CFIers Join Leading Secularists in Pondering the Future of Humanism

August 30, 2010

What is the future of humanism? How might we spread secular moral and ethical values? What is their importance and what would be their impact? These are just some of the questions weighed by secularist thinkers in a collection of essays released today on, a Web site devoted to dialogue and information on religion and spirituality.

The symposium on humanism is one part of a larger summerlong series at Patheos called the Future of Religion. The series has featured on a weekly basis essays from varied authors on the future of a different religion. The focus for the week starting Aug. 30 is the Future of Humanism (to be sure, many or even most secularists and humanists do not consider humanism a religion, but fear not: that is covered in several essays).

Contributors include two CFI representatives -- CEO and President Ron Lindsay, and yours truly -- along with Hemant Mehta, Greg Epstein, Ed Buckner, Taner Edis, David Silverman, Roy Speckhardt, and Chris Highland. Lindsay's article is titled "The Prospect for Humanism: The Hope of a Secular Society." In it, he discusses how traditional theism is slowly being replaced with belief in an attenuated, impersonal deity or complete rejection of the supernatural. My essay is titled "Humanism's Future Hinges on Secular Discourse." I posit that all beliefs that influence social or political affairs should be exposed to critical reasoning, and that reasons for those beliefs must be clear and understandable to all citizens.

As you can see, each author has his own approach. Given the diversity of opinions, and the importance of the topic, I think you will find all of the essays worth reading. Click here to access them on the Future of Humanism page.