Humanist Symposium #46


I’m fortunate that nearby is a wine store which has afternoon wine tastings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (that’s right, no Blue Laws here in Delaware). I’m rather fortunate to have such opportunities to both have choice selections made and presented for me and of course to actually sample them. There are many wines today which are on my list of favorites due to these fabulous tastings. I find the same is true of blog carnivals such as the Humanist Symposium. A few choice selections are presented for you to sample which otherwise you may not have been aware of and it’s quite possible one or more of these blogs will find their way onto your list of favorites. So today I hope you enjoy the selections here and also keep an eye out for the next tasting on December 20th at This Humanist’s place.

Black Sun JournalIt’s Not Nice To Criticize People’s Myths

The point here is that moderate religion stripped of the hierarchy, belief, and ritual is at its core humanism. It came from naturally evolved morality, which is based on reciprocity and empathy.

In the end, this is not a battle between religion and atheism, nor even between literalism and metaphor. It’s a battle between glossing over unpleasant truths and facing them.

This one is powerful with body. An interesting start of apologist hammering with notes of how the religious really do believe those silly, absurd tales of their religions. That gives way to a flowery take on the human condition, ritual and humanism, with an interesting finish. Ripe and well rounded. – Stands up well to strong cheese.

Common Sense AtheismThe Enchanted Naturalist’s Guide to Reality

And now we’re discovering the deepest truths of the universe at an astonishing rate – not because we were designed in such away that truth was immediately available to us through our own consciousness, but because we worked really hard for thousands of years and figured that shit out. Bravo, humanity!

Clean, clear and lively with recurring nods to the brain and self while simultaneously hitting on how introspection is unreliable. – Pairs well with fruits, granola and light fare.

Millenial ThoughtsChoosing to Believe?

Is there something in atheists that makes us question the dogmatic beliefs of our families, our societies? Something that believers lack? Truth be told, I’m actually kind of uncomfortable with this line of questioning.

A bit green, thin and short, imo. It leaves one questioning more than anything, but is that a bad thing? I’d say no. It’s a vigorous spritzig that can make a nice start to an evening or for an impromtu gathering. – Pair with lively company.

She Who ChattersThe Vageries of Interpretation, or : The Virtue of Doubt

We must look. We must check. And so long as we must look and check, we must doubt. And so, in light of the facts that reality is under no obligation to conform itself to our expectations, and that there might always be some future discovery to upset even our most cherished beliefs of today, we must learn to walk in doubt.

Begins bold but mellows quickly, initially attacking theism but then seemingly relents. There’s a complexity of flavors though, taking us through the virtue of doubt. A full and noble selection nonetheless, plus graphs! – A real red meat selection.

Greg LadenLet the War on Christmas Begin. Atheist Style

But what do Atheists do on Christmas?
We declare war
!!!! War, I say!!!!

A whimsically pétillant selection, spicy and fun with it’s nostalgic looks at Christmas and jabs at its conventions and those out to preserve them. – A fine after dinner selection.

Greta Christina“Their first steps”: Atheism and Patience, round 2

I don’t think that “patience” means “letting ourselves be doormats.” I think we can and should make our case, and make it firmly. When we get accused of being intolerant, disrespectful, mean bad people just for making our case, we can and should point out why that’s absurd, unfair, and just another way of armoring religion and shutting us up.

Another sound offering from this acclaimed vineyard. The call for patience may be too tart and tannic for most, but it has a depth which is worth savoring and finishes with some strong bite. – Perfect for bolder fishes.

Winter harvestSemantics: Human Rights

“Human rights” suggest that they are rights that we have had, presently have, and will continue to have as humans. However, human rights as we understand them today are simply ideals, arbitrary, decided upon by a moral philosophy of the last century as though that’s the way it’s always been and will be.

A provocative little number here. Earthy with definite character as it attacks the notion of their being human rights, arguing from a human rights position, and even using the term human rights. – Pair with gamey or smoked meats.

Minds and BrainsAn Evolutionary Argument for Atheism

Could we not plainly see how it was humans who created God and not the over way around?

Begins bold but dissipates. It delivers several interesting notes on the potential hallucinatory origin of religion, the possible pragmatic functionality of religion and how an alien observer might critique the development and role of religion on our planet. – A nice contrast to spicier dishes.

Jewish AtheistThe Skeptic’s Burden: Yes, Kendrick, it IS worth it

It is nothing less than the battle to rescue humanity from centuries more of ignorance and bigotry, persecution and murder in the name of religion.

A rather complex blend, touching on the various “string of losses” reason has suffered over human history to irrationality. The intent is to offer these losses as inspiration for why the efforts to keep up the fight are warranted, but the lingering taste for many may be despairing. – The faint of heart should not drink this alone.

Godless and BlackAtheism Sermon

The dishonor is in resigning ourselves to remaining ignorant. Not just belief without evidence but belief against all contradictory evidence. That type of willful ignorance is a sin against all the potential within human nature.

Remarkably sharp and peppery but a bit coarse. A selection born on the streets of Philadelphia. – Perfect with punching a side of beef, or after a long jog through Philadelphia and mounting the Art Museum steps.

Daylight Atheism The lesson of Autumn Leaves: A Humanist Sermon

Either way, what the Earth’s major monotheisms teach us to desire is permanence: a world immutably fixed in its course, never to change again… But as we learn from the autumn leaves, that isn’t the way of nature. The world does not trade in permanence, but in perpetual rebirth and renewal.

A clean, crisp and elegant selection highlighting the transience of life in stark contradiction to the claims of permanence and immutability made by religions. – Perfect for bringing along on an autumn outing.

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12 Responses to “Humanist Symposium #46”

  1. I supsect I should have sampled the selections instead of imbibing them whole. I've gone past the buzz to total inebriation. :(

    Just kidding. You did a great job. Great selections and presentation (both hallmarks of successful wine tastings).

  2. I'll take a little "Common Sense Atheism" and some of "Minds and Brains".

  3. I loved your presentation of the selections. As a new wine sampler (and Atheist) its nice to have a guide to aid in my enjoyment.

  4. Creating a blend, are you?

  5. Chugging is at the beer tasting down the hall, but could I recommend a fine Mad Dog for the lady?

  6. Congrats and welcome to both worlds, sir!

  7. Was he a fundamentalist, and thus discouraged from drinking wine? :)

  8. Wonderful presentation, Chief! Thanks for hosting us all!

  9. [...] 46th Humanist Symposium and Philosopher’s Carnival C have both been [...]

  10. Most excellent. I greatly enjoyed your presentation, and the vintages given to sample were quite exquisite indeed.

  11. I supsect I should have sampled the selections instead of imbibing them whole. I've gone past the buzz to total inebriation.

  12. Perfectly indited subject matter, Really enjoyed looking through.

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