What is FASHA?

Flathead Area Secular Humanist Association, stomach or FASHA, visit this is a grassroots, stomach democratic, completely volunteer, member-driven association of Flathead Area Secularist Humanists. The membership includes Freethinkers, Naturalists and Skeptics (including Atheists and Agnostics) who agree with the majority of the Secular Humanist principles,  FASHA’s mission and the Privacy Policy. FASHA is a resource for those interested in learning about or who are actively pursuing a fulfilling life without deference to anything supernatural. We started in September of 2011 and had our first meeting in 12/11. In addition to this website, FASHA also holds regular meetings and events in the community. Please see the Home page and use the “Contact Us” page for inquiries.  Moving away from a supernaturalist worldview towards a more evidence-based life-stance can be difficult journey for many. FASHA is about making that transition a little easier by letting you know that among the approx. 40 million non-religious Americans, thousands live right here in the Flathead Valley. While the Member Pages are open only to FASHA members, the rest of the website including the Public Discussion page, is open for all those who are curious about what Secular Humanism is, have sincere questions or comments, or are curious about living and growing as a Secular Humanist based on evidence, critical thinking and free inquiry. We are glad you are here!

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to:

  • - educate the public about secular humanism
  • - develop and maintain a support system for local secular humanists
  • - provide a community that is an alternative to traditional “faith based” communities
  • - act as a secular force for good in our communities
  • - constructively addressing any violations of the separation between church and state
  • - provide information about online and community secular resources that further personal growth and public understanding
  • - promote the idea that our current, best science – based upon freedom of conscience, free inquiry, critical thinking and evidence – has been, is, and will continue to be the best hope for making our own lives, our society, and our world the best they can be.

 

Privacy Policy

The privacy, confidentiality and safety of FASHA members as well as those inquiring about FASHA is of primary importance and concern. Any information obtained through the Discussion Board, “Contact Us” page, or any other means will be kept in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with other members or any third parties without that person’s expressed written permission (includes email). This includes but is not limited to any personally identifiable information: name, personal address, email address, phone number, etc.. Please see the FASHA Privacy Policy page for more details.

About Donations

100% donations go towards forwarding the mission as stated above. Please see “Donations Policy” page for details

Membership

Other than agreeing to the “Privacy Policy” and a genuine interest in and commitment to FASHA’s mission (please read, Mission Statement above and  Humanist Principles) there is no minimum requirement to become a FASHA member. Please use the “Contact Us” form for this purpose. Requests for membership should include a statement about having read the Privacy Policy, and an agreement with the majority of the Humanist Principles. Things you should know about membership:

  • All participation is completely voluntary.
  • We currently do not charge any dues or fees for membership.
  • We do encourage donations (a $25.00 annual donation is suggested), all of which go towards FASHA’s mission.
  • No one will be denied membership due to inability to make financial contribution(s). We are glad you are here!

What is Secular Humanism?

Skepticism, Freethinking, Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism, Secular Humanism, etc. – many terms are out there and the water at times seems muddied by them. Therefore, some initial work is needed to help achieve some clarity.

“Freethinking” is most often used to describe “a way of thinking” that is characterized most prominently by free inquiry and an openness to new information – there is nothing that is beyond questioning.

“Skepticism” is typically best described as a way to “approach new claims” and maybe is best summed up by Carl Sagan’s famous quote “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.

“Atheism” and “Agnosticism” are not ways of thinking, but are instead “positions” attained when Freethinking and Skepticism are applied to the question of the existence of god (“no” and “not knowable” respectively). As such, Atheism and Agnosticism are not in and of themselves a “worldview” nor do they imply any moral framework.

Given that through freethinking and skepticism we have reached an atheist or agnostic position, questions usually arise. How are we to move forward in our lives? What will give our lives meaning? What are the priorities in my life? What is my moral framework? While everyone who gets to this place will answer those questions a differently, this is the point at which Humanism and Secular Humanism come into view (Humanism and Secular Humanism are largely synonomous terms – “secular” being added to distinguish it from “religious” humanism). Secular Humanism is offered as one possible worldview that honors the “way” we got here (skepticism and freethinking) and also attempts to answer those questions for the greatest number of people. It is a pretty big tent! So…..

Secular Humanism attempts, we believe successfully, to incorporate all of the above into a consistent worldview when applied to reason, beleifs and morality. Here are two definitions:

  • “Secular Humanism is a philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as guides to moral reflection and decision-making.” – Council For Secular Humanism
  • “[Secular] Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance“. – Humanist Manifesto III, American Humanist Association 2003

Quotes from famous Humanists:
Humanism is a philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity, of application of new ideas of scientific progress for the benefit of all“. • LINUS PAULING – scientist, Humanist of the Year in 1961, Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954, Nobel Peace Prize in 1962.

Humanists recognize that it is only when people feel free to think for themselves, using reason as their guide, that they are best capable of developing values that succeed in satisfying human needs and serving human interests“. • ISAAC ASIMOV – scientist, author, and past president of the American Humanist Association.

Click here for additional information such as:

  • Secular Humanist Definitions
  • How Secular Humanists view religious and supernatural claims
  • Are Secular Humanists Atheists?
  • What are Secular Humanist Ethics?

Videos about Secular Humanism

Humanist Principles

While principles of Secular Humanism  are dynamic and changing based on current evidence, there are some principles that help guide humanists in adhering to a consistent worldview. The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles by Paul Kurtz, as well as the Humanist Manifesto III are offered here as two of the best guides to date.

Church & State Separation

FASHA’s current position on church/state separation.

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