Here’s a link that may be worthwhile of our support: I think the term "humanism’ has a nice ring to it as opposed to "atheism’ which is often seen as a negative. Humanism naturally embraces the non-belief in deities but cuts wider philosophically in its search for truth, logic and reason. Some time ago Teleo was arguing the contribution “atheism” would bring to the table in SA’s search for a so-called “new morality” and while I considered his views to be biased and myopic, it did raise the question of how atheism is perceived. I’m not sure how the “Council for Secular Humanism” is structured, or what vested interests may be lurking beneith the bedcovers, but assuming it is an honest attempt at structuring a secular and representative body to address the current imbalance in SA society which is rapidly becoming increasingly conservative. Our general view as skeptics/atheists is that we are unstructured/unorganised and indeed unable to be heard as a result, a structured humanist could be representative…or am I preaching to the converted?

Tauriq wrote that before I started the Free Society Institute, which he’s also on the Executive Committee of. We’re a member of the International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU), which does similar work to the CSH. The politics are unfortunately a little messy - when I was looking to affiliate with an international humanist group, the CSH was embroiled in the Lindsay/Kurtz war, and it wasn’t at all clear how the different factions would split, and what they would end up looking like, so I decided to go with the IHEU, who have tended to be more stable & consistent on policy. Having said that, all of these groups merit our support - different ones would appeal to different tastes, but they’re all really fighting the same battle.

The Atheist and Agnostic Society that he speaks of in the piece has pretty much died. I’m staff at UCT, so can’t really get involved in starting/revitalising a student organisation, but I am trying to persuade some students to get it going again.

But yes, I agree that a humanist approach could be representative in ways that atheism sometimes struggles to be. It seems to me easier to accentuate the positive elements of a worldview without gods via a ethical humanist stance than an atheist stance. These are all personal strategic choices, though - and there is room for all of them.

Thanx for the update Jacques I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to the dynamics of these initiatives…in fact throughout my life I’ve avoided being a member of any ‘movement’: I was invited to become a member of the State secret Police when I was in matric!!!(circa 1962)or whatever they were called then. (When I think back of those years it is painful to think how we were indoctrinated…they were going to send me to the CIA for training FFS) also the Free Masons (circa 1974) the Lions (circa 1980) etc etc. Jisses.
Anyway, my mission is to fight indoctrination, manipulation and the limiting of free thinking. So where I can help I will.