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This Week in Humanism 2017–11–12


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/11/12

“Chris Stedman, author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, will speak on “Encountering Secular Humanism” on Nov. 16 at noon in the Anderson Student Center, Iversen Hearth Room.

The Star Tribune reports that Stedman’s story “calling for civil discourse between atheists and the religious couldn’t come at a better time,” and Christian Century magazine declares that Stedman’s “story needs to be heard and engaged.”

“For Stedman, secular humanism intrinsically involves care for people and service to society — goals that are incompatible with bigotry of any kind. And so his book is a hand of friendship offered to people of faith and no faith. Not just to make nice, but to make ways for people with very different motivations to serve others and build justice together,” writes Julie Polter of Sojourners magazine”


“It’s been about 24 hours since Rep. Jared Huffman publicly announced that he was a “non-religious Humanist,” and I think the most surprising thing that’s happened since then is how little response it has generated.

There are a handful of media reports, including the Washington Post‘s story that broke the news… but that’s really about it. I have yet to see any real negative press about it.

As far as I can tell, no conservative group or right-wing individual issued any immediate denunciation of Huffman’s statement. No one said it’ll hurt Democrats. No one wept for the downfall of our nation. (It’s always possible that will change within a day or two.)”


“ Srinagar:

A day-long seminar to commemorate the humanistic traditions brought into the education sector by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was organized by postgraduate department of education at the University of Kashmir on the occasion of the national education day on Saturday.

Azad was an Indian scholar and the senior Muslim leader of the Indian National Congress. He was the first education minister of independent India.

The day is celebrated every year since 2008 across the higher education institutes and universities in India as per the University Grants Commission directive to mark the Azad’s birth anniversary.”


“Terse reflections on religion and atheism can make fascinating reading. Although a self-confessed atheist, Tim Crane is almost as critical of the well-known New Atheists as he is of religious believers. His presentation of the relevant perspectives of each group provides a refreshingly new turn in the atheism-versus-religion debate, although one soon discovers some missing elements.

Religion, atheism and humanism are examined from a rather general, abstract philosophical standpoint. For Crane, religious belief is not necessarily irrational, as the New Atheists maintain. His own description of religion is more positive, but nonetheless limited. Its focus is reduced to four essential elements: religion is systematic; it is practical; it is an attempt to find meaning in life and especially of life; and it appeals to the transcendent, which is seen as beyond this world, “beyond the ordinary, the everyday, the world of experience, and the world of science too”.

Belief is understood as a state of mind that governs human action and is related to specific contents. Crane works with a philosophical understanding of belief that includes accessibility to consciousness, connection to action and aiming towards truth. He criticises the relentlessly combative New Atheists whose disrespectful comments arise because of their inadequate conception of religion, so that no genuine debate can take place. For this to develop, an accurate account of the phenomenon of religion itself is needed first, which this book is meant to provide.”


“Paris, Nov 10 (Prensa Latina) The 39th General Conference of UNESCO has ratified today French Audrey Azouley as the new general director of the organization, after the end of the eight-year mandate of Irina Bokova.

Azouley, former Minister of Culture of the French country, was chosen among eight applicants in the Executive Board of UNESCO held in October, so all that remained was the validation to make her appointment official.

According to a statement from that UN organization, the new general director expects to assume her post on November 15, once the conference is over.”


San Antonio, TX — November 7, 2017 — South Texas Atheists for Reason (STAR) are excited to announce an atheists comedy show fundraiser this coming Friday, November 10, 2017. The event takes place at 10pm Central Time at The Blind Tiger Comedy Club, 902 NE Loop 410 (Inside the Magic Time Machine), in San Antonio, Texas.

This is the first fundraiser of this type and the members of STAR are very excited. The money raised at this event will help them purchase supplies for a homeless giveaway, provide marketing materials for their booths at events, and to purchase decorations for their social events.

The upcoming STAR Atheist comedy night serves multiple purposes. Besides creating a unique fellowship opportunity for Atheists in the south Texas community, this event also helps raise funds for the STAR organization which can then be used for educational, infrastructure or marketing purposes, said Vicki Gettman, the President of South Texas Atheists for Reason.

The idea of an atheist comedy night is starting to catch on within the national secular community, and weve already seen some successful shows that are currently being booked throughout the entire Northwest of the United States.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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