As you’re reading this…

…I am just settling into John Dankosky’s big chair to guest-host his show, “Where We Live,” on WNPR.

The topic is atheism and humanism, and why both are important, and how both will play out in the election season. The guests are Dan Blinn, of Humanist Association of Connecticut; Dan Xenatro, of Connecticut Valley Atheists, and Mark Silk, director of the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, and professor of Religion in Public Life at Hartford’s Trinity College.

I hope you’ll call in.

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8 responses to “As you’re reading this…

  1. Nicely done.

    Unfortunately I was on the phone and missed the first 20 minutes.
    I was intrigued by the discussion about the media coverage…or lack of it…of atheism and humanism. I anxiously waited for the guests to bring up perceived differences between atheists, (“New” and not-so-New), humanists, secular humanists and agnostics.

    I frequently butt heads with humanists who display an attitude towards atheists similar to Christian attitudes.
    Humanists often define themselves as being “more than” atheist. As Ronald A. Lindsay writes in Free Inquiry on Humanism and Politics

    Most humanists are atheists, but they are not merely atheists. As the Council for Secular Humanism proclaims, humanism is “beyond atheism, beyond agnosticism.” In other words, being a humanist implies not only rejection of deities and spirits but also acceptance of certain fundamental principles.
    [emphasis added]

    This implies that atheists and agnostics cannot understand moral principles, individual autonomy, ethics, consequentialism, or even political ideas like separation of church and state, diversity, feminism…the list goes on and on. This mirrors the Christian notion that without recognizing their God as a Supreme Being and Creator of All Things one cannot meaningfully participate in moral decision making.

    Not all humanists display the type of bigotry Lindsay spells out, but many do. It is the main reason I don’t identify myself with (secular) humanism.

    And then there’s the differences existing within atheism itself…new vs old…that rarely make it past the “back pages” of media coverage.

    I think media coverage of atheism/agnosticism/humanism, being grossly inadequate and sensationalist in nature, contribute to stereotypes that mask the true nature and growing influence Reason has on American society.

    (I wish there was a transcript available. Something was said near the end…what you though was beautiful…that I didn’t quite hear.)

    But yeah…nicely done.

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