Category Archives: Discussions

DISCUSSION: IS CHRISTMAS CHRISTIAN OR SECULAR?

How do you celebrate Christmas?

There is a ton of debate, much of it facetious, about the War on Christmas.  It’s certainly become a staple of FOX News over the past few years.

However, I know a lot of Humanist, Atheists, Freethinkers and so on that celebrate it regularly.  And yet others like the Associate Editor of Free Inquiry Tom Flynn who argues in his book The Trouble with Christmas that non-Christians positively should not celebrate Christmas.

So what do you think?

-Should non-theists and humanists stop celebrating Christmas and replace it with our own holiday, like HumanLight?
-Or, Is Christmas already a secular holiday?

And if you celebrate Christmas still, what’s your advice for those hairy situations with religious family?  Do you go along or just try your best to ignore this and that about ‘virgin births’?

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DISCUSSION: ATHEIST ORG SUES IRS OVER CHURCH POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT

Beliefnet Asks: Was Jesus a Republican of a Democrat?The Freedom from Religion Foundation is a non-theistic organization devoted to the separation of church and state in the US.

Recently the FFRF filed to sue the IRS for not enforcing violations of the tax code committed by a number of religious organizations this past election cycle.  According to current US law: churches, mosques and so on are prohibited from making political statements, such as this one.

Clearly something needs to change.  Simply ignoring clear violations of the law is, and this is an understatement, a dangerous precedent to set.

 So what do you think??

1) Should the IRS enforce the law and fine/arrest priests, imams, etc who make political statements while in their religious roles??  Or

2) Should we simply abolish the law and just tax the Churches, Mosques and Temples??

 

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DISCUSSION: DEMOCRAT PLATFORM- GOD & POLITICS

What do you think about the Democratic National Convention taking out and then putting back “GOD” in their Platform??

Do you think it should be taken out of the Dem Platform??  Is it harmful or inappropriate to stay in??  Are there pragmatic concerns that it should remain there… for now??  Or does it not really matter?

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On the one hand, there are concerns about who represents atheists, and non-theists in general.  And further, are they being explicitly marginalized?

The re-assertion of “In God We Trust” as the national motto by the House of Representatives in Nov 2011 seems to imply that if you’re an atheist, then you aren’t part of the “WE”.

Does this reaffirmation of God in the Dem Platform now explicitly marginalize or exclude atheists?

On the other hand, are there any pragmatic arguments as to keeping it?  For instance, it’s merely an empty symbol or all things in their time.  If the Democrats kept it out they would lose too many voters and Romney would win.  If so, defeating Romney now might be worth keeping a merely symbolic reference for a while longer.

So does the use of a single scribble on paper really matter that much if their policies aren’t theocratic? and the losses it might spur if kept be too big?

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So what are your thoughts?? Was the move harmful and marginalizing?  Or a necessary bit of pragmatism?

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DISCUSSION: IS HUMANITY GOOD OR EVIL??

At the root of our NATURE (whatever that means) are we GOOD (whatever that means)?  Or are we EVIL (whatever that means)??

When looking at events like the Holocaust or the Bosnian Genocide or countless other atrocities, can we conclude that our basically self-interested and evil tendencies are held back only by a few thin threads?

Or is it that deep down we are ultimately good??  That we have some fundamentally innate tendency towards compassion?  Even if it is within (more…)

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DISCUSSION: WILL RELIGION ALWAYS BE AROUND??

What do you think?  Write your comments below!

Will Religion always be with us?  

Religion is certainly in decline.  A recent Huffington Post article writes that atheism is on the rise as religion ‘declines worldwide’.  However, some neuroscientists and others talk of things such as a God Gene being found.

Will some spiritual otherwordly beliefs always be popular?  Will God always be a topic of debate?  What makes it so innate, universal and eternal?

Or is religion a phase of human history?  One that will be replaced by reason and science based worldviews.  Or something else?  If so how much longer do you think religion might be around?

Let us know below!!

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DISCUSSION: USELESS SCIENCE? YOUR COMMENTS ON MARS

So, Mars.  Pretty awesome, right?

But what good does landing on the planet do for those still here on Earth?  Sure there will be some benefits in material standard of living and well-being that result for our children.  And there might be some low hanging fruits we’ll pick in our lifetime.

But let’s say only the next generation will reap those rewards.  Does that mean the landing has no meaning or value for you and me?

Looking over my Facebook feed and various headlines of articles it seems that a lot of people running around and alive today think it is pretty important.  But why?

Well that is a question we’d like to ask you, reader: If landing on Mars doesn’t effect your material quality of life, why is it still important?  What intangibles can we reap now?

*via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
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DISCUSSION: HAVE IDEAS FOR EVENTS??

The Chaplaincy would absolutely love to hear from you!

If you have any ideas for events, parties, topics for lectures or anything else, make sure to let us know.  You can write suggestions down in the comments below or send us an email.

We’re always looking for new ideas.

Send emails anytime to RutgersHumanist@gmail.com.

THANKS!

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