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:

  • What is the significance of the concept of sin in your philosophy/religion?
  • How does a follower of your philosophy/religion go about achieving forgiveness for his/her sins?
  • If someone has wronged you, under what circumstances can that person be forgiven?
  • How does your faith or philosophy feel about punishment for sins?
  • How do you make sure that your beliefs are relevant to your followers in a world where science and technology explain so much and move the world along at such a fast pace?
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