The Humanist Symposium #6
Welcome one and all to A Load of Bright, and the 6th edition of the Humanist Symposium. The carnival has been growing in stature and, I have no doubt, will continue to do so. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be hosting an early edition which, I’m quite sure, will be followed by many, many more.
The standard of work submitted has been superb, and far from finding it a chore, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading everything that was sent in. Now, without further ado.
THE VALUE OF HUMANISM
Many theists truly don’t see any options beyond a life devoted to God. It is important for us to demonstrate how a life free of superstition can be rich, varied and fulfilling. Evanescent outlines this point with his article My Atheism. Tristan at Imagine uses wonderful imagery and narrative to explain why Paradise is here on Earth. Chris Flynn-Jones introduces his series exploring The Meaning of Life. La Marguerite shows us how material possessions are inadequate to provide fulfilment in The Spirit. Everyday Atheism displays moving honesty in his Reflections on Death. The Ridger, writing at The Greenbelt cleverly exposes how faith is one of those things Causing Depression. And Prickleprickle at Persistent Thursday explodes a myth in Nihilism and the Atheist.
The vast majority of people on this planet are theists, and for that reason, the deconversion process is hugely important if our descendents are to see a better world. I’ve always enjoyed reading deconversion stories, and this is a particularly well written and thought provoking tale from The Spanish Inquisitor.
Equally important is the spread of critical thinking, which so often acts as the stimulus and the vehicle for deconversion. Lynet of Elliptica brings us this skilful evaluation on the importance of Doubt.
It can never be said too often that neither God nor religion are required for sound morality to exist. John Loftus at Debunking Christianity asks What Do Human Beings Want? Skeptigator discusses On What Basis do you Decide What is Good? And Russell Blackford at Metamagician and the Hellfire Club explores some of the problems of defining morality in his Naturalistic Moral Pluralism Rant.
SECULAR POLITICS AND ACTIVISM
With the threat that religious faith poses to our safety, we don’t have time to just wait for humanism to trickle into society at its own rate – we need to drive it. Vjack at Atheist Revolution asks What’s Next for Atheism? PeterM at Effing the Ineffable (I love that name!) offers us a possible symbol to represent atheism, in It’s a Sign. Over at The Loom we have a wonderful visual piece, a range of free thinking tattoos in Branded with Science. Lastly in this section, Zack Alexander of Evolte tackles an interesting question, Can We End Religion by Reforming Religion?
SCIENCE, ART AND LITERATURE
Humanism is all about the value and worth of the individual human being, which entails a celebration of human work. C. L. Hanson at Letters From A Broad examines Christian themes in the writing of J. K. Rowling, in Harry Potter Vs. Jesus. And, finally, Alvaro Fernandez of Brain Fitness Blog takes a fascinating look at the Nobel prizes in Richard Dawkins and Alfred Nobel: Beyond Nature and Nurture.
Well, that’s all, my fellow humans. Thank you to everyone who contributed, to Ebonmuse for holding my hand through my first time hosting a carnival, and all of you who have arrived here to enjoy this celebration of humanist writing. Whether you’re new here or one of my regular (or irregular) readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay and, I’m sure you’ll agree, the fine collection of work on display.