The Humanist Advocate

Ways to support the goals of NOSHA and secular humanism in our community

Ways to Support the Goals of NOSHA! 1) Be a good person that you are and also be open about your atheism to others. * When appropriate, wear symbols that identify your beliefs. For example, the atheist “A,” or other images from the Freethought movement are available. You can also buy items with the NOSHA logo. * If someone asks you which church you attend, don’t become defensive or shy. Just matter-of-factly say that you don’t go to church, because…

Celebrate National Day of Reason 2010!

We’ll have a special happy hour in May to commemorate “National Day of Reason.” Instead of our regular Wednesday gathering, we’re moving it one day to Thursday this month so we can recognize one of our major secular days of the year. The purpose of the National Day of Reason is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship….

Cultivate Your Garden….by Michael Shermer

Cultivate Your GardenHow a lack of control leads to superstition and what can be done about it (published February 2010 in Scientific American) Imagine a time in your life when you felt out of control—anything from getting lost to losing a job. Now look at the Figure 1 on this page. What do you see? Such a scenario was presented to subjects in a 2008 experiment by Jennifer Whitson of the University of Texas at Austin and her colleague Adam…

Learning more about Easter….

Active NOSHA member, Robert Carver, got his letter published in the Houma newspaper and it has caused a stir IF you are NOSHA Google Group member. Decide for yourself! Easter practices based in paganism I read the stories in the paper about Good Friday with interest especially the one about the reenactment in Dulac. The faithful in these reenactments are fascinating since they are commemorating a mythical event as if it were a historical fact. Easter was celebrated long before…

BOOK REVIEW: True North: Exploring the Great Wilderness by Bush Plane

by George Erickson, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, CA. Globe Pequot/Lyons Press, New York, NY Remember how creationists hid their intent by running stealth campaigns for school boards? Well, here’s a great response from American Humanist Association board member George Erickson, whose adventure/travel best seller True North… tucks candid criticism of creationists and missionary practices between tales of polar bears and killer whales while promoting the science that makes our standard of living possible. As the author wings past Manitoba’s Lake…

The Great Divide

There seems to be a real schism in the ranks of atheist activists these days. As usual, we seem to be missing the “ingroup loyalty” thing about one for all and all for one. Ingroup loyalty is touted as one of the hallmarks of the religious movement, as is extreme passion and dedication (epitomized by the Tea Party movement that has sprung up so viciously this week), so it seems we have much to learn. Why do we keep eating…

Robertson should be hospitalized!

Why does this man get any media coverage at all? His latest pronouncement that the Haitians brought this devastating earthquake on themselves because of some purported agreement with Satan in the 18th century is beyond insanity. It’s certifiably nuts! And yet, there he is in the Times-Picayune getting valuable news space complete with explanations and public respect, if that’s what it’s called. What kind of modern person can spout this crap and not be carted away by the white coats?…

BOOK REVIEW: Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

Daniel Dennett, 2006, Viking (Penguin) There are few times in my life where I’ve experienced “revelation.” Not in the religious sense, but in the sense of scientific enlightenment. Even though my education and career is in engineering, I’ve made it a point to become familiar with the science of evolution. However, I’ve always unknowingly limited my learning to the perspective of biological adaptation. Dennett’s book brought the realization crashing home that our brains and therefore our thought processes are just…

Learn the five moral foundations

There is a very enlightened theory circulating that morality has several central themes that cross all cultures and explain the differences worldwide in how liberal and conservative thinking individuals interpret morals in society. But what is extremely interesting is that understanding conservative interpretations of morality will help you identify the reason why a person believes the way they do which is a very powerful thing to know. Does that then make their belief acceptable? Not at all, but it will…

Health care…do you feel lucky?

Okay, here’s something that I think we need to talk about in our country: We’re all going to die someday. What? Should I say it again? Did you think you heard me wrong? We’re all going to die someday. I wish I had better news, but it’s a fact of life. Some Americans pretend it only happens to other people AND the unluckier ones at that. But if luck does have anything to do with it, you and everyone you…