Humanists at UUCPA


When: The first Saturday of each month,
6:00 PM to 6:30 PM Appetizers and Chit-chat
6:30 PM to 7:15 PM Dinner and Pleasant Conversation
7:15 PM to 8:30 PM Stimulating Discussion
Where: The Fireside Room
Contact: Emma Pan


The Humanist Group is a growing community of friendly and intelligent people dedicated to the spiritual, intellectual and social needs of the San Francisco Bay Area humanists. Everyone is welcome to join our monthly potluck-dinner/discussion parties usually held on the first Saturday of each month in the UUCPA Fireside room.  From 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM we enjoy appetizers and chit chat,  from 6:30 PM to 7:15 PM we enjoy dinner and pleasant conversation, and from 7:15 PM to 8:30 PM we enjoy a stimulating discussion.  The discussion topics vary from the philosophical/religious -- such as personal beliefs and ethics -- to scientific topics of our day.  In January, May and September we democratically choose the specific discussion topics for the following three months. Whenever possible, the person who proposes a topic is expected to lead the discussion. Topic selection usually takes less than half an hour, leaving the remaining time to an open discussion of whatever is of current interest.

Just in case you might be interested in joining us for one or more monthly dinner/discussion parties, but never have, here are some key stats to consider: Recently we have had between 15 to 30 people for the dinner/discussion parties. The size of the group is steadily growing over time. And there are always at least 1 or 2 new people that don’t know anyone when they first arrive, but leave with a dozen new friends. Most people who attend once, attend again. Anyone between the ages of 21 and 120 is welcome. Attendees come from all over the northern California area including: Atherton, Belmont, Berkeley, Burlingame, Cupertino, Foster City, Fremont, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Stanford University and Sunnyvale.

To be kept informed of the date and topic of each upcoming dinner/discussion party, just submit your name and email address to our secure (non-spamming) e-mailing list by clicking here:

What is a Humanist?

The terms “humanism” and “humanist” are often confused with or at least compared with related terms such as atheism, atheist, agnostic, agnosticism, bright, freethinker, humanitarian, naturalist, naturalism, secular, secularism, secularist, skeptic and skepticism. But none of these terms are exactly synonymous with the terms humanist or humanism. In fact, humanism is much more than the meaning of any of these terms. Below are two well-written definitions of humanism that you might find enlightening:

Humanism is a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.• American Humanist Association

Humanism is a philosophy, world view, or lifestance based on naturalism—the conviction that the universe or nature is all that exists or is real. Humanism serves, for many humanists, some of the psychological and social functions of a religion, but without belief in deities, transcendental entities, miracles, life after death, and the supernatural. Humanists seek to understand the universe by using science and its methods of critical inquiry—logical reasoning, empirical evidence, and skeptical evaluation of conjectures and conclusions—to obtain reliable knowledge. Humanists affirm that humans have the freedom to give meaning, value, and purpose to their lives by their own independent thought, free inquiry, and responsible, creative activity. Humanists stand for the building of a more humane, just, compassionate, and democratic society using a pragmatic ethics based on human reason, experience, and reliable knowledge—an ethics that judges the consequences of human actions by the well-being of all life on Earth. • Steven Schafersman

For more information, feel free to send an email to our UUCPA Humanist Group facilitator, Emma Pan.


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