Towards a free society and Thinking Things Through

FSI Thinking Things ThroughOn December 3, the Free Society Institute (the secular humanist NPO that I founded here in South Africa) held their third conference, titled “Thinking Things Through“. It was a one-day event, featuring talks on science, freedom of speech, secularism and more. The channel containing all 6 presentations, as well as the panel discussion that rounded off the day, can be found here on YouTube.

My contribution argued that secular humanists – especially in the context of the developing world – should recognise that religion might not be our most pressing concern. The evidence for a negative correlation between religion on the one hand, and education and financial upliftment on the other, seems to be growing.

Second, the sorts of religion that folk in the developed world adhere to is typically nowhere near as concerning as the fanaticism you’ll find in some parts of the world. In summary, the us/them discourse that permeates much of the atheiosphere could well be confusing far more than it clarifies. Watch for yourself, and feel free to comment.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.