humanist-greenThe Humanist Discussion Group meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook, 380 Nicolls Road, E. Setauket, NY 11733. You are welcome to attend one or both meetings each month.

Information about upcoming meetings of the Humanist Discussion Group may be found at Upcoming Events and News on the UUFSB home page.
Fall 2015 meeting dates are:

  • September 15 (first meeting of the fall)
  • October 6 & 20
  • November 3 & 17
  • December 1 & 15 (last meeting of the fall)

NewOn Oct. 25, 2015, Gil Hanson and the Humanist Discussion Group led a Sunday worship service on "Escalating Inequality." You can click here to access the entire service.

Map and Directions

The structure of a meeting consists of:

  • Opening with the lighting of the chalice (the symbol of Unitarian Universalism)
  • Check in by each of the participants
  • Appropriate reading for the topic of discussion
  • Discussion of the topic
  • Feedback on what worked well in the session and what didn't
  • Ending with the extinguishing of the chalice

If more than 10 people show up for the discussion, the group will be divided into smaller groups of 5 to 10 and each group will meet separately. This is done so that everyone has an opportunity to participate.

If you are interested in attending or have questions, please contact Gil Hanson
Or, feel free to just show up. You will find a welcoming group.


The UU Humanist Discussion Group has decided to focus on a topic that we want the congregation to be aware of and, perhaps, be involved in. During our discussions this fall we talked about the growing inequality of wealth and the shrinking of the middle class. We watched a TED talk on the subject (Technology Education Design, ). We talked about possible solutions and felt the topic was important enough to spend more than one evening on it.Income inequality in our country has become so great that it poses "a moral issue," according to UUA president Peter Morales. In fact, the UUA has chosen "Escalating Inequality" as a Congregational Study/Action Issue.

Gil Hanson, the UU Humanist Discussion Group convener, suggested we look at that report. (See  This is a very complicated issue with many possible sub-topics.  The Guide selects four:    

  • Part 1: Class and Classism

  • Part 2: Economic Inequality: Roots and Realities

  • Part 3: Inequality, Class, and Our Congregation

  • Part 4: Interrupting Cycles of Inequality

After reflection and discussion, we decided to begin with Part 2, Economic Inequality: Roots and Realities, in order to understand the roots and reasons behind economic inequality.  We invite all who are interested to join us at our next meeting.

Gilbert N. Hanson
7 Pilgrim Drive
Port Jefferson, NY 11777-1409
Tel. 631-928-0898 

What do Humanists believe?

According to the American Humanist Association the word humanist has come to mean someone who:

  • trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic)
  • makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals
  • believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same."

To read the Humanist Manifesto, click here.

Some links that will provide information regarding Humanism:

International Humanist and Ethical Union is the world union of more than 100 Humanist, rationalist, laïque, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organisations in over 40 countries. Their mission is to represent and support the worldwide Humanist movement. Their aim is a Humanist world in which human rights are respected and everyone can live a life of dignity.

American Humanist Association

Huumanists Unitarian Universalists who are also Humanists

Humanist Community at Harvard

British Humanist Association

The Think Humanism forum is a humanist forum based in the UK that welcomes anyone from anywhere in the world who is interested in humanism, secularism and freethought, regardless of their personal world view.