Inspired by Empathy and Creativity, guided by Reason
March is Women’s History Month in the U.S., England and Australia. March 8th is International Women’s Day. What better time to discuss the roles that religion and humanism have played in women’s pursuit of human rights?Sacred texts have long been filled with passages condoning sexism and patriarchy. Indeed, it would be shocking if this were not the case. After all, the earliest Jews, Christians and Muslims were rigidly patriarchal. How could their cultures, societies and religious texts be otherwise?However, thankfully, religious skeptics and radicals – most of them unsung heroines and heroes – have courageously opposed sexism. The deist, freethinker and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792. In this work, Wollstonecraft put forth the idea that human fulfillment and happiness were dependent upon morality which flowed from the proper use of reason. She placed strong emphasis upon the importance of education for girls and boys. She was a fierce advocate of human rights in general.
Fifty Shades of Grey, the selling of male violence, domination, powerful and wealthy, is a very old story, repeated throughout the generations. In my day it was the Story of O. Yes, most women are turned on by many of these images of sexual bondage, degradation and humiliation. I used to be myself. From the time I first experienced sexual fantasies it was usually an image of me kneeling at the alter in the catholic church with a priest coming up from behind me, inserting his penis and telling me to pray. It went on from there. I imagine a number of catholic girls had the same kind of fantasies from a tender age and perhaps boys. How can it be any different in this society, that we are all turned on by abusive sexual images? As in all of planetary society, it is the way we are brought up and continue to bring up children. It is a big part of the grooming of girls, women and boys to accept violence and degradation as “normal' by the larger community. It is a huge part of the slavery industry.
Against the Dying of the Light: Is Radical Life Extension Pseudoscientific Quackery, Medical Science, or a Moral Imperative?
Is aging a curable disease? Surveying both recent advances in the medical sciences aiming to extend human life indefinitely, and also the secular social movements promoting and supporting such technologies, D.J. Grothe details how much of the life-extension trends are based on false hopes and delusion vs. solid science and evidence-based medicine. If you could live forever, or at least dramatically extend your life-expectancy, should you? Or should you just accept the fact that everyone should die at some point?
“Perspectives on Death and Dying
Dying without Deity.”
Friday: April 10, 20155:40 Opening Reception Cash Bar and Delightfully Delicious Hors d’oeuvres6:40-7:00 Welcome - Toni Van Pelt –Robert Tapp - Symposium Chairman -“The Broad Range of Humanisms” 7:00-9:00 Opening Addresses: Toni Van Pelt - Moderator “Do People Have the "Right to Die”?”- Ana Lita "Stay" and the Secular Argument Against Suicide” - Jennifer Michael Hecht “Body Not Soul: Encouraging Organ and Body Donation After Death” - Jamila Bey Saturday:April 11, 20158:15 Arrival and Coffee8:45-9:05 - Morning Remarks: Toni Van Pelt –Moderator“The Paul Kurtz Legacy”- Robert Tapp “The Human Prospect: A Neohumanist Perspective” ISHV’s Journal- Charles Murn9:05-11:35 - Humanist Community Panel: Somasundaram Ilangovan - Moderator“Respect Beyond the Grave” - Margaret Downey“Secular Patients Graciously Accept Second Class Status” - Joseph Beck Coping styles of believers and nonbelievers and a role for secular humanist chaplaincy - Ralph Lewis A Different Kind of Immortality - Anne Klaeysen 11:35-12:20 - Saroja Ilangovan – Moderator“Is Radical Life Extension Pseudoscientific Quackery, Medical Science, or a Moral Imperative?” - D.J. Grothe 12:20-12:35 - “ISHV Programs and Progress” Toni Van Pelt12:35-1:35 - Lunch1:35-3:35 - Legals Issues Around Death & Dying Panel: Marcia Cohen – Moderator“How religious hospital policies could affect your end-of-life choices” - Lois UttleyKeeping Clergy Away:Preventing Unwanted Religious Intrusion Through Advance Directives - Carol Ann Johnson and Debra Smietanski 3:35-4:20 - Stuart Jordan – Moderator“Why does the concept of suicide cause such outrage?” - Janis Landis, president elect of Final Exit4:20-5:15 “Dying with Dignity: Lessons from Stoicism & Co.” - Massimo Pigliucci5:15-6:00 Group Discussion - led by Robert Tapp and DJ GrotheTo Be Announced: Evening Gathering Social