For many fans, The Orville is the Star Trek they have been waiting for. Although some expected it to be like Spaceballs, it turned out to be more like M*A*S*H*. It involves comedy, yes. But it also features real and lovable characters, in interesting situations, and offers up biting social and philosophical commentary (what science fiction does best). Indeed, it does the latter like no other science fiction series since Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Click here to watch Professor Kyle Johnson offer a brief overview of the social commentary offered by The Orville in the first season. “About a Girl” deals with transgender issues. “If The Stars Should Appear” chastises humanity for ignoring climate change. “Krill” and “Mad Idolatry” offer criticism of religion. “Cupid’s Dagger” raises questions about sexual assault. And “Majority Rule” criticizes the “democratization of information” through social media, and even ridicules the idea of democracy itself. He treats each episode as a work of philosophy, clearly articulating and then briefly evaluating its argument.
Read on to learn more about Dr. Johnson.Read more
Dear members and friends,
If you’ve followed the broader secular movement over the past few years, it may feel like “the air has been let out of the balloon.” Even though studies continue to show the decrease of religiosity throughout the country (especially among younger people), nonbelief no longer seems to be the unifying force it was just a few years ago....Read more
In October, Muhlenberg Philosophy Professor Ted Schick visited us to discuss the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.
As machines become smarter, they are performing more and more tasks that used to be reserved for humans. such as diagnosing disease, driving cars and caring for the elderly, not to mention manufacturing. But what happens when they become as smart as we are? Must we grant them the same rights that we enjoy? Would destroying a robot with human level of intelligence be an act of murder? What can we do to minimize this threat? He led us in an exploration of these and other issues in an attempt to understand what our relationship should be to the new intelligences that may soon be walking among us. Click "read more" to learn more about Dr. Schick and watch the video.Read more
In July, LVH welcomed Colleen Lutz Clemens and Amanda Morris D'Agostino, who helped us explore why humanists should care about toxic masculinity, which is rampant and causing real harm in our society. We must become aware of it, acknowledge it, and then work to dismantle it so we can all be safer. Even still, it is ignored in mainstream media and news outlets when they report and opine about mass school shootings - primarily committed by angry young white men who feel violence is the only way to assert their "manliness." We will also discuss why gender and gender identity formation matters to everyone. Click "read more" below to learn more about the presenters and click here to watch the video.Read more
Journalist and activist Lauri Lebo visited LVH in June to discuss her near-death experience that resulted from a heart attack she suffered in 2016. Many interpret such an event as proof of the afterlife, but Lauri talked about how her NDE changed her for the better through a transcendent, but still secular, experience. Click "read more" below to watch the video and read more about Lauri.Read more
Roy explored the modern state of humanism, what it means, its history, and what's in store for our forward-thinking outlook. With its emphasis on critical thinking and self-reflection, humanism can be at the forefront of pressing social issues. Click on to read more about Roy and watch a video of his presentation.Read more
In this talk, Noah discusses some of the more egregious abuses going unnoticed by the national media, as well as some of the things we can do about it, all the while keeping the discussion as lighthearted as a talk about an unavoidable hellscape can realistically be. Click on to read more about Noah and watch the video of his presentation.Read more
Kenny Biddle visited our annual meeting to tell us about some of his investigations of paranormal claims, from ghosts to UFOs to searching for Bigfoot. He discussed the claims, what was presented as evidence, and what he did to solve the mysteries. Click on to watch the video of his presentation!Read more