The purpose of this Meetup is to foster new relationships among doubters of religion and non-believers. We welcome diversity, especially the participation of women, whose full worth and rights have been denied by religions throughout history.
Hi, I am Ron Herman, the current organizer of this Meetup. However, I am looking for someone who will set up events for us. You may arrange whatever meeting sites and types of events that interest you. But, since we have a large and diverse group of members, you should be willing to allow others to set up a variety of meetings, too, like discussions of the Free Inquiry or Humanist magazines or Humanist books, dinners at local restaurants, guest speakers, hiking, games, dancing, bowling - whatever people want to do to get together. Some will attend one type of event, but not others
Any member can go to "Ideas for Meetups" and make suggestions, if you are willing to be the leader for the event. The event will be approved, if there are a couple of others willing to attend. So far, Jerry has volunteered to arrange a social event in January, probably at a restaurant, so watch for that. Trina will set up a poll to find out what our members would like to do for Meetups.
If you want access to "Group Tools" to arrange Meetups, just find me at the top of the Members list and click on my name to send me an e-mail, and I will add you to the list of organizers.
It is worth a few words to explain who we are. Actually, I haven’t figured out how to describe us in only a few words, although we might say that we are "humane skeptics." Please consider the following diverse sample member profiles and views and ask yourself where you “fit in.”
• You have doubts about the claims of religions, New Age spiritualism, and the paranormal, including astrology, ESP, and space alien abductions. There is no verifiable evidence for these and/or they violate the natural laws of science. You are a “non-believer” in general; you are skeptical of such claims.
• You are looking for like-minded friends for sharing common interests, or romance, or employment, or sales opportunities, or a chance to join community outreach as a political activist. Make this group what you want it to be for you.
• You may consider yourself an atheist, because you know there is no god.
• You might call yourself an agnostic, because you think no one can possibly ever know whether there is a god or not, or you haven’t decided for sure.
• You might have been raised without religion, or you might have left the religion you grew up in, or you might attend services for the sake of family or social contacts.
• You may believe in some “spiritual” force or presence in the universe, but you don’t accept the gods of religious scriptures and their confusing dictates.
• You might think that we need to do a better job of getting our messages about non-belief into our community as a civil right or for the sake of its mental health and safety. Recently, some applauded the billboards placed around Albuquerque by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and are also members of that organization. You may want to help expose the fallacies of religions from a logical and philosophical point of view. Or, you may wish to be more like a consumer advocate who wants to protect society, especially youth, from the hazards of religious teachings and the beliefs in the paranormal.
• You might hesitate to identify yourself as non-believers for fear of reprisals from family, friends, or employers. That is a serious concern, and we must respect those feelings.
Many choose Secular Humanism as a “softer” image in the community that offers more than just atheism. Secular Humanism is a way of life based on the positive application of scientific skepticism and free inquiry - rather than religion or the paranormal - to the resolution of human problems. It is inspired by natural beauty and human artistic expression. It is guided by the ethical principles of personal integrity, responsibility, and compassion, and the social principles of liberty, equality, minority rights, justice under law, and environmental responsibility. Humanism recognizes that our values come from our human nature, our various cultures, and our personal experiences, rather than divine revelation. Secular Humanists may be quiet humanitarians or vocal activists.
If you’ve rejected traditional religion (or were never religious), you may be asking, “Is that all there is?” or "What next?" For many, mere atheism or agnosticism aren’t enough. Atheists and agnostics are generally silent on larger questions of values and meaning. If our purpose in life is not dictated by religious leaders, what do we have for guidance? If eternal life is a deception, how can we make the most of this life? As social beings sharing a godless world, how can we best enjoy life - and contribute to human progress? For the questions that remain unanswered after we’ve cleared our minds of gods, souls, and spirits, many atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and freethinkers turn to Secular Humanism. You might want to also join a national organization like the Council for Secular Humanism or the American Humanist Association.
If we could spread an understanding of Humanism, that might take the edge off fundamentalist fervor, when they learn that so many people have doubts about the beliefs they feel so strongly about. We might help discourage Christian fundamentalism as a response to Islamic fundamentalism. We can promote ethics without gods, separation of church/state, and “peaceful co-existence” between people of all faiths and non-believers.
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