Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #292a
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

What is Secular Humanism?

Monday, May 30, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Lucerne, Swissotel
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Edward K. Morris, Ph.D.
Chair: Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas)
PHIL ZUCKERMAN (Pitzer College/Claremount Graduate University/University of Aarhus, Denmark)
Phil Zuckerman is a professor of Sociology and Secular Studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He is also a regular affiliated professor at Claremont Graduate University, and he has been a guest professor for two years at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is the author of several books, including The Nonreligious (Oxford, 2016), Living the Secular Life (Penguin, 2014), Faith No More (Oxford, 2012), and Society Without God (NYU, 2008) and the editor or several volumes, including Atheism and Secularity (Praeger, 2010) and The Social Theory of W.E.B. Du Bois (Pine Forge, 2004). His research has also been published in various scholarly journals, such as Sociology CompassSociology of ReligionDeviant Behavior, and Religion, Brain, and Behavior.  In 2011, Phil founded the first Secular Studies department in the nation. Secular Studies is an interdisciplinary program focusing on manifestations of the secular in societies and cultures, past and present. Secular Studies entails the study of non-religious people, groups, thought, and cultural expressions. Emphasis is placed upon the meanings, forms, relevance, and impact of political/constitutional secularism, philosophical skepticism, and personal and public secularity. Phil is also currently the series editor of the Secular Studies book series with New York University Press. He blogs for Psychology Today and the Huffington Post. He lives in Claremont, California, with his wife and three children.

Back in the 1950s, fewer than 5% of Americans were non-religious. Today, nearly 30% define themselves as such. And in many other nations, rates of irreligion are even higher. This recent increase of people who describe themselves as "none" in terms of religious identification is one of the most significant demographic shifts in recent history. Who are these non-religious individuals? Are they all atheists? Agnostics? Secular Humanists? And more importantly: what do these various designations even mean? In this lecture, secular typologies and taxonomies will be covered, and secular humanism -- as a growing worldview, existential orientation, and group identification -- will be defined, explored, and explained. For as the number of non-religious men and women continues to dramatically rise both in the USA and abroad, it is more important than ever to understand those men and women who choose to live without religious affiliation or beliefs, and yet still maintain core values, morals, and convictions which influence and direct so many aspects of their lives.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) discuss sociological knowledge concerning the growing rate of non-religious Americans; (2) define a variety of terms, labels, and typologies developed for describing and defining various types of irreligious people and identities; (3) discuss the meaning and core components of secular humanism.



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