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This Week in Humanism 2018–08–12


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/08/12

Why need for racism label?

Re Joseph Parker visit to Whanganui High School.

If I arranged my birthday for tomorrow and didn’t invite Chronicle deputy editor Simon Waters or Whanganui resident Tony Grieg would they accuse me of “exclusion”?

Why is it that Māori and Pacifica boys can’t organise meetings to address their particular needs and concerns, and invite speakers, without being accused of “racism”?

Why is it that some Pākehā get so offended when other ethnic groups, especially Māori and Pacific, take positive steps for their own inherent cultural value, without the need for Pākehā involvement, oversight or control?”


“Weekly phone calls with my parents are rarely brief and often cover a plethora of topics.

During a recent conversation, my dad asked if I understood the connection between Biblical times as referenced in Jeremiah 8:22 and recent history. He recited the verse as follows: Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?

As we conversed, the story unfolded. Dad explained the prophet Jeremiah was deeply hurt by his people’s rejection of God.

This region of Gilead was known for its balsam ointment. But there is no healing, physical or spiritual, for people who rebel against God.”


“Dan Abata Fula (Muyiwa Dipeolu) in The Aparologist, Ode To A Laureate reminisces how as a child, he rollicked and pranced with other children in his rustic community.

And drawing from the past, the author in his younger mind wonders the import of life and why we must appease the gods to keep us alive, when after such oblation, the gods still take lives, not sparing our loved ones.

Seeing life as a strife and illusion, the author wonders why human beings are so desperate to acquire wealth, laurel and fear conquest, when life is full of deceit, plunder, vanities, gullies and uncertainties.

He sees death as ‘an end, yet a beginning,’ as a ‘destiny and a continuum.’”


“What would it be like to sit in a dark room all by oneself and talk endlessly to a mobile app trying to get over depression? In the modern age one of major crises that we face is the lack of individuals who would come and listen to us without forming a judgement?

In traditional societies such as India it was not long ago that extended families lived together, cousins and siblings played in the same courtyard, uncles, aunts, grandparents and other elders were part of the growing up of children. One of the arguments given against this sort of a family arrangement is that people lacked their space and privacy, that even if they didn’t want to they were compelled to settle down with the choices of others and that there was no freedom.

While living with several other individuals may have the need to compromise and adjust compared to when living alone, it surely does have many advantages too.”


“ In the spring of 1946, W.H. Auden came to Harvard to read a poem to the university’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Titled “Under Which Lyre: A Reactionary Tract for the Times,” the poem envisioned a postwar world in which, the war-god Ares having quit the field, public life would be dominated by a renewed contest between “the sons of Hermes” and “Apollo’s children” — the motley humanists against the efficient technocrats, the aesthetes and poets and philosophers and theologians against the managers and scientists and financiers and bureaucrats.”



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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