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published by Dave_Clark on Mon, 11/03/2014 - 15:00

The November 2014 HWSC News Letter is below. Thanks to Beth Staas for getting this made and sent out.

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published by Dave_Clark on Mon, 11/03/2014 - 15:00

Welcome to the online home of the Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland whew say that three times fast. On second thought, don't. I have somewhere to be in a month. In case you haven't gathered, we are the Humanist contingent of the western suburbs of Chicago. We frequently meet at the Unitarian Church of Naperville (don't worry, its not a statement of religious affiliation, just some folks who are liberal thinking and frequently allies in the struggle for the betterment of the human condition) as well as other places around the burbs.

I love many traditional Christmas carols. Many of them are already quite secular (e.g "Frosty the Snow Man", "Rudolph", "Here Comes Santa Claus", etc.) However, some of the best are stepped in religious mythololgy. Also, many of the melodies for carols have been around for a lot longer than the words that were assigned to them. Taking that fact as inspiration, I've rewritten several of them with lyrics I believe are more in keeping with humanist themes. Here are some of them for your enjoyment.

It occurs to me that practicing science might be historically perilous. Perhaps, if one measured the percentage of untimely deaths of scientists and natural philosophers through the ages, one could conclude that being a scientist ranks historically among the most dangerous of non-military professions. Such a statement may call to mind lab explosions, chemical spills, electrocutions or radiation poisonings.

Authorities who carefully built a boundary around some imagined vision of “reality”; always eager to carve out some fantastical niche encompassing any number of mystical, mythical and mysterious explanations. Once granted power over others, they wielded deadly threats - demanding agreement. Too often, those who dared question received dogma, or bravely denounced mysticism placed themselves in mortal peril. Scientists, skeptics, natural philosophers and freethinkers have always stood against the advancement of fantasies; and the bravest among them have done so against dangerous odds. Thankfully, since the enlightenment, things have been getting better. The remaining mortal perils scientists face these days are more likely to be of the lab-accident sort.

Since Bacon and Galileo, Hooke and Newton, we have made great strides in replacing magical thinking with a growing body of ever more concrete and complete interpretations and explanations of reality. Vanishing over the horizon of time are those frightful days when spirits and demons, night-airs and incantations served as proxies for truer comprehension of the vastly complex universe in which we struggle to survive and thrive. Collectively, the human mind is pushing away ancient misconceptions born of wild conjecture, and we Humanists cheer, “Good riddance!”

These convictions are what compelled two dear friends and I to attend two very science-centric events this past summer. First, we visited The Amazing Meeting, in Las Vegas. Next we attended the Energy Showcase nearby, at Argonne National Laboratory. Their research into the science of energy is profoundly important to our collective future. We eat, drive, play, and work on the basic currency of energy; and anything we can do to ensure affordable and plentiful energy remains available while not otherwise endangering our planet is among the most important scientific quests of our generation.

Things you did not know about humanitarianism

As human beings, we cannot remain unmoved by the suffering and the hardships that other people endure all over the world. It is in our nature to try and help ease the pain for the ones who have encountered a damaging string of bad luck or who have fallen victims to the actions of corrupt politicians or greedy corporations. Through humanitarianism organizations financial funds or food and medicine supplies can be raised, and later can be used to improve the existence of the less fortunate ones.

What we need to understand is that humanitarianism comes in all shapes and sizes and no such act is ever too small. With just a simple donation to a charity fund or organization you can bring your own, deliberate contribution. It might seem like an insignificant one, but in the long term it will prove to be crucial. The next step would be to present these advantages to your friends and family and ask them to share some of their winnings. Even your Chicago escort you took from http://www.escortdirectory.com/escorts-chicago-il-71/ can lend a hand and bring happiness to people around the world, just like it does for you.

A controversial fact about humanitarianism is that some people do it only to show off and gain a type of public gratification for their acts. These are the individuals whose contribution is never scrutinized, but who develop a defying attitude of self-entitlement that usually brings a bad name to such organizations. If you are donating money, food or medicine only to impress your Chicago escort, than you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your main actions have to come out of compassion and love for your fellow people, not out of self-admiration and the constant need for approval.

When confronted with donating money for humanitarianism causes, many people choose to motivate their lack of action through the idea that they are not part of a large organization that deals in this sector. However, the truth is that you do not have to be a worldwide foundation to offer your help to other people. Actually, you can start a small group of helpers and volunteers just with the people from your community. Ask your neighbors, the local teachers, your Chicago escort and the priests from the community church to spread the word of your mission and very soon you will find hundreds of other persons who will come to your aid.

Every day we experience social benefits such as free access to education, immediate access to health care and social services. We take these aspects for granted and we fail to realize that for many other people in the world, these are luxury services and that most of them cannot afford. The only way to improve to situation is to discuss this matter publicly and come up with solutions. Specialized foundations organize periodic meetings to make other people acknowledge the dangers of such an unbalanced world. It is your moral duty to attend these meetings and find out more about struggle of other people. Take your Chicago escort with you when you go, so that later she can use her social influence to let as many people as possible know about the challenges of humanitarianism organizations.

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