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This Week in Humanism 2018–07–29


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/07/29

Internationally acclaimed Human Rights campaigners speak in Wellington and Auckland on countering violent extremism

Humanist NZ and the Association of Rationalists and Humanists (NZARH) are pleased to announce the international speakers arriving in New Zealand for a series of events focussing on ending persecution against non-religious people around the world, as well as the discrimination they face in New Zealand.

The events coincide with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) General Assembly, which for the first time in its 66-year history will be hosted in New Zealand.”


“It is often noticed by religious individuals that people and organizations who claim to be without religion often still use religious notions, practices, and symbolism themselves.

Think of it; atheists often celebrate Christmas, agnostics often praise the golden rule, and humanists get together in groups to do good things for other people. Such people even regularly meet on Sundays to have lectures, coffee, and chat.

These tendencies become even stranger when the organizations in question are explicitly non-religious. Such organizations, which are often accused of either being religious in nature or trying to abolish religion, also seem to borrow many of the practices of organized religion as they help their members to not need religion.”


“A renowned female health worker and politician at Nima, Hajia Damata Sulemana, has been recognized and awarded for her commitment to assisting the needy and downtrodden in society.

A ceremony for the bestowal of the award was held last Saturday at the Sundown Hotel in Accra which was attended by many people.

Hajia Damata was bestowed with the Integrity Merit Award by the award organizing committee of the African Integrity Magazine, a continental publication with offices in both Nigeria and Ghana.

Hajia Damata’s humanitarian service to the community is household knowledge.”


Blessed are the man and the woman
Who have grown beyond their greed
And have put an end to their hatred
And no longer nourish illusions.
But they delight in the way things are
And keep their hearts open, day and night.
They are like trees planted near flowing rivers,
Which bear fruit when they are ready.
Their leaves will not fall or wither.
Everything they do will succeed.

1st Psalm, adapted by Stephen Mitchell

I’ve been thinking a lot about David Loy’s 2015 book, A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution, and Ethics in the Modern World. I absolutely adore David, he’s both a scholar and a Zen teacher, a not unheard of, but not a particularly common combination. He’s also a pretty fierce social justice activist. So, you may get it, just my kind of guy.

In this book David outlined the major problem for Zen in the West, at least as he and I both see it, where many of us are trying to find a way that sees forthrightly the various problems within the received tradition as it comes to us from East Asia without then falling into the reductionist materialism that marks too much of modern Western thinking. I felt he really succeeded, and in his little book presents a synthesis of the best of East and West that may well become one of the early classics of what I call an emerging “Western Buddhism.””



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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