Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Welcoming and Entering

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Handout 1 for all participants.

Description of Activity

Participants compare their personal beliefs with humanist beliefs.

As participants enter, give them Handout 1, Do You Believe... ? and a red pen or pencil. Invite them to circle every item they believe. Before the session begins, distribute blue pens or pencils and say:

Now circle, using the blue pen, all the items you think are supported by empirical evidence-that is, every item you believe because you know it can be scientifically proven to be true.

When they have completed the second round, invite them to compare the two color markings. How many of the ideas they believe can be established with empirical evidence? Point out that many things people believe fervently cannot be proved by science. Some people believed that malaria was carried by mosquitoes for years before it could be proved. It had not been proven by science, but it was still true. Love, itself, cited as one of the most powerful forces in human beings, is entirely intangible and immeasurable by science, yet few deny its existence. We can believe something that seems true and life-affirming to us, without empirical evidence.

Tell participants this activity is to get them thinking about Humanism, the subject of today's workshop.