The Brights' Bulletin
July 7, 2004
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
Special Planning Bulletin
This Bulletin offers you an opportunity to contribute your ideas regarding an action program. We invite your input on the subject of priorities for Brights’ actions in the near future
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Read all the text and then respond to item A and B by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Tell us which one of three action realms should be the immediate priority for Brights. Place in the subject line ARENA 1, (or 2, or 3). Send your comments in the body of the e-mail.
B. If you have a suggestion for a different action arena which you deem more important than any of these three, then send a separate e-mail and place in the subject line NEW ARENA
Important, our e-mails are sorted based on the subject line, so please type exactly as requested. The window for e-mail input closes August 31.
WEB SITE AS AN ACTION HUB
Can an Internet site serve to coordinate meaningful leadership and far-reaching civic activism within such a diverse constituency as ours? (Brights have only their naturalistic worldview in common, after all.) We surely envision such!
One way the Brights will grow is through actions. The way to impact the future is through actions. And, as we look to the future and plan how best to progress toward the main purposes on the home page of the Brights’ constituency, what is clear is that we must shape the Web site itself to serve as a central hub for much of Brights’ activism.
Brights from diverse locations across the globe have e-mailed action recommendations to Brights Central, and we have received (and read and pondered and discussed) a huge array of suggestions, large and small. In keeping with available organizational resources, we need to focus and plan creatively.
The Brights’ Net must make choices, as it must engage in measures that are feasible and broadly supported by Brights. We must pull together expertise and focus capacity appropriately. And, we must make decisions about how we mold appropriate functionality into the Website itself to best serve a constituency that genuinely seeks to take action to change the civic situation of persons having a naturalistic worldview.
SPECIFIC ACTION REALMS
To better sculpt our future Web functionality, we are considering developing specific “realms of activity” or “fields of endeavor” for Brights. For any high priority realm of activity, we would hope to recruit volunteer leadership, and to develop sub-webs on the Web site whereby the leaders could coordinate target actions congruent with them and for which support from the broader constituency can be garnered. We will for now term these spheres of activism by Brights,“Arenas.” (We ourselves think of them as “AAArenas,” since the general approach to establishing and undertaking actions within any designated realm would be: Assess/Assign/Act.)
Envision a significant portion of the Brights’ Net site eventually devoted to several such realms of activity, each developing actions by Brights on behalf of brights—constructive actions that will matter in the long run (as far as our major civic aims). Picture large numbers of Brights contributing in various ways to some clearly delineated goals within each Arena.
POSSIBLE ARENAS FOR ACTION
Once a priority Arena is chosen with which to begin, we will develop a Web component that will serve to facilitate the planning, activities, and reporting on the progress and successes within the Arena. Among the first steps will be developing leadership, participation, and support for the endeavor.
After sifting the huge supply of “do this; do that” ideas sent to us already (many of which would be feasible eventually, but unwise or impossible now), we have identified three significant realms of activity that appear likely to bear fruit because they are of shared interest to Brights.
But are there better (more fertile) realms of activity? Here we set out three of our Arenas in brief, and ask you to consider their potential. If you know of something better and more likely to reap participation by Brights, we ask that you tell us now.
For rationale and further explication of each of the three ideas we describe briefly below, please go to:
Arena #1: REALITY ABOUT HUMAN MORALITY
Persons who have a naturalistic worldview are perpetually “up against” the false but widely held cultural presumption that they, because of their worldview, lack certain requisites to be moral persons. This presupposition by others is an encumbrance that crops up again and again. In our view, it appears to be the single most significant hindrance to public disclosure that one has a naturalistic worldview. Brights must address this “morality problem” head on--with zest, and with profundity.
Arena #2: BUDDING BRIGHTS
“Growing up a bright” (and staying one) happens, but it is far more the exception than the rule. Most youngsters, surrounded by society suffused with beliefs in supernatural realms, absorb the milieu, the language, and the constraints on thinking. Except for science instruction (and the state of that in primary school is often quite dreadful), there is all too little to uphold and nurture a naturalistic understanding. The reality is that parents must have ways to more constructively cope with dominant social conventions and institutions. By starting with the home situation and on the ground floor of education, caring Brights can confront the dearth of ways and means for nourishing and sustaining the promise of Brights’ beginnings.
Arena #3: MEDIA & METHOD
Consider that, once the public consciousness was raised on such matters as sexism and racism, the press and media have done much to induce more general societal fairness all around. Perhaps the reverse might serve as strategy. What if Brights were to take aim at key facets of the “industry” of news and entertainment? It might be that we could begin to awaken those involved in that particular enterprise to society’s rampant “faithism” (so to speak). Certain influential people might be goaded to spurn a form of bias (reinforced by language) that casts persons of “no faith” into a situation of not being welcome at the civic table. We may have among us influential Brights who could and would toil to institute recognition of a new form of political correctness. If not, the job is for us regular folks.
From Brights Central,
Co-Directors Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert, and Webmaster Kevin Schultz
The Brights' Net is a nonprofit educational organization which depends on participation and financial support for its activities. Both are essential.
We appreciate your involvement! Thanks for being a Bright!