Revisiting One's Personal Philosophy: What is our "human nature?"

The religious mantra is that we are “by nature” sinful beings.  Many others who have left religion behind would insist that humans are basically good.  Yet some human behaviors and people defy the definition of “good.”  Why such variation?  In this session, we will explore the many ways philosophers, biologists and anthropologists characterize the human being.

Are humans a “blank slate” at birth, or biologically determined?  Do we have a “fixed” nature or can we rise above our given circumstances?  What distinguishes humans from other animals?  To what extent do “nature” and “nurture” shape our lives?  What is the relationship of the individual to the group?  We will delve into these questions as we try to better understand ourselves and why it even matters how we think about “human nature” and that which makes us "human."  As always, attendees are encouraged to bring their personal experiences, perspectives and reading on the topic to this discussion.

Childcare is available with advance notice. Please contact Audrey directly at [masked] to arrange for and ensure childcare. 

These sessions are led by Audrey Kingstrom, humanist, naturalist and atheist with master's degrees in theology and education.  While people are encouraged to participate throughout the year, anyone is welcome to come to as many or as few of the monthly sessions as they are able. For information on the entire series go to http://humanistsofmn.org/habits-of-humanism

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  • Don O.

    Poorly presented - not rehearsed - little participation in first 30 - 40 minutes

    January 11, 2014

  • Susan H.

    Good

    January 11, 2014

  • Kit E.

    These Humanist meetups never fail to take my mind and thinking into new territory.

    January 11, 2014

  • Andres J

    BTW Steven Pinker's book "The Blank Slate" is excellent prep reading for this topic

    January 9, 2014

  • KJ

    sounds fascinating!

    January 9, 2014

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