New humanist blogroll

Keen observers of this blog (all five of you) may have already noticed that I’ve added sections for humanist and atheist blogs to my sidebar under all the Quaker links, as well as a section for Unitarian Universalist blogs. I may blog a bit about UUs soon, after I visit my third UU church, though in case you’re wondering I’m not thinking of joining them.

But right now I’d like to highlight a few of the humanist blogs, since they’re fresher in my mind. The New Humanist Blog is a blog of the UK magazine New Humanist, and seems to be good as a source of meat-and-potatoes news. On a more philosophical note, The Spiritual Humanist seems to be taking a step in a good direction, as does Glittering Muse, which has an excellent recent post called “Can atheists be spiritual?”:

The problem, of course, is how you define spiritual. I know, it sounds like Clinton saying “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” So why dwell on this confusing word “spirit” when we believe there is no god? Because it’s a useful term with resonances in great and wise traditions. The problem with atheism is that it tends to throw the baby out with the bath water. My intention is to freshen and balance spirit’s meaning between the wisdom of ancient intuitive thinking and current knowledge. I also like the idea of reclaiming it for modern secular use.

We often use the word spirit in secular vernacular to mean a general quality of a person’s demeanor: “He’s in poor spirits.” We all know exactly what it means. There is no need for an atheist to refute its validity. We know that something is causing that “poor spirit”. You could argue it’s the same as saying “He’s an unhappy person right now.” But what is unhappy about him? Is it his mind, his body? The word spirit fits because it describes something else, neither mind nor body alone. I propose that spirit is a relationship or connection between parts, between mind and body, between self and other. This idea can be expanded further. [This is basically like how I think of it; the metaphor I like is the tuning of a guitar.]

I also quite like philalethia, and find Pink Prozac charming, not least of all for the cute photo and pink background. Beyond that, there are more blogs listed on Planet Atheism and Planet Humanism, though one should be warned that most atheist blogs, and even some humanist-identified ones as well, tend to obsess on the negative, something I try (not always successfully) to avoid.

Of course, in a similar vein there’s also Mind on Fire, reaching for the light and Nontheistfriends.org, but they’re already in the “Quaker” sections…

2 Responses to “New humanist blogroll”


  1. 1 Garnet David Jul 24th, 2007

    Zack- Thanks for the quote and mention. I like your intent here to gather apparently disparate views under a unified roof.

  2. 2 Zach A Jul 24th, 2007

    Hi Garnet,
    You’re welcome, and thanks. Though it’s perhaps more necessity than (planned) intent — this started out as just a Quaker blog, and in the past 6-8 months I’ve slowly gotten more “post-Quaker,” which is what’s causing me to seek out non-Quaker views as well now.

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  • There exists, finally, a somewhat numerous class of honest but timid souls who, too intelligent to take the Christian dogmas seriously, reject them in detail, but have neither the courage nor the strength nor the necessary resolution to summarily renounce them altogether. They abandon to your criticism all the special absurdities of religion, they turn up their noses at all the miracles, but they cling desperately to the principal absurdity; the source of all the others, to the miracle that explains and justifies all the other miracles, the existence of God. Their God is not the vigorous and powerful being, the brutally positive God of theology. It is a nebulous, diaphanous, illusory being that vanishes into nothing at the first attempt to grasp it; it is a mirage, an ignis fatuus that neither warms nor illuminates. And yet they hold fast to it, and believe that, were it to disappear, all would disappear with it. They are uncertain, sickly souls, who have lost their reckoning in the present civilization, belonging to neither the present nor the future, pale phantoms eternally suspended between heaven and earth...

    Mikhail Bakunin
    God and the state
    (thoughts on)


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