Many people in the West think that non-believers are ethically inferior to believers (usually Christians). This interesting book by the Harvard Humanist Chaplain Greg M. Epstein replies to this misconception.
Good Without God
In "Good Without God," discover how Humanism offers comfort and hope that affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfilment in which we can aspire to the greater good of all.
Some, especially those in the West, might think that non-believers tend to be morally inferior to believers (usually means Christians in the West). The National Secular Service Day might be a good reply to this misconception.
National Secular Service Day
As you may know, Sunday, October 18, 2009 marks the first ever National Secular Service Day. On and around this date, nonreligious organizations all over America (and beyond) will unite in performing acts of community service.
The event is reported by the Humanist Network News of the American Humanist Association:
National Secular Service Day Seeks to Unite Nonbelievers in Public Service
Oct. 14, 2009
As I have returned shortly from the ICUU Council Meeting in the Unitarian Centre of Koloszar in early September, I was very excited when I found this video in a UU forum "Faith of the Free". The video brings back good memories of my visit to the root of the Unitarian movement in Transylvania, a sort of pilgrimage. The forum host says (which I totally agree):
Not that I can understand anything that is being said in this video, but I still recommend it (at least for the video imagery). This YouTube offers a rare glimpse of the Unitarian church in Koloszvar, (apparently) on the occasion of the 440th anniversary of its founding last year. Included are the church, both exterior and interior, as well as portraits of founder Bishop Francis David and of other people and events in the history of the Untiarian Church in Transylvania. This video runs about 10 minutes, but again is highly recommended for anyone wanting to have a "little better feel" for our Unitarian roots in Europe.
Then I found a related video (slide show actually) of another Unitarian church with very beautiful background music:
Csókfalva - Erdélyi Unitárius Egyház Zsinata - 2005
Have you ever pondered on the issue of “death”? Tonight, a group member presented his views on this topic. He took a personal approach instead of a theoretical one. At the age of 12, when he was on the way to a movie, he witnessed a serious accident, in which a middle-aged woman was hit at the head by a falling street lamp post. He didn’t saw the actual action but the scene was terrible enough: the woman lying on the ground with her skull cracked open and part of her brain exposed. At that moment, he knew what terror really was. When he grew up, he graduated from a seminary and became a church pastor, though he eventually quitted. He had witnessed many times old parents of Christian children resisted conversion life-long and yet yielded and received baptism towards the ends of their lives. In his opinion, old failing parents subcribe to their children’s Christian religion because they want their children to feel better—with a hope to “see again in heaven”.
“Death” is a big topic that always fascinates me. I am my brain. Physical damage or disruption of its energy supply (glucose and oxygen) causes my “death”. Biology has listed several characteristics of life such as organization, energy use, homeostasis, responsiveness, growth, and reproduction. But living organisms can be understood as complex molecular machines, ie, they can be just moving “non-living” structures. Is virus living or non-living? The line between living and non-living can be vague. What is so fearful to cross the vague line to the other side? Perhaps “fear” is actually the instinct of living structures to stay alive.
Tonight, Flora presented briefly about Art and led us drew. Followings are the notes she had prepared.
On the April 6 SafeHouse gathering, we watched a TV documentary about an American woman who has undergone transgender hormonal manipulation to become a man but has not completed gender assignment surgery, ie, he still has his female reproductive organs intact. He was later married to his wife who could not reproduce because of previous hysterectomy. Eventually, the couple decided to have a baby and he was the one who went pregnant! According to local federal laws, “mother” must be the biological mother of the baby, that means on the birth certificate of the baby, he was labelled as the “mother” and his wife was the “father”! The incidence quickly drew media attention and raised many deep and important questions. My understanding of take-for-granted notions such as “male/female”, “husband/wife”, “father/mother”, etc., was widened.
Alex from UUHK