Thanks to the AHA doing the heavy lifting this year, we didn’t coordinate the Southern California Secular Humanist Conference. 2014 will mark the return of the fantastic 2011 event. The previous theme was activism at the local and national level, our upcoming theme is Humanist Ethics. We are considering a one-day, Saturday January 25th date in honor of Thomas Paine’s birthday. We have approached several awesome speakers, but would also like to know who you would like to see.
Humanism’s philosophical foundation is driven by the philosophy of Freethought. Freethought is more than just an umbrella-term for non-theism. Freethought is a philosophy of examining issues with reason, minimizing our biases of culture and convention, and challenging the hold of established and sacrosanct authority.
May’s books will be two classics from David Hume. As a thinker Hume laid the groundwork for our Western dependence on empiricism in thought. The first of these works (5/7) is An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748). In Enquiry Hume examines philosophy and how to use it. On Tuesday the 21st, we will be conversing over Hume’s posthumously published Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). Both of these works are crucial to understanding where our modern thought on epistemology and God come from. As always reading the texts is highly recommended, but if you don’t have time you should definitely attend to learn from those who have read the material. The way that it is presented offers enough of an overview for everyone to engage in meaningful conversation. Both of these meetings will be held at the T-Deli (First and Third Tuesdays 7pm, 1469 University Ave).
June’s Books will be H.L. Mencken’s Treatise on the Gods (6/4) and Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great (6/18).
Jamin Szczesny (Webmaster), Chris Bieser (Secretary), started a new meeting. One of the great ideas that the Abrahamic religions contributed to our culture was the idea of a day off. As Humanists we can enjoy ideas offered by the major religions without clouding the thought with supernatural obligation. We have started a new weekly event, the “Sunday Secular Sojourns.” Yesterday we did a nine-mile hike along Peñasquitos Creek up to the waterfall, beyond and back.
The day was gorgeous, perfect temperature, light breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. The trail wove itself from meadow to forrest and presented dozens of lizards, horses, cyclists, woodpeckers, a rabbit or two, and we were fortunate to see a (non-venomous) yellow bellied racer snake pop its green and yellow head out of the medium-high grass with a healthy mouthful of recently-snagged lizard.
San Diego County is chock-full of hidden-hiking treasures. This coming weekend we will be hiking Mission Trails Park. We will start 11am at the Old Dam, hike up South Fortuna and around again. We hope that you can join us for another wonderful time.