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This Week in Humanism 2018–04–22


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/04/22


Some argue that a “humanist” chaplain can effectively counsel a God-fearing Christian soldier. I would beg to differ “(Navy rejects ‘non-theist’ for chaplain corps; lawmakers warn against changing core mission,” Web, March 27). A humanist believes that what humankind thinks is more important than what God wants us to do. This is the antithesis of Christianity. Christians attach prime importance to Christ, not man.

A Christian is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ — one who knows He is the Son of God, sent to Earth to die for man’s sins, who rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Christ preached that only he was the way to salvation, that man is by nature a sinner, lives in a temporal world and has limited understanding.

Christ taught us many things, such as kindness toward our fellow man. Most importantly, though, he taught us to reject the ways of man’s world and live a life of repentance of sin. One sin is placing primary importance on man, or being focused on the “self.” In fact, to think like a humanist is a sin in the Christian view. Thus there is nothing the humanist can offer a Christian, because to listen to this way of thinking is to stray from the truth of Jesus Christ.”


“British scientist, author and broadcaster, Jim Al-Khalili OBE, will be heading to the Isle of Wight next month.

The Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey (where he also holds a chair in the Public Engagement in Science), has been invited to speak at an event hosted by the Isle of Wight Humanists.

Free Will and Determinism
Jim will be exploring the topics of Free Will and Determinism from a scientific perspective, and talking about his personal journey into Humanism.

The event takes place at Ryde Castle on Wednesday 9th May between 6.30 for 7pm start.”


“LONDON — Steven Pinker can’t help but offend a few people every time he publishes a new book.

This might be partly because in a world seemingly full of negativity and perpetual anxiety, the best selling popular science author and evolutionary psychologist is a rare specimen — an eternal optimist.

“I don’t like to call myself an optimist, but a possibilist,” the 64 year old clarifies from his home in Boston, Massachusetts. “I believe it is possible to deal with global challenges — that solutions exist, that we can find better ones, and implement the ones that we will [soon] discover.””


“One of America’s favorite hymns was written by a Swedish pastor, Carl Gustaf Boberg, after witnessing an awesome thunder storm in 1886. We know that hymn, O Store Gud (O, Mighty God) as How Great Thou Art. Ninety years ago, in the late 1920’s, when the Swedish State Lutheran Church had begun losing its spiritual and moral influence because of advancing theological liberalism within, the “evangelical free churches” in Sweden were both numerically strong and influential. The evangelical free churches were vibrant, growing, and having a political and social impact as well as moral and spiritual influence. In the late 1920’s approximately 23 percent of the members of the Riksdag (Swedish National Parliament) were members of these evangelical free churches. Usually, the members of the evangelical free churches retained nominal membership in the Swedish State Lutheran Church. The modern and increasingly liberal Church of Sweden (Svenska Kyrkan), although no longer a state church, remains an important social and political force in Sweden.

There were weaknesses in the evangelical free churches, however, that would soon cause their numbers and influence to be swept away like a house of cards before a strong wind. One of the characteristics of the Swedish evangelical churches was that in reaction to the formalism of the Swedish State Lutheran Church, they tended to avoid doctrinal confessions and theological precision, preferring a more experiential Christianity. They also had a tendency to devalue the intellectual side of Christianity and their own culture in favor of their more emotion-oriented, experiential brand of faith.”


Humanism, and Progress after he had heard him speak on a podcast about his 10th bestseller in 53 years of life as a public intellectual and Harvard professor of cognitive psychology. The gift is part of an ongoing effort to expand my boomer horizons, and expose me to contemporary critical analysis and thought.

Some of this much-appreciated effort stems from a growing millennial frustration with the perceived baby boomer legacy: staying way too long at the employment party (as in septuagenarian tenured professors refusing to retire); the preposterous final gift of Trumpism (with its attendant denial of climate change and any need for environmental regulation); and the vast swaths of economic disruption (with the concomitant gig economy, algorithmically determined values and surreptitious Facebook data mining).

Authoritarian populists like Steve Bannon, Michael Anton and President Donald Trump himself daily feed this fear and growing frenzy. And it gets the assistance of professors such as the University of Toronto’s Jordan Peterson and the members of the Claremont Institute, the academic home of Trumpism.

All this begs the question: Is the world going to hell?”



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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