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October 2019

Humanist Community Gathering: Facing Economic & Environmental Limits in Our Time

3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19

Our speaker will be Nate Hagens, a public intellectual and futurist who tries to make sense of our situation — and avenues for change — by looking at systems science, specifically how the big picture of energy, economy, environment, and human behavior fit together. He will speak about the impact of growth constraints on our culture and discuss what Minnesotans can and should do to prepare themselves and their communities for a rapidly unfolding, uncertain future. Nate teaches Reality 101-The Human Predicament at the University of Minnesota.

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Upcoming Humanist Community Gathering
Nov. 16 — Brain Health Across the Lifespan. Speaker: Lisa James, Kunin Professor in Women’s Healthy Brain Aging.

September Humanist Community Gathering
Anthropologist Greg Laden discussed the impact of culture in creating racism. See a summary here.

Antisemitism: A Personal Story

By Harlan Garbell

As some of my friends and colleagues in HumanistsMN know, I was born and raised in a Jewish household. When I was a child, my father, the son of recent Russian-Jewish immigrants, would often tell me stories of his own childhood in the mean streets of  Chicago’s West Side during the 1920s and 30s. Many of these stories seemed like they came from a different world. The recurring themes were things I fortunately never experienced: poverty, violence, and pervasive racial and religious discrimination. 

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Reimagining Humanism: Let's Promote Widespread Human Flourishing

By Jerry Smith

The meanings of the words “humanism” and “humanist” have evolved considerably from the time of the Renaissance. Then humanists were people, like Erasmus of Rotterdam, who discovered, read, and often translated writings of classical Greece and Rome, secular works that lay outside the dominant Christian worldview. Much more recently, humanism has been defined by three “Humanist Manifestos,” each emphasizing secularism, naturalism, and humanitarianism. This is the humanism I subscribed to when I joined Humanists of Minnesota in the early years of this century. 

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Understanding How We Think Can Help Us Make Sense of the World

By Nathan Curland

I was introduced to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Lee Wetzel at a Critical Thinking Club Meeting a few months ago. Lee is a financial consultant and cited the insights in this marvelous book to describe why investors can make decisions that appear to an outside observer to be irrational, thus contradicting the prevailing economic theories that the stock market is composed of rational actors. This intrigued me, so I went to the Hennepin County Library system to order a copy, which I received in about three months.  (Obviously this book is very popular, even eight years after publication.)

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HumanistsMN in the Community
(Clockwise from top right) participants in: A fundraising breakfast sponsored by ACLU of Minnesota (HumanistsMN raised $1,000 to be listed as a sponsor); apple gleaning for The Food Group's clients; the HumanistsMN booth at VegFest; a walk to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
HMN Member Bobbi Jacobsen a Powerful Advocate for Medical Aid in Dying
HumanistsMN supports state legislation to allow terminally ill people to choose to end their lives peacefully with medication. HMN member Bobbi Jacobsen, who has ALS, is a terrific advocate for this bill. She spoke at a hearing at the State Capitol last month and the Star Tribune published an article she wrote explaining her stand. 
Welcome, New Members! 

HumanistsMN warmly welcomes the following new members: Brigid Galvin, Sarah Jane JohnstonJane LundDennis A. Myers, Jonathan Peterson, Clifford Wexler, and Sonja Wilcox. We look forward to getting to know you at our monthly humanist community gatherings or other events!

Humanists News and Views is edited by Suzanne Perry. Send articles, reviews, and comments to
Find HumanistsMN contact and board information here.

The HumanistsMN board meets at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month. All members are welcome. Contact for details.

HUMANISM: We aspire to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment and contribute to the greater good of humanity and the planet through reason, science, compassion, and creativity. 

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