About

We, the Owensboro Humanists (OH), are looking for fellow self-identifying humanists in the Owensboro, KY and surrounding areas. There is no monthly fee – membership is free.

We were founded to give certain demographics in the city of Owensboro the opportunity to network, outreach, and engage fellow self-identifying humanists as a community. We were originally formed as the Owensboro Freethinkers, an offshoot of the Evansville Freethinkers (EVFT), but we have since expanded our horizons with the intention of serving as a community for humanist individuals who may not have such a community readily available to them. We are based in Owensboro, KY, but all folks from the surrounding Daviess County area (and beyond) are welcome.

We encourage all self-identifying humanists to make themselves known in our group, and in the Owensboro community at large. We have social gatherings and meetings (usually the second and fourth Saturdays of the month), occasional volunteering opportunities, and we hope to steadily grow as ideas friendly to humanism become better known, ideas hostile to humanism draw attention to us, and our presence is felt more throughout the community.

Humanism

Humanism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially: a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason.” We also complement the above definition by adding more details provided by our affiliates in the Evansville Freethinkers (EVFT), that “individuals should neither accept nor reject ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason and that opinions should be formed on the basis of science and logic, without being influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma.”

Humanists are ideologically a broad bunch, and while we are not all the same, we tend to have some of the same basic values. As a whole, we tend to value secularization, and we tend to dispel religion and superstition. We promote education, dialogue, criticism, and a marketplace of free ideas where each one is allowed to be criticized with no ideas or concepts being too sacred to critique. We also tend to value the scientific method as the best, most rational method we have in understanding the world around us. We believe in the power of rhetoric and logic as the best tools to argumentatively sort through rubbish to find the truth. We tend to stand behind concepts such as gender equality, equal rights, open dialogue, and free speech. We tend to fight against racial, religious, or political bigotry, as well as violations of church/state separation, issues that impede science and education, and other such hurdles to progress.

Above all, we believe whatever truths we arrive at, and we do so because they’ve been rigorously tested, scrutinized, and evaluated for their merits. However, seeing as the term is used as a self-identifier, one may not agree on all of these points, but the trends tend to be generally applicable. We are also here to promote scientific and critical literacy – education and thought patterns that teach not what to think, but how to think.

As a group, we champion many of the same values, but we are a group of individuals, and so sometimes our conclusions may take us in different directions. As such, people are free to discuss what they want (as long as there is no excessive trolling). Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we’ll argue until the sun goes down and, by then, we’re just getting started.

Goals

  1. Provide an open community to humanists and humanism-friendly individuals.
  2. Work towards injecting rational, scientific, and logical values into our community through our presence and activities while removing the stigma associated with humanist values.
  3. From time to time, volunteer and give back to our community.

Guidelines and Information

The Owensboro Humanists page on Facebook serves as our central hub. As a community that values critical thought and open discussion, we are free to discuss, debate, poke fun, satirize, or just generally talk about any matters maturely and thoughtfully (though sometimes lacking in tact). As such, we have a list of house-keeping guidelines that we encourage everyone to follow:

Age

We ask that you please be 18 years or older to join.

Code of Conduct

Informed mature discussion, disagreement, debate, and argumentation are all welcome. We are not a hate group, however, and while we tolerate (and encourage) poking fun at any idea, we will not tolerate blatant sexism, racism, or any other “ism” that degrades human beings and can be interpreted as discrimination.

We are here for the benefit of Owensboro humanists and anyone else who aligns themselves with our community. Overt proselytizing and general harassment that is not conducive to intelligent discourse may be grounds for removal. We are also here to promote a positive image of humanism; hate speech and personal threats aimed at anyone – members or not – will not be tolerated, nor will excessive trolling. Any threats or abusive speech made against members will result in removal from the group. The administrators reserve the right to remove anyone from the group for the above reasons. In essence, any idea is fair game for ridicule and scrutiny – people are not.

Posting

As we want discussions and conversations to be central and key to our group, there’ll be a slight prohibition on what is posted. Original content, documents, news articles, and quotes in text form are preferred. Posts of pictures or videos containing quotes are also permissible, but only if those posts include either the relevant quotes in text form, or discussion questions related to their content. The reason for this is substance and involvement, as opposed to mere meme propagation. Conversations usually draw a lot of people in terms of participation, so those are highly encouraged.

Leadership

This is a group of Owensboro people; we are looking for Owensboro people to run it. Currently, there are five administrators:

  • Steven Snead – Advertising.
  • Saul Eduardo López – Event Coordinator.
  • Ryan Hidalgo – Newsletter.
  • David Ramsey – Web Maintenance.
  • Jackie Snyder – Volunteering.

Any of us can be reached through OwensboroHumanists@gmail.com.

Initiative and Affiliation

Affiliations and special interests are more than welcome. As humanists, we have a shared set of principles, but we also have shared values: secularism, human rights, equality for all, etc. There are issues in Owensboro that fall into these categories (gay rights, race relations, issues of religious tolerance and freedom, etc.) and everyone has their “pet” issue or issue of interest. We’re encouraging folks to branch out and start being active. We’re more than happy to affiliate with a blog, a group, letters to the editors, or promote activities and agendas that align with our values. As such, if you have an idea for something you think our group can collectively support as a whole, contact one of the administrators.

Suggestions and Ideas

Our group mirrors our democratic republic. Please feel free to post suggestions on the Facebook wall, privately message any of the administrators on their Facebook. The most direct method will probably be via Facebook.

Disclaimer

Individual members are free to express their views as they see fit, following the above established guidelines. The views of individual members are not necessarily representative of the group as a whole.

If you’re interested in our free newsletter or have questions for us, please e-mail OwensboroHumanists@gmail.com.

“Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem. [As long as we are among humans, let us be humane.]” – Seneca

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