The idea of the Board is, first, to simply provide a degree of awareness among Rutgers students of like-minded professors. Part of the mission of the Chaplaincy is to provide a sense of community on the Rutgers campus. And part of community requires being acquainted with who the other members of that community are! Second, Board members will be encouraged to have informal dinners with students, that the Chaplaincy will help arrange, and to submit pieces to the Rutgers Humanist blog Applied Sentience.
Our first three members are all professors in the Psychology Department: Professors Gary Brill, Julien Musolino, and Daniel Ogilvie. To see their biographies and some of their current research, TED talks and interviews check out the link!
Though this is a good start, keep checking the page. We’ll be approaching many more professors over the summer and coming term!
Have any ideas or recommendations?? Make sure to put them in the comments below?
By Ben Davis
First Mate (VP) of RU Pastafarians Rutgers University Engineering Student
My religious background was the best I could’ve asked for. I am a proud Unitarian Universalist, and if you’ve ever heard of that, you are a rarity indeed.
Mine is a religion based not around deities, but around individual search for spiritual growth.
The Seven Principles we share revolve around the inherent worth and dignity of all people and more ideas of the like. Yet while we discuss viewpoints that we all have in common, my congregation’s Bond of Union talks of “reserving to each individual the right to his or her own beliefs as to the nature of God and the universe.”
The quest for those beliefs can be a confusing one. I never have and never will even consider renouncing Unitarian Universalism, but I’ve had dealings with other religious groups.
In high school, my first girlfriend – Christian to the core – invited me to join her youth group’s activities. She assured me that (more…)
My name is Ibrahim. My parents are muslims, so they taught me islam as a child.
Around the age of 8 I got annoyed with the idea that I am muslim simply because my parents are muslim. So I started researching the only other religion I had contact with at the time, christianity, and it sounded so ridiculously stupid that it confirmed my belief that islam is the true path to connect with the creator of the universe and ensure a blissful eternal life after death.
Around the age of 13 I started researching other religions like judaism and eastern religions. I eliminated them one by one because none of them made any sense to me. This again confirmed my belief that (more…)
One thing that makes life meaningful is our relationships with others, especially so when we feel our position within the social fabric is appreciated by others.
Perhaps the easiest way to feel valuable within this wondrous universe is to help others, and the demand for help is so high we can be busy for the rest of our lives. There are few issues you can look at without seeing room for improvement.
Humanists, non-religious, and atheists are no strangers to charity: it’s obvious we are very generous and eager to help others. Kiva.org distributes micro-loans to people in developing nations and the self-identifying group of people who have contributed by far the most are the non-religious.
I don’t mean to argue about which group gives more to charity – I simply mean that anyone who thinks those without religion are not ready to help a fellow human are mistaken.
I encourage you to get involved in helping people, but I urge you to do it methodically. For me, helping others isn’t about how good I will look in public, or how good it will make me feel once I am done (though I assure you it’s the most rewarding experience); for me, helping others means helping as many people as I can with the limited resources I have available.
Every time I am asked in front of Brower Commons, a known hotspot for fundraising and protest, to sign a petition I ask the obvious question, “What does this petition support?”
So I would be doing you a disservice if I were to ask you to join Rutgers University Secular Humanists (RUSH) and ask you to be a student Humanist without backing up what these items entail.
This will give you a good idea what to expect of RUSH, Humanism, and me, if writing is of any indicator.
RUSH is a brand new student organization which has its main goals in mind to, “…understanding the nature of humanity, promote humanism, and bettering the world through community service.” Taken from our Facebook page, we have outlined (more…)
Although a materialist, Ogilvie has been leading a research team at Rutgers University called the Soul Searching Project. The project has been investigating a wide range of interdisciplinary questions on what people believe about the soul.
As TED describes the talk,
Rutgers University Professor of Psychology Daniel Ogilvie is researching what causes people to believe in souls and the afterlife.
But as atheists and materialists, why should we care about the soul and (more…)
If you can attend, we would love to have you. If you’re showing up just to see the tables, make sure to stop by! You can either help us set up or just keep up company. Please send us an email if you would like to come. Thanks!
Tuesday, June 12th (Transfer/Adult) Wednesday, June 13th (Transfer/Adult) Monday, June 18th (First-year) Thursday, June 21st (First-year) Monday, June 25th (First-year) Thursday, June 28th (First-year) Monday, July 2nd (First-year) Monday, July 16th (First-year) Thursday, July 19th (First-year) Monday, July 23rd (First-year) Wednesday, July 25th (Transfer/Adult) Thursday, July 26th (First-year) Monday, July 30th (First-year) Thursday, August 2nd (First-year) Monday, August 6th (First-year) Thursday, August 9th (First-year) Monday, August 13th (First-year) Wednesday, August 15th (Transfer/Adult) Wednesday, August 29th (Transfer/Adult)
This weekend, Barry Klassel, the Rutgers Humanist Chaplain, will be one of the speakers at a Continuing Education course for Funeral Directors taking place on Tuesday, May 22, in Queens, New York.
The course is called “Serving Today’s Diverse Funeral Client: Tradition or Personalization? Is there room for both?” Barry will describe how to use ceremony to promote healing in a talk titled “Stenghtening Human Connections.” Barry has been officiating at end-of-life ceremonies since 2004.
A recent article was published in the journal Science about the effects that religion has for both encouraging conflict and in group trust. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, the research in the article also discussed the possibilities for religion, or in-group identifications around the ‘scared’, benefiting inter-group reconciliation. Science Daily published a review of the article as ‘Religion is a Potent Force for Cooperation and Conflict, Research Shows‘ here.
What struck me about the article is what it said about how to approach people. It reinforced the Humanist Chaplaincy’s view that humanists/atheists will get more cooperation from religious people if we show some respect and humility rather than confront them aggressively. If our objective is, as I think it should be, peace and mutual tolerance with the religious, then this tells us how to proceed rationally to achieve that objective.
The Humanist Chaplaincy regularly Tables at Student orientations throughout the summer. This year we have over a dozen events planned and will be sending out more information as they approach. Most events are for either Incoming Freshmen or Transfer Students. However, like this previous weekend, we also set up tables for Alumni events.
Even if you don’t know what ‘Tabling’ is, you’ve likely already seen it. The Chaplaincy sets up a fold-able table, among sometimes dozens of other organizations, and then sets up poster boards, pamphlets and other information about the Chaplaincy. In past events we’ve also had games, like Guess the Humanist.
We could always use help setting up for events or you could come by just to keep us company. If you are already familiar with the Chaplaincy, please come and talk to students that stop by to ask questions. If you are an incoming Rutgers student, please stop by as well! We would love to have conversation.
Greta Christina, a well known atheist blogger, in a recent article outlines the growth and cultural clout of the Atheist Movement.
From the Reason Rally in DC with 20-30,000 participants – in the rain! – to billboards and massive fundraising projects, Greta describes how non-theists are getting active and getting noticed in the US.
To add to this list I’d like to note the huge growth in Humanist Chaplaincies. Only a few years ago there was a single Humanist Chaplaincy in the US at Harvard. Today there are five of us. And at least two being planned as I write this. Not to mention the Tufts Freethought Society, whose students have been advocating for one for a while.
For the second year in a row, I’m speaking at the “All-Alumni Interfaith Chapel Service,” which is Saturday, May 12, at 9am in Kirkpatrick Chapel. I hope to present our perspective by reading a poem I think of as a Humanist and a universal human affirmation.
The poem is called “I Will Not Die an Unlived Life.”
Afterwards, from about 10:30 until 2pm, I will be at a table with some humanist alumni on Voorhees Mall.
PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING THE SERVICE AND THEN STOP BY THE TABLE AND SAY HELLO.