Season on Flourishing – Science

This is week fourteen of the Season on Flourishing.

Science and the scientific method are central to the Humanist worldview. Our commitment to empirically testing all of our beliefs is what sets us apart from the various religious traditions. Scientific rigor is our watchword and our strength, and we should be justly proud of it. At the same time, we must recognize the danger of scientism, of ignoring those things in life which have not yet been captured by scientific explanation or which lie outside of the scope of scientific inquiry altogether. Let this week be a call to a greater understanding of the scientific endeavor. Celebrate science this week as a symbol of progress and rationality and also as a living tradition of thought and practice which we are all engaged in.

LEARN
Take a look at these two articles explaining how to read scientific papers. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand what is going on in current research.

REFLECT
Check out (if you haven’t already) the wildly popular “I fucking love science” phenomenon. Blogger Elise Andrew links to articles about all kinds of fascinating things going on in the world of science.

ACT
Be a (financial) part of a scientific project. Crowdfund science.

If you’re feeling particularly generous, you can donate your body to science (after you die, of course).

Science being as close to the hearts of many Humanists as it is, I’m sure many of you have some great ideas about how to celebrate science this week. Let us know by commenting!

Summer Festival

Apologies for my lack of posts recently. We’re back up and will be posting for the remainder of the year.

FESTIVALS
A Humanist Year’s major festivals occur four times throughout the year, at the solstices and the equinoxes. These are times for celebration. They are times when we laugh and sing and come together with others to revel in the turning of the year. They are also often transitional times between the liturgical seasons, times when we separate from the previous season’s concerns and refocus our attention on new topics and new ways of thinking and interacting with the world.

THE SUMMER FESTIVAL
The Summer Solstice marks, literally and metaphorically, the brightest day of the year. In astronomical terms, it is the day with the most sunlight. In Humanist terms, it is World Humanist Day, a time for special pride in our Humanist community. The Solstice is also comes at the height of the Season on Flourishing, a time for rejoicing in all that is good in life. Join us this week as we celebrate the Summer Solstice, World Humanist Day, and AHY’s Summer Festival.

LEARN ABOUT HUMANISM:
Read this excellent and thorough treatment of humanism as a worldview.

Read the current Humanist Manifesto (and it’s forerunners).

If you want more information, Wikipedia is the way to go. That article has a wealth of information, including links to follow-up on and a list of (the many) Humanist organizations.

I do want to highlight a few specific Humanist organizations:
The American Humanist Association is perhaps the closest thing we have to a central organization.
The American Ethical Union is essential to the history of Humanism and is still the best example of Humanist community.
The Foundation Beyond Belief is an organization of Humanists doing good in the world. It is the place to go for Humanist philanthropy (consider donating!).
The Secular Coalition for America does a lot of very important political work around Humanist issues (consider writing a letter to your representatives!).
The Secular Student Alliance is a wonderful resource for university students looking to get involved in the Humanist movement.

CELEBRATE YOUR HUMANISM:
Take a look at the IHEU’s World Humanist Day website for ideas about how to observe this important holiday.

Reflect on and discuss with others what being a Humanist means to you. How does it influence your day-to-day life? How does it relate to your other identities?

Read or watch Humanist works of art. Take a look at, for example, Star Trek or the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Sing Humanist songs.

Get together with a Humanist community near you. If you do this only once a year, now is a great time for it. Let this week of Humanist unity be the impetus for finding out what Humanist community is all about. Here is a great list of local groups which are affiliated with the American Humanist Association. Also well worth checking out is the American Ethical Union’s list of local Ethical Culture Societies. The Sunday Assembly is another great organization with local secular gatherings to look into.

Plan a pilgrimage to a Humanist landmark – perhaps the AHA or AEU annual conferences (the AEU one is next weekend!) or the grave of a famous Humanist.

Have other suggestions for how to celebrate the Summer Festival? Let us know!