Where can I sign up for the Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV)?
Posted: 03 July 2010 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://atlanticfreepress.com/news/13479-humanists-announce-formation-of-new-institute-dedicated-to-ethics.html

I was delighted with what I understand to be the focus of the new Institute for Science and Human Values: 

“We’re going to enlist the brightest scientists and scholars, and not just in the United States but everywhere there are humanists,” (Paul) Kurtz said. “We want to find out how to better develop the common moral virtues that we share as human beings.”

“The secularist garden doesn’t necessarily produce humanist blooms,” Kurtz said. “The questions we want to answer are, how do you develop among secularists a personal morality? How does one develop empathy? How can we motivate morality?”

These goals are exactly what I am interested in and want, if possible, to contribute to accomplishing.

I assume the subject of Paul Kurtz’ departure from CFI has been talked to death. 

So I am hoping comments will focus on how, or when, I might ‘sign up’ with the new organization as well as expressions of interest, or lack of interest among readers in the stated goals.

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Posted: 03 July 2010 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, I don’t know if it quite exists yet.  All I know about is Paul Kurtz’s website:  http://paulkurtz.net/index.html  Beyond that, I have no clue as to what you are talking about and up until now, I thought I pretty much knew almost all of the Humanist organizations.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 03 July 2010 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Mriana - 03 July 2010 08:36 PM

Well, I don’t know if it quite exists yet.  All I know about is Paul Kurtz’s website:  http://paulkurtz.net/index.html  Beyond that, I have no clue as to what you are talking about and up until now, I thought I pretty much knew almost all of the Humanist organizations.


Mriana, thanks for providing Paul’s website address.  I found a reference to what he is now doing at the end of his posted “Apologia” letter:

“In Conclusion:

    I wish to take the time now to deal with a vital question that needs to be addressed by the Center for Inquiry, and I believe that it should be at the top of the agenda for the future. Here I am talking about the need to apply reason and science to human values. Unfortunately, the major emphasis of the Center had been on criticism of religious and paranormal claims—that is surely a key part of the agenda. But this has led to the neglect of another essential part of the vision that first inspired the creation of the Center for Inquiry; and that is the application of science and reason to ethical questions. The key question is whether secularists are able to develop secular ethical values that instill meaning and provide some basis for moral integrity.

… I fear that the Center for Inquiry will risk irrelevance unless it begins to embark upon this second part of our mission.  Thus we need to address the key question of Personal Morality.  How can we discover what such principles and values are and more importantly how can this be applied in concrete terms to practice in the cosmopolitan communities in which we live. Of course this leads to a final point that many of you know is central in my writings, and that is Planetary Ethics.  But I will end this letter which is already far too long.

Sincerely yours,
Paul Kurtz
This is a research project that I have already embarked upon…”

And what Paul has embarked on appears to be the new institute mentioned at the link below. The article is the source of the quotes in my first post.

http://atlanticfreepress.com/news/13479-humanists-announce-formation-of-new-institute-dedicated-to-ethics.html

What I like about the new institute is the focus on attempting to use science, to the extent possible, to define moral standards that everyone, religious and secular, could find useful.

If any are interested, I have posted a bit of my own approach to using science to increase our understanding of morality over in the Philosophy section of the CFI forum.  http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/8159/

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Posted: 03 July 2010 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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You’re welcome.  It was the best I could do and I from what I gather you did find what you were looking for there.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 04 July 2010 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks to Paul inviting me on Facebook, I’ve found more information to your question, Mark.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=126050007430813#!/group.php?gid=126050007430813&v=info

and the website is:

http://www.instituteforscienceandhumanvalues.net/index.htm

Not much there right now, but you can take a look to see if that helps any.  smile

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 05 July 2010 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Mriana - 04 July 2010 08:30 PM

Thanks to Paul inviting me on Facebook, I’ve found more information to your question, Mark.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=126050007430813#!/group.php?gid=126050007430813&v=info

and the website is:

http://www.instituteforscienceandhumanvalues.net/index.htm

Not much there right now, but you can take a look to see if that helps any.  smile


That’s it!

Thanks again Mriana.

I hope they can get a discussion forum going over there.  The one here is OK, but the discussions about humanist morality that I am interested in are scattered to an extent that it is difficult to get the required density of interested posters.  I am hoping they will have a dedicated forum just for humanist morality.

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Posted: 05 July 2010 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You’re welcome.  I don’t know what is going to happen at this time, except I would not have found it if Paul had not invited me to the Facebook page.  It’s all still in the developing process.  As you noticed not every page has been completed.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 July 2010 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It looks like Paul is starting up another group after having left CFI to support the same things he used to at CFI. I assume he’ll try his best to remain in firm control.

The Facebook group says:

Newly announced educational foundation, formed by Paul Kurtz, Toni Van Pelt, Norm Allen and Vince Parr.

I don’t know Vince, but the other two used to work for CFI before they were let go in the recent budget cutting move.

(I should make clear that I don’t know anything more than I’ve read on the interwebs about these things).

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Posted: 06 July 2010 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Well there is only so much longer Paul can be in control of things.  He will either have to retire or he will die while in control.  Who will take his place?

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 July 2010 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Mriana - 06 July 2010 10:28 AM

Well there is only so much longer Paul can be in control of things.  He will either have to retire or he will die while in control.  Who will take his place?

My perception is that an intellectual dam is about to burst in evolutionary morality.  Specifically, a generally accepted ‘purpose’ of cultural moral standards is in view.  (My vote is for something like: “Cultural moral standards are imperfect heuristics for increasing the benefits of cooperation in groups”.)

So now seems great timing for a new organization with a clear focus on humanist morality based in both science as well as moral philosophy. 

I expect they will have no trouble finding people willing to take Paul’s place.

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Posted: 14 July 2010 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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A good leader will always make sure to have a successor primed to take over… smirk

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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