Are GMOs Necessary? Or Can Organic & Traditional Farming Feed the World Alone?

Does the world really need GMOs? This is a question often asked by anti-GMO activists.

What’s unfortunate in the anti-GMO movement, however, is that it is often difficult to get a dialogue started on this topic purely due to the fact that there is so much misinformation surrounding genetic modification. Attempting to respond to their denialist questions and claims on GMOs oftentimes leads them to commit logical fallacies such as moving the goalposts, appealing to nature or tradition, or special pleading. To be fair though, I would expect anyone who is not well steeped in biology, chemistry, or agriculture in general, to be overwhelmed and confused just by the sheer amount of information that’s available on GM technology. And not only is there a tsunami of information available online, but the vast majority of it is either factually wrong or grossly misleading. I have even attempted to dispel some of the most common claims made by the anti-GMO movement, although I would probably be in the same boat as them if I didn’t have my skeptical background in science.

But besides the fact that GMOs have been shown to be safe for the ecosystem, as well as animal and human consumption, the question of whether or not they are necessary has taken more of an ideological standpoint. The argument has slowly shifted from “Are GMOs necessary?” to “Organic, traditional farming, and other methods can get the job done of feeding the world without the help of GMOs.” For the anti-GMO movement, the reasoning has become “why on Earth would we need transgenic GM crops if our other methods are perfectly capable of sustaining the world food supply?” (Additional source). Besides the false assumption that organic and traditional crops are ecologically and nutritionally superior to GM crops, as there is little to no evidence to support that notion, I think it’s a legitimate question. What do GMOs offer that organic and traditional farming do not? Well, let’s look into it.

Anti GMO

I first want to address right off the bat that regardless how you feel about GMOs, we have to share some middle-ground here. For instance, I think everyone would agree that eliminating or lowering food waste would be hugely beneficial to a truly sustainable food supply. I don’t think that all the other methods anti-GMO activists list — like better use of fertilizers, eliminating food-based biofuels, and cutting global meat consumption (which I actually think addresses another issue entirely, but I will write about that another time and update this article with a hyperlink once I have it written) — are enough to sustain a growing global population, but they may all be considered to be helpful ideas. What I think is important for everyone to focus on, however, is that food waste is the most prevalent of those issues; and everyone, regardless of their stance on GMOs, should come together to solve this problem.

I also think it’s important to address climate change. The world is beginning to feel the real effects of global warming, especially in third-world countries. In America alone, farmland has been decreasing. It’s even worse in impoverished nations like Africa. But despite the looming threat of climate change and future food shortage, the human population is projected to reach nearly 10 billion by the year 2050. In other words, about 2.5 billion people are going to be added to the world’s food supply in just 34 years. This could potentially end in a situation that not even Dr. Norman Borlaug could prevent. To further put it into perspective, we will need to produce more food in the next 34 years than we have in the entire history of the world. If nothing is done to avoid this situation, billions of people could potentially die due to starvation. There are many ideas of how to avoid this horrible catastrophe, as I have mentioned above, and it’s a daunting challenge, but it is plausible that we can accomplish this feat if scientists and farmers work together and use all the tools available to them. While many anti-GMO activists tend to claim that tackling food shortage can, should, and will be done solely through traditional and organic farming, many experts believe that is simply not feasible. In the face of climate change and water shortage, traditional and organic farming simply do not possess the necessary tools it would take to feed it would be near impossible to feed 10 billion people. Organic yields are about 1/4 the size of conventionally grown yields, organic pesticides and herbicides are far more toxic than their non-organic counterparts, and traditional breeding will take too long to produce the amount of food we will need by 2050. I’m not saying these methods of plant breeding are bad by any means, I’m just saying that there is room for GMOs to pick up where those methods are lacking. Eliminating food shortage, along with the other methods I listed, would not be enough to remedy the situation either. Yet the purveyors of those industries maintain the position that they will in fact be able to sustain a growing global population, especially in third-world countries, using their methods.

But let me explain the extremely valuable benefits GMOs offer that organically and traditionally grown crops do not. For starters, GM crops have shown to be very helpful in growing more food with less farmland and resources, which is more important than ever due to climate change and water shortage. Also, what we have now been able to do with herbicide resistant crops, like RoundUp-ready crops, is basically eliminate tillage. In the old days, and what is still practiced in many organic farms today, farmers would get on their tractors and they would plow all the fields and turn all the dirt over — that was the method farmers used to kill weeds. But we don’t need to plow fields anymore with GM crops. We don’t expose that dirt to evaporation of the moisture. We don’t have nearly as bad erosion as we did. We don’t have the instantaneous release of greenhouse gasses when the soil is flipped over. And since the adoption of herbicide tolerant crops in this country in the mid ’90s, the rate of not plowing, of using conservation tillage has more than doubled. It’s great that organic & traditional farmers are optimistic about their methods and products, and they do offer great benefits, but I don’t think their solutions of feeding the world are fully based in reality because they’re still stuck using these old methods of tilling and plowing the land. So it’s especially wrong to claim GMOs are not necessary for issues such as these. Farmers should be working together with all the tools available to them in order to overcome the challenges of feeding 10 billion people. The examples I just offered are just a few of the many ways that GM technology, in collaboration with other breeding methods, should be considered as necessary for a sustainable future. Further, genetically modified crops have decreased pesticide use by up to 27%. That is another huge benefit. But what I think are the biggest reasons for why GMOs should be considered necessary are because of what they have done, and what they will do, for developing nations.

Almost all African farmers are currently either living in poverty or extreme poverty. The African soil is very nitrogen-poor, meaning it’s not very effective for growing crops. On top of the soil already making success with growing crops difficult, the yields tend to be pretty small when it comes time for harvest. With genetic modification, however, scientists have been able to produce nitrogen-efficient rice that grows well in that type of soil. Not only that, but this rice contains higher levels of Vitamin A, which will help deal with the horrific epidemic of blindness and early child-hood death caused by Vitamin A deficiencies that plague these regions. And according to Alison Van Eenennaam, a specialist in
animal genomics and biotechnology at UC Davis, a genetically modified version of Cassava is being developed specifically for these regions. It will have a higher nutrient content, a better shelf life, and will be disease resistant. This is especially important because Cassava is currently a major source of carbohydrates in these parts of the world. Improved Cassava harvests could also increase the incomes of African households, helping lift poor farmers – many of whom are women – out of poverty. This brings up the next point that the champions of traditional and organic farming usually completely miss.

Are GMOs Necessary

Sustaining third-world countries by shipping food to those regions will only make them further dependent on first-world countries. And not only would millions of dollars need to be spent in order to keep that kind of operation going, it would still do absolutely nothing to address the actual problems that plague those regions, like Vitamin A deficiencies and extreme poverty. It would make much more sense to offer seeds to these farmers at very low costs, which is already being done with quite a few GMO crops, and allow these African farmers to grow higher-yielding crops with better nutritional content that they could then sell and make a better profit, thus helping to lift them out of poverty. If they don’t want the seeds, that is their choice. But to completely bar them from having access to these seeds is, in my eyes, an act of complete contempt and negligence.

What is always important to remember though, is that no form of farming should be considered the Holy Grail. Continuing to diversify crops is key. Expanding the use of precision agriculture is important, making organic farming more eco-friendly is important, and using the life-saving tools that genetic modification has to offer will allow humanity overcome these daunting challenges of feeding the world in the face of global climate change and water shortage. Banning or limiting the use of any these technologies could absolutely have catastrophic consequences. And no one should claim that one form of farming is 100% superior to another because they all have their pros and cons. What is imperative is that everyone works collectively on this issue right now for the sake of future generations.

So are GMOs necessary? I would say absolutely.

Atheists Helping the Homeless in NYC

AHH2sm

AAPN is helping AHH with helping the homeless in cooperation with  www.logikalthreads.com

“Like” AHH and tag five friends in the post for a chance to win one of these two giveaway prizes, volunteers for the event will receive an additional entry! Send your submissions to the comment section on this website article with proof of “likes and tags.” Prizes are 1 of 2 shirts as shown below.
giveawayts 

Atheists Helping the Homeless is a secular charity group that was
started in Austin, Texas in 2009 for three basic reasons. 1 To help
some folks in need. 2 To show by example that Atheists DO care and DO have morals and DO help. 3 To have fun. We’ve helped by doing monthly giveaways of free items like toiletries, clothing, and food. Since 2009, we’ve helped literally thousands of people in Texas and beyond, and lately we’ve been growing rather quickly.

This Sunday, March 27, AHH will do giveaways in FIVE different cities, including New York City. That chapter is brand new, and this will be their first giveaway. They need volunteers and donations of items to give out, now. If you live in that area and would like to help, please visit their chapter page and send them a message:

https://www.facebook.com/AtheistsHelpingtheHomelessNewYorkCity
SETXAHHgrouppic
If you do a search on Facebook for “Atheists Helping the Homeless,”
you’ll find our chapter pages, which now number more than 16. With the rapid growth we’ve experienced lately, chances are, there is a chapter near you. If you’ve ever wanted to help the homeless, but only through a purely secular group, you’ll love AHH.

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Using Genetics to Disprove Biblical Stories

In genetics we can look at genetic diversity in everyone and everything and find common genetic traits which would indicate a significant reduction in a given population. This is done by finding and identifying genetic traits that only a small breeding population would have in common and would be subsequently carried down through subsequent generations. If the story of Genesis and Noah were true, we would see genetic bottlenecks showing a breeding population of a very limited number and we would be able to identify roughly when it happened; but this is not the case at all.

wrong

If you don’t know what a genetic bottleneck is, it is a sharp reduction in the size of a population due to environmental events (such as earthquakes, floods, fires, disease, or droughts) or human activities (such as genocide). Such events can reduce the variation in the gene pool of a population; thereafter, a smaller population with a correspondingly smaller genetic diversity, remains to pass on genes to future generations of offspring through sexual reproduction. Genetic diversity remains lower, only slowly increasing with time as random mutations occur. In consequence of such population size reductions and the loss of genetic variation, the robustness of the population is reduced and its ability to survive environmental changes can be reduced.

Our last genetic bottle neck is estimated to have occurred over 100,000 years ago and even then there were still thousands of genetic variances belonging to a few thousand individual ancestors.  In 2000, a Molecular Biology and Evolution paper suggested a transplanting model or a ‘long bottleneck’ to account for the limited genetic variation, rather than a catastrophic environmental change. This would be consistent with suggestions that in sub-Saharan Africa numbers could have dropped at times as low as 2,000, for perhaps as long as 100,000 years, before numbers began to expand again in the late stone age.

worldpopulat

 Now with that being said, we would see this same genetic bottleneck in every animal on earth happening at the exact same times if the bible was accurate, and yet there is zero evidence to support these ridiculous conclusion. What is so frustrating to scientists is that creationists think that the only evidence for evolution is fossils and educated conclusions. This is entirely incorrect since evolution is also written in your genes and thus not only debunks the story of Noah, but the Genesis story as well. This is yet another reason why we know evolution is a fact and that the bible is not factual by any scientific standard.

-AAPN

References:

http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/human-diversity-bottlenecks.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_bottleneck

Hawks J, Hunley K, Lee SH, Wolpoff M (January 2000). “Population bottlenecks and Pleistocene human evolution”. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17 (1): 2–22. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a026233. PMID 10666702.

The Divine Plan Fallacy

A Quick Dose of Harsh Reality  

I can’t stand it when people try to assert to me their god has “a plan for me”…
If God has a plan for you, me and every other poor smuck in the world to include the world itself, did god plan to have the twin towers destroyed in such a horrific manner? If the Jews are supposedly “gods chosen people” and god is all knowing with a divine plan, did god plan Hitler and the Holocaust?

Christian apologists claim god gave us free will but in the next breath claim god always has a plan. When things don’t exactly pan out the way they wanted it to, they attribute it to god working in mysterious ways, or it was not part of god’s plan (as if they somehow knew).

So would this loving god that works in mysterious ways have a reason to plan the horrific events like the Boxing day tsunami in the south pacific? Why would this be considered as just or good when such unmerited human suffering is created? Why would god let countless children die of starvation in Africa, especially since he is claimed to have loved us so much and values the lives of the innocent so dearly?

People attribute god as being whatever it is they imagine it to be, after all, it makes perfect sense that god is exactly as the believer imagined it to be; that’s the key word here, imagined…
So why find fault in something that is claimed to be perfect, especially when things go badly it can be claimed as god working in mysterious ways or that of being man’s free will… Even though there’s a divine plan and god supposedly made a plan for us…

See the conflict here?
Divine Plan Fallacy

The Ancient Aliens’ Atrocity

The ‘Ancient Aliens’ Atrocity

This post was originally published on Mar 19 2015 here

Today Atheists Against Pseudoscientific Nonsense takes its proverbial baseball bat to the skull that is the intellectual clusterfuck known as the ‘Ancient Aliens.’

Before treading any further down this alley, we would like to take a moment to make something clear. It is quite commonly acknowledged by many that given what we know of the mechanisms of life – its prerequisites, emergence and gradual evolution -, it is more than reasonable to assume that some forms of life can be found elsewhere in this wondrous galaxy of ours. As a group that is sincerely dedicated to the promotion of rationality, skepticism and informed thinking rooted in hard science, it is our firm conviction that these principles must be applied to the pursuit of the knowledge of whether or not we are alone in the universe. That being said, when it comes to tackling profound questions like this, there is a right approach and there’s a wrong approach. ‘Ancient Aliens’ doesn’t only sit firmly on the ‘Wrong’ side of the line – it’s so far on that side it almost disappears behind the horizon.

Skipping over the broader and clearly more fruitful debate on the possibility of extraterrestrials existing, we can turn our attention on what makes ‘Ancient Aliens’ such an atrocity. We could, of course, bombard it with the same accusations we have leveled against other brands of pseudoscience we’ve covered so far but it would be an exercise in repetition. Ultimately, the greatest sin of the Ancient Aliens Theory is that is the proverbial ‘other side of the coin’, the first side being creationism. At first glance, these two may not seem related but they are, in fact, shockingly similar.

Both muddy up the waters of any meaningful discourse on how to better understand our past and origin by presenting questionable, poorly construed, wildly speculative, insufficient and – at the very best – biased ‘evidence’; both shamelessly promote and glorify their application of demonstrably false claims, logical fallacies and non sequiturs as a sign of enlightened, independent thinking and love to portray themselves as the victims of the exclusion and persecution by “elitist” academic establishment; and both rely on sensationalist, populist and emotionally evocative arguments to win approval. Most crucially, however, they both promote intellectual and scientific laziness by playing the Argument From Ignorance and God of the Gaps argument – creationism literally so; the AA advocates substitute ‘aliens.’

The fact that ‘Ancient Aliens’ is into its seventh season with some 1.5 MILLION regular viewers – despite the avalanche of negative reviews from critics and the scientific community – is a clear sign of a major intellectual bankruptcy in our society.

AnAL

  • Corax

 

What Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Fails to Address

What Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter Fails to Address

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(Above is the picture of the Wyoming)

There are many, many flaws with the Genesis story of Noah’s Flood, and there are many articles debunking it as well. So to add the case we will debunk just the size and construction of the wooden Ark alone.

The ark was purported to be 516.24′ x 86′ x 51.6′(converted from cubits). There was supposed to be 3 decks. Using this data, we get a total square footage of 133,189.92 ft on 3 decks.

Assuming you don’t accept Evolution, you must arrive at the assumption that the number of species we currently see is exactly the same number of species that existed at the time of Noah. (Excluding the Dinosaurs, even though Ken Ham believed they were also on the Ark.) And for simplicity we will forgo that whole 7 of every clean animal part since the math with only counting 2 of every species is more than adequate.

According to conservative estimates, there are between 3 Million to 10 Million different species on Earth today.
Using the MOST CONSERVATIVE numbers, 3 Million species x 2 of each species (not taking into consideration species that reproduce via non-sexual reproduction)= 6 Million animals.

133,189.92 Sq Ft divided by 6 Million animals = 0.0221983 sq ft, or 0.27 sq in. This is simple math folks and we aren’t even including food, water or excrement. So each animal gets about 1/4 of a square inch in the Ark, but we’re not done just yet.

Let’s talk about the live animal cargo on the Ark and how it’s construction effected that as well.

An adult elephant in captivity will eat around 50kg of food per day. A mixture of hay mostly but with vegetables and oddly, bread. 50×365= 18,250kg. Times two, of course, is 36,500kg of food or 36.5 metric tonnes. Also, an elephant in captivity will drink about 200 litres of water per day. That’s 146,000 litres of water for two elephants, or 38569 gallons. And this is for just elephants, there’s apparently an entire planet’s worth of animal species x2 left to feed after this. So with every animal having only a 1/4 inch to roam, where did they fit all the food?

Digesion of food = gas and waste…

In order to prevent explosive levels of methane gas, not to mention an odor of biblical proportion, the air in the ark would need to be totally exchanged every two hours. The velocity of the air in Noah’s window needed to be maintained at 170.45 miles per hour for 11+ months. No provision were made for exhaust gas according to the bible, they must have overlooked this ripe fact.

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What is very convenient is that the folks involved in The Ark Encounter and Answers in Genesis never address what happened to the Wyoming . Although they give a size comparison of the Wyoming, they conveniently fail to go into the details about this ship, and what happened to it.

The Wyoming was a wooden six-masted ship, and the largest wooden schooner ever built. She was built and completed in 1909 by the firm of Percy & Small in Bath, Maine. Wyoming was also one of the largest wooden ships ever built, 450 ft (140 m) from jib-boom tip to spanker boom tip, and the last six-masted schooner built on the east coast of the US.

Because of her extreme length and wood construction, Wyoming tended to flex in heavy seas, which would cause the long planks to twist and buckle, thereby allowing sea water to intrude into the hold. Wyoming had to use pumps to keep her hold relatively free of water. In March 1924, she foundered in heavy seas and sank with the loss of all hands.

ark-compared-to-other-ships
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Now as you can see, the Ark was considerably larger than the Wyoming and would have had to carry an immense weight in cargo.
So going by all this information, just the construction and contexts surrounding the Ark is enough to sink this story.
-AAPN

 

Why the God of the Gaps Drive Atheists Nuts!

Why the God of the Gaps Drive Atheists Nuts!

 

God of the Gaps

 

The ‘God of the Gaps’ fallacy seems to be one of the most common philosophical errors in today’s age, from the dawn of humanity, to the big bang, we have many explanations and plenty of evidence, but many still reject the evidence.

External link for video here 

“Science doesn’t seem to know, therefore it must be god” seems to be the common ploy. The reality is that the notion of God is an ever receding line drawn in the sand as science presses forward. For example the definition of God then is different than it is now, so this begs the question, what is “God”.  When will this realization dawn upon us and people draw that oh so logical conclusion that  there was no god in the first place? We live in an era where we can now explain how events happen(ed), the world, the universe, they’re all wondrous in every aspect, we don’t need to attribute a supernatural aspect to it for us to appreciate it.

 

When woo memes get DANGEROUS and DEADLY!

When woo memes get DANGEROUS and DEADLY!

woo memes

Woo memes like this need to be pointed out as being dangerous nonsense, gullible people can actually die from bad advice such as this.

According to the World Health Organization:
Cardiovascular disease is number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause. An estimated 17.5 million people died from CVDs in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke .Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. Out of the 16 million deaths under the age of 70 due to noncommunicable diseases, 82% are in low and middle income countries and 37% are caused by CVDs. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioural risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies. People with cardiovascular disease or who are at high cardiovascular risk (due to the presence of one or more risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia or already established disease) need early detection and management using counselling and medicines, as appropriate.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/

According to a large case study in the Journal of the American Collage of Cardiology on Short- and long-term mortality for patients undergoing primary angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack): .METHODS: New York’s coronary angioplasty registry was used to identify New York patients undergoing angioplasty within 6 h of AMI between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 1996. Statistical models were used to identify significant risk factors for in-patient and long-term survival and to estimate long-term survival for all patients as well as various subsets of patients undergoing primary angioplasty. RESULTS: The in-hospital mortality rate for all primary angioplasty patients was 5.81%. When patients in preprocedural shock (who had a mortality rate of 45%) were excluded, the in-hospital mortality rate dropped to 2.60%. Mortality rates for all primary angioplasty patients at one year, two years and three years were 9.3%, 11.3% and 12.6%, respectively. Patients treated with stent placement did not have significantly lower risk-adjusted in-patient or two-year mortality rates. CONCLUSIONS: Primary angioplasty is a highly effective option for AMI.
http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1126729

Five years after the procedures, 90.7% of the bypass patients and 89.7% of the angioplasty patients were still alive -source Web MD
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20071015/bypass-angioplasty-similar-survival

It is absolutely imperative that woo like this is pointed out as the dangerous nonsense that it is.

Why The Bible is Bulls***!

Why The Bible is Bulls***!

Why The Bible is Bulls***!

***Warning Explicit Language***

This article is for pure comedic enjoyment; what we have here is a ‘short’ list of some of the obvious BS in the bible and a very short summary to why it is BS.

We hope you enjoy!

-AAPN

The story of Genesis: Pseudoscientific Bullshit ( Because science doesn’t care what you “believe in”…)

 

The story of Adam and Eve: Foreseeable Bullshit ( If God is all knowing…)

 

The Story of Cain and Able: Dead End Bullshit ( If Adam and Eve had 3 sons [Cain, Able, and Seth] how did Cain and Able manage to find wives in the next town over?)

 

The story of Jacob: Stupid Bullshit ( Mother Goose could have come up with a better explanation than this…)

 

The story of Noah: Total Bullshit ( Seriously the whole story can be debunked by a 5th grader…)

 

The story of Exodus: Where is the Bullshit? ( 2 million Jews and not a shred of evidence?)

 

The story of Jobe: Hypocritical Bullshit ( Who was there to account for this bet, and isn’t betting considered a sin anyways?)

 

The story of Jonah: Exaggerated Bullshit ( Because everyone has a fish tale or two…)

 

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah: Nonexistent Bullshit ( Beyond the bible, there is no evidence or mention of these two cities… or random human shaped pillars of salt…)

 

The Story of Lot: Incestual Bullshit ( Do we really need to go into detail about this?)

 

Story of Abraham: Crazy Bullshit ( Because hearing voices wasn’t considered as being crazy then…)

 

The story of Lazarus: Tired Bullshit ( News flash, your body is still functioning when you’re sleeping. You can only sleep so long before needing food, water, or to use the bathroom for that matter.)

 

The story of Samson: Hairy Bullshit ( Because somehow a luscious mane of hair can be the ticket to superhuman strength)

 

The Story of Judas: Double Bullshit (Two deaths, one person…)

 

Story of Jesus walking on water: Over Hyped Bullshit ( The Bible claims Jesus walked on water, we watched on live T.V. Neil Armstrong walk on the moon…)

 

The story of Revelations: Apocalyptic Bullshit ( Because somehow the stars and planets will fall to earth… take all the time you need to think about that one…)

External video link here

Our State of HAPI-ness in the Philippines

.10256930_10152045468242409_7310359895863432718_o                                 What is Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI)

Trailblazers of secular humanism in the Philippines

First: we are HAPI because we envision ourselves as the trailblazers of secular humanism in the Philippines. This is our identity. It is our mission and vision, and the meaning of our logo:

S – Secularism of State
H – Humane Treatment, Freedom from Discrimination and Equality of Human Rights
A – Advancement of Reason and Logic
R – Respect for Individuality and the Democratic Process

E – Environmental humanism

The E in SHARE is the newest mission added; and yet it has been the most powerful, being the specialization of our current Executive Director, Jennifer Gutierrez.

The human symbols in our logo are not boxed, denoting that we are not contained in a certain belief system. We are free and dynamic. We are interconnected and flow freely. Whether or not we have differences in features and beliefs, we will still find a certain commonality as per our “big tent” policy.

The purpose and the meaning itself of humanism is the glue that binds us together. Something bigger than us. Isn’t that supposed to be the essence of activism, after all? One does something of one’s own volition, working for the greater good, without expecting remuneration?

Herding Cats on the Internet for Humanism

We in HAPI have  always been serious with our advocacy. We have always preferred to work with people who are stable emotionally and financially, like most of the officers. And now we have wonderful volunteers, most of them independent individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their careers.

The old idiom about herding cats rings true in this scenario, though. Organizing a society of humanists who are independent cats with their own voices is a behemoth task that can be frustrating at times…especially when one is organizing things from thousands of miles away. Thankfully, we have the technology. The advent of social media has made our tasks a little easier. HAPI is a volunteer-only organization, and promoting it online was no easy task.  We have been doing a lot of research in social media marketing strategies, and thanks to Alex Mendoza Wisner, that job is easier now.

HAPI Heroism on the Rise

Mostly, we are HAPI because things are looking up for us.

We are an emerging society, but we’ve had a stable foundation from the get-go.

We are sending our heartfelt gratitude to our biggest supporter, the American Humanist Association, which has given us the opportunity to promote secular humanism in the Philippines.

The HAPI International Council is composed of financially stable officers who are ready to share their time and money.

Our donations come in trickles, but we have been fortunate to get donors who are our very own officers, so we know where our donations are going.

The HAPI  Nutritional Campaign in Alabang, will continue even if we run out of donations.
The monthly events will become self-sustaining, thanks to our very lovely HAPI Executive Director, Jennifer Gutierrez, for her organizational prowess.

Our events have been very interesting, FUN, but most of all promote critical thinking.

The HAPI Pasko with the kids in Alabang has gathered 500 kids. Here our noble guests dressed as superheroes, because that’s what we strive to be. But what makes someone heroic, anyway?

Heroes are special because they inconvenience themselves for the love of humanity, and for love of their country. They strive to be good people, simply because it is the right thing to do. They do not seek fame nor fortune; being comfortable is good enough for them.

However, heroes also have to deal with negative mentalities of self-entitlement and professional jealousy…sometimes from the very people they seek to help.

It is high time to break the counterproductive debates online that inevitably arise when people with different points of view encounter each other; these only waste precious time and energy, and pull people into emotional roller coasters.

We’re now on our third year, we have just scratched the surface, there is still time to join us and marvel the beauty of being in HAPI. If everyone will share their time and effort to HAPI at least once a month, we can become bigger, better, and more formidable, for there is strength in numbers and in diversity.

My heartfelt gratitude to our HAPI Core officers and sponsors, Atheist Alliance International, American Humanist Association, other international and local alliances, my sisters in Cebu, individual donors in the USA, Europe and the Philippines, for without them, we cannot continue our mission and vision.

Please continue our legacy.

We are in this together.

Thank you and kind regards.

Sincerely,

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Marissa Torres Langseth, RN, MSN, ANP

HAPI Founding Chairperson

http://www.hapihumanist.org/