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Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

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What we're about

We usually meet at a library from 3 to 5 on the first Sunday of the month. Then at 5 pm some of us go out to eat for a chance to have one on one conversations. If I am unable to reserve a library room, then we'll meet at a restaurant or perhaps Earl's and my home. Typically I show a short video about the topic from 3 to 3:15. Then we discuss the topic questions about the issues raised in the book. The topic questions will be based on a book but it is not usually required that you read the book in order to attend the meeting.

We may also have meetings to discuss various philosophical topics on other days because many of the members also have an interest in philosophy.

I think it is fun to find the humanist principle that relates to the book that will be discussed. One version of Humanist Principles can be Found at this LINK (https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/12) and at the bottom of this "about" page

You can see the books that have been discussed going back to 2004 at this link:
http://firstcoastfreethoughtsociety.org/cms/bdg/48-bdgjax

Please also join the FCFS. Details can be found at this link (http://firstcoastfreethoughtsociety.org/cms/) which is the FCFS home page. The join tab is on the left side of the FCFS home page found at this link (http://firstcoastfreethoughtsociety.org/cms/).

The books (for discussion) at the Sunday Humanist Book club meetings will at least tangentially relate to a Humanist principle (see below list).

https://a248.e.akamai.net/secure.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/5/e/3/2/600_444624114.jpeg

You can find out more about Humanism at this LINK (http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/What_is_Humanism) .... Quote from that link:

So, with modern humanism one finds a lifestance or worldview that is in tune with modern knowledge; is inspiring, socially conscious, and personally meaningful. It is not only the thinking person's outlook but that of the feeling person as well, for it has inspired the arts as much as it has the sciences; philanthropy as much as critique. And even in critique it is tolerant, defending the rights of all people to choose other ways, to speak and to write freely, to live their lives according to their own lights. So the choice is yours. Are you a humanist? You needn't answer "yes" or "no." For it isn't an either-or proposition. Humanism is yours—to adopt or to simply draw from. You may take a little or a lot.

end quote

A Statement of Humanist Principles as drafted by Paul Kurtz
Found at this LINK (https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/12)

1. We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.

2. We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.

3. We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.

4. We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.

5. We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.

6. We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

7. We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.

8. We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.

9. We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.

10. We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.

11. We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.

12. We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.

13 We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.

14. We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.

15. We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.

16We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.

17 We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.

18 We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.

19.We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

20.We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

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