— ajackson (@antitheistangie) March 8, 2012
That’s a quote from a blogger named Angie Jackson, and it has been one of the most important quotes for me in my secular and ethical development. It really helps me consider how three important parts of my worldview interact: Atheism, Skepticism, and Humanism.
Here at the Ethical Society, we definitely talk about Humanism a lot, to the point that “A Welcoming Home for Humanists” is on the banner of our website. Atheism is also discussed a lot around here, too. But Skepticism isn’t discussed nearly as much.
So, what is it?
Tim Farley, a blogger and activist, has defined Skepticism as “the intersection of science education and consumer protection. We help people learn from science to avoid spending their money on products and services that do not work.” That definition covers a lot of what the Skeptical movement does. But there’s more to it, too, as the focus on critical thinking leads the Skeptical movement to advocate for issues like Evolution, vaccines, science-based medicine, and GMO foods, and against religious frauds, Global Warming denialism, and pseudosciences like homeopathy and cryptozoology.
That’s a broad description, and fortunately, you have two good upcoming opportunities to learn more about it, if you’re interested. On Sunday, August 23, Kate Lovelady will be continuing her 9:45 Forum series on Ethical Humanism by exploring our movement’s relationship with Skepticism.
Additionally, to see the movement in action, come here to the Ethical Society the day before, on August 22. The Skeptical Society of St. Louis will be hosting the third SkeptiCamp STL, starting at 9am.
We’ll have a full day of talks on science, ethics, parenting, finances, religion, medicine, and lots of other topics from speakers in the St. Louis area and beyond. This will include some members of the Ethical Society, as Brian Vandenburg will talk about psychology and Liz Zelman will talk about anthropology. Please join us to support these members and to learn more about scientific skepticism and the skeptical community in St. Louis.