Humanism In modern times, humanist movements are typically aligned with secularism, and today "Humanism" typically refers to a non-theistic life stance centred on human agency, and looking to science instead of religious dogma in order to understand the world. Background The word "Humanism" is ultimately derived from the Latin concept humanitas, and, like most other words ending in -ism, entered English in the nineteenth century. However, historians agree that the concept predates the label invented to describe it, encompassing the various meanings ascribed to humanitas, which included both benevolence toward one's fellow humans and the values imparted by bonae litterae or humane learning (literally "good letters"). In the second century A.D, a Latin grammarian, Aulus Gellius (c. 125– c. 180), complained: Gellius says that in his day humanitas is commonly used as a synonym for philanthropy – or kindness and benevolence toward one's fellow human being.
Research Finds that Atheists are Most Hated and Distrusted Minority Intolerance is a bitter beast. There are many groups in America that are subject to discrimination and prejudice, but none are more hated than atheists. Research conducted a couple years ago at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis found that atheists are more distrusted than muslims or homosexuals in the US. Austin Cline from about.com writes, “Every single study that has ever looked at the issue has revealed massive amounts of bigotry and prejudice against atheists in America. The most recent data shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the least likely person that Americans would vote for in a presidential election. It’s not just that atheists are hated, though, but also that atheists seem to represent everything about modernity which Americans dislike or fear.
George Carlin – comedian – could write something so very eloquent. This is a masterpiece. If you have not read it, take the time to read it now. GEORGE CARLIN (His wife died a short time ago …..and George followed her, dying July 2008) George Carlin - comedian Isn’t it amazing that George Carlin – comedian of the 70′s and 80′s – could write something so very eloquent…and so very appropriate. A Message by George Carlin: Philosophical Quotes, Thought-Provoking Sayings Related Quotes Hmmm Philosophy Truth Wise Words We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault Watch Daniel Dennett’s ‘How to Tell You’re an Atheist’ speech May 28, 2012 This past year at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, famed American cognitive scientist, philosopher and atheist, Daniel Dennett, delivered a speech entitled “How to Tell You’re an Atheist.” Dennett, along with Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, might best be described as the Holy Trinity of atheism. Where Hitchens was a brilliant, militant and supremely eloquent orator, able to logically eviscerate believers left and right, and Dawkins was the scientist provocateur of the three, Dennett has been the more subtle tactician, combining the best of Hitchens and Dawkins without as much attention. Dennett looks rather like a hybrid of a college philosophy professor and Santa Claus dressed in business-casual attire, which works to his favor: his grandfatherly, non-confrontational approach might be better able to convince the faithful to entertain atheism than Dawkins and Hitchens’ militancy.
What is a Fundamentalist Atheist? Definition: Fundamentalist atheist is defined as an atheist with a rigid, intolerant, and dogmatic adherence to atheism or an atheistic ideology. The theory behind this definition is that there exists a fundamentalism which is atheistic and which atheists adhere to much like some Christians adhere their own fundamentalist Christianity. The label fundamentalist atheist tends to be used interchangeably with militant atheist, new atheist, and antitheist. The labels "fundamentalist atheist" and "atheist fundamentalist" are used pejoratively as a criticism of contemporary atheists by associating them with religious fundamentalists who are intolerant, militant, oppressive, and anti-democratic. Critics of atheists only employ the label fundamentalist atheist as a means for discrediting atheists, not as a way to provide an objective, neutral description of some phenomenon.
Religion May Cause Brain Atrophy Faith can open your mind but it can also cause your brain to shrink at a different rate, research suggests. Researchers at Duke University Medical Centre in the US claim to have discovered a correlation between religious practices and changes in the brains of older adults. The study, published in the open-access science journal, Public Library of Science ONE, asked 268 people aged 58 to 84 about their religious group, spiritual practices and life-changing religious experiences. Changes in the volume of their hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory, were tracked using MRI scans, over two to eight years. Protestants who did not identify themselves as born-again were found to have less atrophy in the hippocampus region than did born-again Protestants, Catholics or those with no religious affiliation. Although the brain tends to shrink with age, atrophy in the hippocampus has been linked with depression and Alzheimer's disease.
Chapter 9: Spirit We come into being as a slight thickening at the end of a long thread. Cells proliferate, become an excrescence, assume the shape of a man. The end of the thread now lies buried within, shielded, inviolate. Our task is to bear it forward, pass it on. We flourish for a moment, achieve a bit of singing and dancing, a few memories we would carve in stone, then we wither, twist out of shape. The end of the thread lies now in our children, extends back through us, unbroken, unfathomably into the past.