Statement on TT Humanist Day 2008
22 September (2005) Autumnal Equinox - Northern Hemisphere
19 September 2008 • 325 words
September 22 marks Humanist Day in Trinidad and Tobago. Four years ago, the TT Humanist Association was formed for the purpose of promoting humanist values in T&T. Many people would agree that values are what shape a society, determining how well or badly that society functions in terms of providing security, prosperity, and opportunity for its citizens. Indeed, the latest research on development shows that the right values, and not just the right institutions, are what determine progress for any country. In other words, it is not sufficient to have democratic government, an independent judiciary, a free market, and a free press, although all these things are necessary for social and political stability. But none of these institutions can function effectively unless girded by the right values.
So what are the “right values”? If the people of Trinidad and Tobago really want to become a developed nation, then it is axiomatic that modern values must become prevalent in the society. There is no country in the world which has developed status and which adheres to traditional values, which include putting the good of your own religious or racial group before the good of the nation (note our politics), placing women in a second-class status, (“Wives, obey your husbands”) opposing science (“Evolution is false”), and intolerance for difference (e.g. homosexuality).
Research on progress-prone and progress-resistant cultures have found that the following values help create peace and prosperity: rationality, non-fatalism, deferred gratification, empiricism, punctuality, and tolerance. The TT Humanist Association was formed because our members felt that the opposing values were shaping public policy and so preventing our country from attaining its true potential. It must be noted that all countries which have low crime rates and in which most citizens enjoy a fairly high standard of living are countries which adhere to humanist and secular values.
This is a lesson which policy-makers and ordinary citizens must learn if we are to solve our myriad social problems.
T&T Humanist Association
See A church service is inappropriate for the Opening of the Law Term
See Should a leader impose belief over reason?
See TT Humanist : Views : Governance
See TT Humanist : News : Launch : The Virtues of Secularism (PDF)
See No Equal Opportunities Act with Government Funding?
See CAPE corruption reflects wider society
See Dishonest arguments from Catholic Church
See Myth, not history, from UWI academics