A reluctant humanist

A tragedy of life is that the longer the list of things you want to get done grows in inverse proportion to the amount of time left to get it done. Just as my pile of books to read gets bigger the fewer years I have left to sit down with them, so the number of potential projects I’d like to tackle just keeps getting larger day by day.

So when I was invited to blog here at The Secular Outpost, even though I was flattered by the invitation, I was reluctant to say yes. One more thing to do, a little less time to do everything else. But then I thought, perhaps I can come on board to share with the secular community some of the things I’ve been doing which I don’t get to talk or post about elsewhere.

So my posts are really going to be a window into my atheist life. Expect what I post to be short and infrequent, usually pointing to something elsewhere. If you find it interesting and useful, let me know and I’ll try to do as much as I can. If not, tell me and I’ll go away, stop bothering you and do some of that other stuff that’s nagging at my conscience.

To start off, I wanted to post a link to the video of a talk I gave at the annual Humanist Society of Scotland conference. It gives you some idea of why it is I find myself a reluctant joiner of atheist and secular organizations, and why I tend to be a critical friend rather than a team-playing insider. My focus is on the idea of what a “true humanist” should believe. My short answer, by the way, is that a true humanist is defined by a very small number of beliefs and that there is much more diversity of opinion in what can count as a humanist as you might think, given what humanist groups often say.

The video is here. (If that link doesn’t work, go here and click through to eventcasts.) Let me know what you think.