Secular Student Alliance at WVU


This page serves as a collection of prose and commentary from our various members on topics related to secularism.

Cecil O’Dell on Secular Humanism and its Impact

We, as humans, drift through a chaotic world that to this day has a lingering scent of hate, fear, and narcissism. Our fellow people still continue to inflict harm on others, and too often that violence is instigated by differences in religious belief, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Our planet is filled with people who would quickly strip away every innate sense of reason, honor, compassion, and love much as one would a jacket on an unexpectedly hot day if it meant getting closer to some ultimate hedonistic satisfaction.

We are utterly simplistic and weak in many ways. Yet there are a few passions innate to our species that make us strong. Hope, love, curiosity, courage, honor, and a sense to serve others are among these great passions. Science has showed me the beauty and revelation in the nature of our brains, our hearts, our very essence, existing in unison with the Earth, which is a material reincarnation/reformation of an exploded supernova. Religions such as Christianity and Islam tell me that I cannot possibly hope to understand anything about our world, that I must put my faith in a deity to experience these passions. Science lets me know. Science reveals to me I am a biological organism that has the capability of understanding itself and the world around it to a great extent. It is in this that my purpose is simply and inherently to exist, and to make the best out of the Ferris Wheel we call life.

This passion is permanently embedded into my mind and drives me to everyday increase my capacity for the passions mentioned above. It is, however, not in our place to attempt to convert those who are trapped in the haze of corporate religion. We must simply and peacefully spread the truth, love, and wonder about existence to those around us. If we are to ever to defeat the beacons of hate that shine in our world, we must make it so that it becomes obvious to the general public that such hate is not acceptable. We’ve made progress in the last few decades, and we can continue to make great progress if we simply promote our passions in the right way. If you find your surroundings to be particularly gloomy and inescapable, do what you can to change them. Society is a malleable place, and hate will win only if we let it.

—Cecil O’Dell (Former President WVU Freethinking, Inquiring, Secular Humanists and Physics Student)

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