A Humanist UU
Of all the registered UU religious brands, the one to which I feel the most loyalty is Humanism.
More specifically, I identify with Scientific Humanism, which has been defined as "a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism, and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion."
I don't consider myself to be a Philosophical Humanist, which I understand would have me concentrating more exclusively on human need and human interest.
I also call myself an Agnostic, because I understand that there are some questions that we cannot answer, and I believe that all knowledge is provisional, or as the time-honoured UU aphorism puts it: "Revelation is not closed."
A important way that I express my religious self here at First, is by celebrating our 4th Principle: "A free and responsible search for truth and meaning."
Some of you may have witnessed my searching in my impromptu coffee hour science lectures, or my Socratic probing of your political views.
This congregation is important to me because many of you actually listen to me, and I am inspired to listen to you, and to learn.
My roots are in the Jewish tradition, where the most learned have always been the most respected. But even during my youthful years of week-nights at Hebrew school, studying for my Bar Mitzvah, I considered myself to be an agnostic, and I focused on my day job as a science nerd.
As I've matured, I've more and more held learning in high esteem. Mathematics, physics, technology; philosophy, language, cognition – learning has become my hobby, and my vocation.
At First I've learned about a religion without irrational creeds, where reason is used to filter truth from make-believe, where there is no privileged oligarchy revealing truths about mythical divinities.
I very much value what I've learned from all the free-thinkers that I've met here … and I plan to continue to learn from you and, I hope, you from me.