Sunday, October 28, 2007

The SL Humanism Group

SL Humanism is an independent group of Humanists, atheists, agnostics, progressives, and other free thinkers inside the 3-D virtual world of Second Life® (SL). They hold weekly discussion meetings on interesting and difficult topics, organize Humanist-themed events for the larger online community, engage in social activism, and generally educate others about the principles and history of Humanism. The group has over 460 members and has been holding weekly discussion meetings every Sunday in SL since 2006.

SL Humanism was founded by the avatar Torin Golding. He is the owner of eight virtual lands (sims) that are dedicated to the art, culture, and history of ancient Rome. The estate is called ROMA.

Torin has built a garden space on his property for the SL Humanism community. Currently this “Humanism Garden” houses a meeting space, coffee shop, information area, library, and activist center. It is the space where most of its activities are centered.

What the group is best known for are its Sunday afternoon discussion meetings held regularly at 2pm (Pacific Time) in the Humanism Garden. Every week a topic is chosen and for an hour and a half, group members and curious visitors discuss and debate the issues surrounding the subject. In the past, topics have included the threat of Creationism, the Occult, the death penalty, extra-terrestrial life, Humanist connections with Buddhism, Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion, the War on Science, and environmentalism.

The SL Humanism group has organized events to coincide with the National Day of Reason (a counterpart to the insidious National Day of Prayer) and Darwin Day.Every December, the SL Humanism group raises funds for a secular charity and donates in the group's name. The group has also organized live music events, in-world field trips, and roundtable discussions with other groups in SL such as the Unitarian Universalists and the Buddhists.

The SL Humanism group is not officially affiliated with any external Humanist group, but many of its members belong to and support local, national, and international groups promoting Humanism.

For more images, you can check out our Flickr Album.

You can visit the Humanism Garden in Second Life by clicking here.