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NCW Freethinkers Group Description (& links)
We would like to encourage anyone who has a naturalistic, non-religious world view who is interested in making new friends for good conversation, information sharing and socializing to join us for our posted gatherings. Whether you refer to yourself as a skeptic, secular humanist, atheist/agnostic/non-theist, Bright, secular progressive, cultural ethicist, naturalist or just plain 'heathen' who needs a break from some of the religiosity &/or other brands of unsubstantiated belief and irrational rhetoric that too often permeates our regional & national communities, then please come join us!
The Free-thought movement has a long and interesting history, having emerged from the Dark Ages to bring forth the age of Enlightenment, and includes some rather specific philosophical stances on Democratic Liberalism, Secular Humanism and the advancement of science and reason over the superstitions & dogmas of religion. A main feature of this world view includes an avid adherence to a non-super-naturalistic, fastidiously skeptical and empirically rooted approach to knowledge that is not at all oriented toward the promotion of unsubstantiated beliefs, claims or "magical" thinking of any sort, no matter how interesting or personally compelling any such claims may be. Science and skepticism does not dismiss claims of this nature out of hand, but on its own, requires a rather rigorous standard of scrutiny and evidence that some folks do not necessarily hold to in everyday consideration, putting more credence on their own intuitions, personal biases and beliefs instead. If you find yourself amongst those more aligned with this way of thinking, you may be disappointed in the main themes of this group. But if you're among those who have a deep appreciation and understanding of the methods of science, critical thinking and skepticism when combined with the best of human intuition, creativity and a genuine openness to what is possible for human beings to achieve (and you also like to talk about it!) then this will probably be a good Meetup group for you.
-- are among the 16% of Americans (and growing) who follow no religion, mythology or other supernatural beliefs.
-- embrace the goals & principles of the Enlightenment that our Founding Fathers fought so hard to establish and protect in the pursuit of life, liberty & happiness: A free and secular democracy by self-government and the rule of law, tolerance in an open, pluralistic platform of ideas, quality public education promoting the principles of science & critical thinking, applied reason & the arts, a community basis of fairness, civility & compassion, and equal rights & opportunity for everyone.
-- believe that with a democratic/representative government that remains vigilantly neutral to (and separate from) any/all religion, that we can each live fair, self-reliant, ethical and peacefully co-existing lives.
-- believe that moral principles are tested by their real consequences to living human beings and the planet we share, as opposed to mere faith-based acceptance of absolute authority, 'revealed truth', fundamentalism and/or dogma.
-- reject the notion that the highest potential for moral/ethical behavior must emanate from an allegiance to, or 'relationship' with a Supreme Being or other supernatural source, as we affirm that we must not look outside of nature for our salvation; that human beings alone must solve human problems by taking responsibility for our lives, our communities and the world in which we live. We recognize that the highest and most genuine expression of goodness, morality & ethics comes from within human conscience and deliberate consideration, and not from fear of Hell or punishment.
-- reject sin-based ideologies, taking joy & fulfillment in our own capacities to create the Good Life available to us here on earth; realizing fully that the true meaning of life (and our humble place in the universe) comes from what we make of it while we are alive, and in the legacies we leave for those who follow in our footsteps.
(And in between, we like to play, eat, drink, talk & be merry!)
From one of the largest Secular Humanist organizations in the world, "The Council for Secular Humanism" and Center For Inquiry (& the publishers of Free Inquiry & Skeptical Inquirer magazines):
"The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles": http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?page=declaration§ion=main
"A Secular Humanist Declaration": http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?page=declaration§ion=main
Dan Barker on “What is a Freethinker?” : http://ffrf.org/publications/nontracts/What-Is-A-Freethinker/
10 Myths About Secular Humanism:http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/cherry_18_1.01.html
”Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." -- Carl Sagan (the burden of proof/evidence is always on the one making the claim!)
"People who believe God is on theirside are dangerous as hell." -- various
keywords for area searches:
Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Chelan, Brewster, Twisp, Quincy, Moses Lake, Ellensberg, Tri-cities, Yakima, Cle Elum