Interview with Dr. Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. on Updates with Humanism in Victoria

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. is the Director of CFI-Victoria. I reached out to Dr. Shulman for another interview. She agreed. By the way, she is retired, and still giving interviews.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are some new humanist community updates?

Dr. Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci.: In our current Canadian secular humanist community, I’d say, three groups are of major progressive activity hence of practical importance and promise:

a) continuing publication of the Humanist Perspectives, our only but excellent an umbrella-type Canadian humanist periodical; that has become an international voice for secular humanism (they have now subscribers in UK, Germany, Greece, etc);

b) continuing uniting activity of the CFIC with its branches as outlined in their periodic publications (“Critical Links”);

c) local secular humanist groups’ activity.

Jacobsen: What have been some important political and social developments in your locale?

Shulman: Two years ago (May 2017) the first-ever CFI Victoria branch was created and has been active since; it has by now become 156-member-strong and has had regular meetings, panel discussions, Solstice parties as well as has participated in the fight against the anti-blasphemy law in the petitions-on-line, etc. The CFIV is a big step forward in the B.C secular humanist social movement.

Jacobsen: If we’re looking at becoming part of the national conversation, what are the main impetuses for you? 

Shulman: Fighting re-surging populism, nationalism, antisemitism, racism, misogyny, supporting the liberal democratic values.

Jacobsen: How can individual humanists and atheists, and other freethinkers, in Canada become part of the Humanist Canada Discussion List?

Shulman: One should apply to the HCA board, I suppose, and, technically speaking, click on and follow the instructions the List offers at the end of some of its email.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the long-term themes for the discussion groups? In other words, what interests humanists?

Shulman: In broad terms, I’d say, preservation and further development of the core ideas of globalization, unification, and of the European Renaissance against attacks from the far-right and from the far-left as well (fanaticism, intolerance, fascism, nationalism, isolationism, misogyny).

Jacobsen: Any things to look forward to, for the rest of 2019 and into 2020 for the humanist community and its dialogues?

Shulman: Wider reach and embrace of the younger part of the population; our average member-age is currently too high. 🙂

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Dr. Shulman.

Shulman: Thank you, Scott. Please, keep me updated.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Do not forget to look into our associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, and Centre for Inquiry Canada.

Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.

Photo by Silas Baisch on Unsplash

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