Category Archives: Upcoming Events

“The Truth About Mindfulness: Conversations in Secular Spirituality” with Robert Wright – March 3rd

Mindfulness meditation has become popular in the west as an essentially therapeutic technique that promises to reduce stress and increase happiness. But the Buddhist philosophy that was the ancient context of mindfulness meditation makes bolder promises: It sees meditation as an important part of a larger program that strips away delusions about the world and can even bring “enlightenment”.

This claim – that mindfulness meditation brings a truer vision of the world – suggests that any happiness it fosters might be a “valid” happiness in the sense of being based on accurate perceptions of the world. Modern psychology – particularly evolutionary psychology – offers some support for that view. 

Friday, March 3, 6:30 PM
Douglass Student Center, Meeting Room C (2nd floor)
100 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Please RSVP on Our Facebook Event Page


Image result for robert wrightROBERT WRIGHT is the author, most recently, of The Evolution of God, which was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His other books include The Moral Animal, which The New York Times Book Review named one of the ten best books of 1994, and Nonzero, which Bill Clinton called “astonishing” and instructed White House staff members to read. In 2009 Wright was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 global thinkers. Wright has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Policy, and the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and his awards include the National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism. Wright has taught in the religion department at Princeton and the psychology department at Penn.

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Do we have a Soul?  Christianity and many other religions claim we do – but of course you have to have faith.   But do we really?

Rutgers Professor of Psychology Julien Musolino, a member of the Humanist Community’s Faculty Board of Advisers, argues in his new book The Soul Fallacy that science can investigate the question of whether or not we have a soul, as defined by these popular religions.  Further, he argues that the verdict comes back with a resounding “No, we do not have a soul.”  Pressing the issue even more, this actually turns out to be a good thing!

For more, check out this interview with Prof. Musolino on his book by Rutgers undergraduate and Applied Sentience staff writer Leo Kozachkov.

Musolino - Soul Fallacy Book Event

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Students, alumni, and friends in the New Jersey area!

Make sure not to miss Susan Jacoby, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of The Age of American Unreason and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, who will be speaking with The Red Bank Humanists on January 11th.

The title of Jacoby’s talk is “The Secular Conscience.”   Further details concerning time and location are in the flier below! (more…)

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During the summer thousands of incoming students – both Freshmen and Transfers – come to scheduled Resource Fairs on Livingston to learn all about the plethora of opportunities available to students.  The Resource Fairs are only for administration and non-student groups, like Chaplaincies.

If you’re interested in helping out and joining us while we answer questions about HCRU and Humanism then let us know.  We can’t take that many volunteers because of space, but we could certainly use some help.  Students are more than welcome to volunteer or stop by to say hello!

Resource Fairs will be held (more…)

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A couple of months ago, the Humanist Community at Rutgers was invited to be part of a inter-religious panel discussion on ‘Forgiveness.’ The invitation was sent by members of the Rutgers Hindu Student Council, who organized the event, to representatives of religious groups… and to us.  The event held this past April 24th was part of the 150th anniversary of the Council for a Parliament of World Religions.

Though our participation may be looked upon as forbidden by some secular purists, we consider it a great opportunity to open minds and hearts to the value of the humanist philosophy.  So we accepted, but also soon asked for some changes. The HSC graciously accepted and edited the name of this particular event to that of the ‘World Parliament of Religions and Philosophies.’

There were a variety of questions that the panel was asked, below.  For a detailed transcript of the Rutgers Humanist Community’s answers to the panel’s questions, check out the link.  The questions were (more…)

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This Monday the Humanist Community at Rutgers will participate in the Parliament of World Religions meeting to discuss Forgiveness.  And for this particular event, our hosts specially added “and Philosophies” to the title!

Please join us to hear about other traditions’ understanding of forgiveness and its importance.  HCRU, for our small part and in an attempt to represent the diversity of Humanist perspectives, will talk about the need for seeking out and giving forgiveness here and now in this world, as well as other lessons that are emerging from Positive Psychology.  We also hope to emphasize the importance of these kinds of dialogs given that no one has all of the answers and we need to look for truth wherever it hides.

 Date & Location

Monday April 7th 2014
7:30 to 9 pm
The Cove in the Busch Campus Center (BCC)

For more information, please email us at:

Tentative Event Schedule

An Eraser Wall will be present through the course of the event. Please write things on it that you need to forgive other people for, need forgiveness for, have been holding a grudge about and then ERASE it. A symbolic and hopefully cathartic experience.

Food will also be present for the course of the event

7:30 pm Doors open

7:45 pm Panel of representatives from each organization will introduce their basic philosophy and then answer a (more…)

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Camp Quest’s mission is to build community, foster wonder at the world around us, encourage the use of reason and compassion, and just plain provide an amazing week for the next generation.  Currently there are 17 camps around the country, as well as in Canada, England, and Switzerland.

Camp Quest Chesapeake

CQC LogoCamp Quest Chesapeake is a week long sleep away camp full of fun, friends, and freethought located in the DC area.  This year’s camp will run from July 13th to 19th in the south Richmond, Virginia area.  CQC is still looking for both counselor and camper’s.  Camper Registration is due before June 14th and fills up quickly!

Camp Quest New England

Camp Quest New England is starting its first full week this summer!  While camper registration is not quite open, CQNE is in need of counselors and staff.  No prior experience is needed as training is provided prior to camp and on site.  Though a registration deadline is not yet set, please register ASAP! This summer, CQ New England will run from July 27th to August 2nd.  So mark your calendars!

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Seeking Interview Participants: Adult Children of Intermarriage.

Rutgers graduate student seeks participants for research interviews. The study requires adults, ages 20 to 30, who grew up in households with one Jewish parent and one parent of another cultural-religious, ethnic heritage. Individual interviews will consist of open ended questions and will last around one hour to one hour and a half. Participants’ identities will remain confidential.

Please participate in a study that will enhance our understanding of the life experiences of those who have grown up in intermarried families.  Share your life story, and make a difference!
To participate, and for more information, please (more…)

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nikki sternNikki Stern, author of “Hope in Small Doses,” comes to Rutgers on Tuesday, January 28 to optimistically kick off the Spring semester in an event sponsored by the Humanist Chaplaincy and cosponsored by the Rutgers Integral Spiritual Network.

The talk will take place at 7:30pm in Demarest Educational Building (not the dorm), which is behind the Second Reformed Church, 100 College Avenue, second floor Gym.  The entrance is on Mine Street at the back of the Rutgers Fed. Credit Union Parking Lot. Free parking for visitors is available in lots 26 (closest), 30 and the College Ave. Parking Deck.

Stern will describe how family history and personal experience, including her husband’s death on 9/11, have led her to search for a practical definition of ‘Hope.’

As a skeptic, neither (more…)

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American Atheist’s Dave Muscato at Rutgers November 21 to
Rally Support for Court Battles That Seek To Separate Religion from Government

daveAmerican Atheists Public Relations Director Dave Muscato will urge students and others to move From Slactivism to Activism: Turning Atheists into Activists” in a talk Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30pm. The event will take place in the Red Lion Café, Rutgers Student Center, Lower Level, on the College Avenue campus.

Front and center will be a discussion of three cases that American Atheists are currently pursuing in the courts.  American Atheists v IRS seeks the elimination of favoritism toward religious institutions as opposed to other non-profits in national tax policies.  American Atheists v Kentucky seeks to remove language stating reliance on ‘Almighty God’ from the training and educational materials  and from public plaques of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.  American Atheists v Port Authority seeks to disallow solo placement of a Christian Cross at the 9/11 Memorial.

Muscato is a former Christian praise and worship musician who became an atheist activist in 2009.  His projects have appeared in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard Magazine, and on MTV News, NPR, MSNBC, Kevin & Bean/KROQ in LA, and Howard Stern.

Free parking for campus visitors is available in Lot 26 (Entrance on Bartlett St), Lot 30 (Sicard St.) and the College Ave. Parking Deck

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Dave Muscato, our speaker later this week on Thursday the 21st, wants Rutgers students to know about the 2014 Student Atheist Activist Scholarships. Notice hasn’t been released to the press yet of the three awards: two for $1000 and one for $2000.  One of the $1000 scholarships is set aside for LGBT atheist activism.

All who enter will receive free membership in American Atheists for one year. Winners will receive free admission to the National Convention in April. Activism includes letter writing and work promoting student Atheist groups on campus. An essay describing such activities is (more…)

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