Dim Lights by Graeme Hunter

Dim Lights

Graeme Hunter on Elite Faith in Naturalism

For years, the annual get-together of Canada’s main academic organizations used to call itself “The Learned Societies.” They changed the name, probably because even the most pompous participants found it hard to take it seriously. Humorists and realists had grown fond of referring to those meetings as “The Stupids.” When the “Learned Societies” left us, our little joke lost its home. Until now. There is a new organization that may be able to use it: a lobby group wishing to organize the militantly non-religious, calling itself “The Brights.”

It is no surprise that the Brights are based in California. The organizers, Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell, are freelance education writers, whose passion is what they call “naturalism.” Naturalism defines itself as the belief that the world is “free of supernatural or mystical deities, forces, and entities.” If you believe this, then, according to the invitation on the Brights’ website, you can become one of them.

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Graeme Hunter is a contributing editor to Touchstone and Research Professor of Philosophy at Dominican University College in Ottawa. He is the author of Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (Ashgate).

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