Waging peace involves organized activities that promote nonviolent coexistence. Human beings are actually pretty good at that on the whole: people mostly get along with others and rarely engage in acts of physical violence. Humans have been less good at dealing with conflicts when they do arise, however, and have a sad history of responding to them with destructive force. This often compounds the misery experienced on both sides of the conflict and leads to escalations of violence.

Ethical Humanism does offer a better way forward. By maintaining a perspective that appreciates the unique worth of each individual while appreciating the unity of the whole as well, Ethical Humanism can help us navigate through the dangerous elements of conflicts by helping us put the brakes on destructive impulses while encouraging us to take positive steps toward healing and resolution.

Of course there is a “but.” Destructive forces are extremely difficult to counter and once violence is unleashed, reining them in can seem like an exercise in futility – and perhaps it is. But we should not throw in the towel just yet. If we believe that people have the capacity to grow and change, if we believe that positive steps can be taken to increase the likelihood of peaceful coexistence, let’s do something about it.

In this talk, WCEC’s clergy leader, Bart Worden, will speak to some ways core principles of Ethical Humanism can bring peaceable living to our lives and the lives of others.