Doug Matheson hopes to do a rotating oral reading of an essay titled "An Appeal from the Heart." Doug grew up a missionary kid in India, and was educated in Christian schools until graduate school. Despite a loving Christian indoctrination he came to realize that when beliefs and evidence are in contradiction, personal honesty requires imposing the evidence on one’s beliefs, and not attempting to do the reverse.
Applying Humanism (a discussion group)
Future topics may include gay rights, factory farming, climate change, the finality of death, the role of science, and humanist ethics, just to mention a few possibilities. We’re looking to have exciting and stimulating discussions. To this end, we’ll sometimes be focusing on areas where Humanists are likely to disagree. We'll be seeking an understanding of how differing opinions can arise from the same worldview and the same core values. We hope that this kind of understanding will help to reduce the destructive effects that disagreements can have in a group. We want to describe who the Humanists of Greater Portland are – to paint a picture that is useful in strengthening our self-identity and in educating non-members.
We hope that future members of HGP who wish to pursue personal growth will find fulfillment by participating in these discussions. No one will be told what to believe. Rather, people will be provided a humanistic environment and will be encouraged to evolve their own views and approach to life. Core values are not beliefs. They express what we are passionate about. They are key to addressing fundamental human needs. Along with the naturalistic worldview, core values provide a starting point for determining what ideas and behaviors are rational, reality-based, and meaningful. They focus on what serves human well-being. We hope that, working together, we can get beyond personal blind spots, broaden our perspectives, and improve our understanding of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live.
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