “The Light in my Life and the Fire in my Soul” – Bette Chambers »

Spiritual But Not . . . Keep Talking, Humanists

Literary critic Terry Eagleton said, “The din of conversation is as much meaning as we shall ever have.” I like that. On first glance, it appears to be bleak—human conversation is all the meaning there is?

But imagine what human conversation has given us.

Imagine the din of conversation under the porches (stoa) and under the trees (akademeia) in Athens during the time of Socrates.

Imagine the din of conversation in Baghdad in the late 700s when an institution called the  House of Wisdom opened it’s doors—an attempt to gather all the wisdom in the world.  Read more about Spiritual But Not . . . Keep Talking, Humanists »

Book review: Christianity without God, by Daniel C. Maguire

Christianity without God: Moving beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative, by Daniel C. Maguire. SUNY Press, 2014, 226 pp, $24.95.

 a review by Edd Doerr

 “In these pages,” Dan Maguire  writes as he begins this important book, “I argue against the existence of a personal god, the divinity of Jesus, and the belief that continued living is the sequel to death. I find no persuasive arguments for any of these hypotheses,” these assumed foundations of Christianity. “What would be refreshing,” he adds, “is a moratorium on god-talk so that together we could explore alternatives to earth’s current social, political, economic, and ecological distress.” Read more about Book review: Christianity without God, by Daniel C. Maguire »

The Naturalism Discussion: Moving Beyond the Humanist / Theist Debate

People are more important than beliefs.* Some may consider this a corollary to the first Unitarian Universalist principle, “The inherent worth and dignity of every person”, or the third, “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations [and beyond].” We are Unitarian Universalists because we choose to be in community with one another. So, let me rephrase that slightly: relationships are more important than beliefs. Read more about The Naturalism Discussion: Moving Beyond the Humanist / Theist Debate »

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