1. Humanist Community Forum (2013-11-24): The Challenge for Humanism in the Post-Post-Modern Era (Jon Figdor)


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    While we are more connected through e-mail, text messages, Facebook, and Twitter, Americans feel increasingly socially atomized. As young people travel across the United States and around the world to attend faraway colleges and graduate schools, and families find themselves moving for jobs, we increasingly find ourselves in foreign places with few connections or roots. Jon Figdor will discuss why religious institutions, which have historically served this purpose are no longer able to provide meaning for an increasingly non-religious America. In a talk ranging from Robert Putnam’s American Grace and Bowling Alone, to Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, as well as original research from the Humanist Community Project at Harvard, John will explain why he thinks Humanist communities are the answer to the problem of social atomization. Jon Figdor is the Humanist Chaplain at Stanford University where he organizes events and programs for both students and community members from the San Francisco Bay Area. Jon and his work have been discussed in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has spoken at the Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference, the American Humanist Association Annual Conference, the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley, the Humanist Community at Harvard, and many local humanist groups across the United States. He received his B.A. with honors in Philosophy from Vassar College and holds a master’s degree (MDiv) in Humanism and Interfaith Dialogue from Harvard Divinity School. Jon was an Organizing Fellow of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard and former Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard.

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    • The Humanist Hour #89: Four Humanist Press authors


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      In this month’s show, Todd and Kim interview four Humanist Press authors, discovering the diversity of quality books being offered by the publishing arm of the American Humanist Association, including fiction, poetry and history. Listen as Todd and Kim discuss, among other things, how each author incorporates humanist ideas into their work and and why it matters. For detailed show notes and links, visit podcast.thehumanist.org/2013/11/the-humanist-hour-89-four-humanist-press-authors/

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      • Raya Dunayevskaya: Biography of an Idea (2012)


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        Biography of an Idea is an essay-film about the ideas of the philosopher, activist, and feminist Raya Dunayevskaya. The film’s title and content follow from Dunayevskaya’s declaration that her biography “is the biography of an idea.” Dunayevskaya was the author of Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 to Today; Philosophy and Revolution, from Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao; Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution; American Civilization on Trial, Black Masses as Vanguard, and many other works.

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        • Aspects of Atheism, Humanism and Secularism


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          Dr Janet Eccles speaking at Lancashire Secular Humanists' meeting November 9th 2013

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          • Humanist Community Forum (2013-11-03): One Nation Under Surveillance (Paul George)


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            When NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden released a trove of documents detailing the extensive and intrusive nature of the covert surveillance of US citizens, politicians and pundits of all stripes called for a national “debate” about the illegal surveillance. President Obama launched an internal investigation into the National Security Agency’s methods and procedures (the investigation has been suspended due to the government shutdown). The “national debate” has since subsided, but the urgency has not. In this talk, we’ll explore the history of US government surveillance (it goes back a long way), what information is being collected on US citizens and what the government can do with that information. Most importantly, we’ll examine ways ordinary people can and should be involved in the continuing efforts to rein in the NSA. Our speaker’s main thesis is that out-of-control surveillance has historically been driven by two forces: a national war mentality (as in the current “war on terror”) and advances in technology. Paul George, is Director of Peninsula Peace and Justice Center (www.peaceandjustice.org), the leading progressive grassroots activist organization on the Peninsula. Paul has been a human rights activist and grassroots organizer for over 45 years. During those years his work has taken on many forms: electoral campaigns (Gene McCarthy for President in 1968 and the single payer healthcare ballot measure in California in 1996); Central American solidarity work, which included several trips to El Salvador in the midst of that country’s civil war; political organizer for a large labor union; and 20+ years at the helm of PPJC. Paul is frequently invited to speak on a wide range of issues and his public lectures are always well received. For the past 17 years, Paul has hosted a monthly television program called Other Voices and for 15 years he was the host of a radio talk show called Freedom Highway.

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            • Humanist Community Forum (2013-10-27): Taboos for Totalitarianism (Laura Mappin)


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              The less we can discuss a topic honestly, the more we leave ourselves open to manipulation and control by others, including governments. For example, if we cannot stomach the idea of just imagining that someone we know and trust could have molested our child, we might not believe her when she tries to tell us this is so. If we as a society force others to lead closeted lives that would otherwise hurt no one, we are responsible for emotionally torturing others, which can lead the closeted to behave or lash out in insidious ways. As a society or nation, if we cannot admit all of the truths about war, we can end up making choices that are sorely not in our interest. In this presentation, Humanist Community member Laura Mappin will discuss her taboo taxonomy and how she sees taboo subjects relating to each other. She will also discuss how she believes our increased ease with discussing these subjects and permitting some of them helps create healthier societies. The argument to be presented is a work in progress. Your questions and thoughts are welcome. Laura Mappin has been puzzled most of her life about what motivates people’s behavior and how those actions overlay with fairness. She has BS degrees in Computer Science and Math from the University of Pittsburgh, which probably impacted her ways of perceiving and graphing this squishy data. This presentation is the culmination of personal conundrums and ideas that have been percolating in her mind for decades. For more information on this talk or to contact Laura, go to: http://ourtaboomuseum.com/hcsv2

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              • Are Atheists Dumb?


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                You'll be surprised if research says they are. But Not.

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                • Our Shared Humanity


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                  Was ist die SGI und wie verbinden ihre Mitglieder die buddhistische Philosophie mit ihrem alltäglichen Leben? Ein 21-minütiger Dokumentarfilm. Deutsche Fassung. Länge: 21 Minuten Erscheinungsjahr: 2006 Sprache: Deutsch Originalsprache: Englisch Copyright © 2006 Soka Gakkai International (SGI) www.sgi.org

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                  • Humanist Community Forum (2013-10-20): Reality and our Memories of it (Martin Squibbs)


                    from Humanist Community-SiliconValley Added 29 0 0

                    Here is Martin's summary of this talk. Martin is a member and leader of the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley. ------------------------------------------- I have introduced my theory regarding the form and nature of our minds and ourselves in previous talks. In this talk I want to focus on it and clarify it. At its core, I propose that our brains not only hold our memories of our past, our knowledge, and our future; they actually form these memories in the first place. In fact, I propose the brain is the only place in reality where such memories are formed, exist and can be found. And we, ourselves, exist and live within our brain surrounded by this “world” of memories. I wish to consider the processes by which we form these and other different types of memory, along with distinguishing between our emotional and objective worlds. I wish to recognize the language and measurement systems we have abstracted from our memories in order to compare, consider, store, share and better understand them, and what methods we employ for storing and sharing them. Finally, I wish to consider some of the scientific and ethical implications of my theory, if it’s true. That is, beyond Philosophical curiosity, what difference does this theory make; to ourselves, to our human worlds, to life, and to reality as a whole? How does it help us to live more ethically, more truthfully, more joyfully, and with greater integrity? ------------------------------------------- Slides from Martin’s presentation are available here: http://www.humanists.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/2013-10-20-Martin-Squibbs-edit.pdf

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                    • Humanist Community Forum (2013-10-13) - Relational Intelligence: Designing Satisfying Relationships (Manuel Manga)


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                      Here is Manuel Manga's summary of his talk. Mr. Manga is the director of the Center for Evolutionary Leadership (www.evolutionleader.com), which develops leaders for building a just, flourishing, and sustainable world. He is also a leadership coach and organizational consultant. -------------------------------------------- Relational Intelligence: Human beings are social animals, we live in systems of relationships, with nature, other people, objects, etc. In this talk we will focus on 5 key relationships for human beings. We will also focus on the role of language and conversations in creating and maintaining effective relationships. Conversations for creating relationships, conversations for exploring possibilities, and conversations for effective coordination of actions. We will also look into the systemic relationship between emotions and conversations, and the emotion of love as the foundation to human relations. -------------------------------------------- You can view the slides for this important presentation here: http://www.humanists.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/RelationalIntelligence1013-edited.pdf

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