User talk:Mlcowen/Fellowship of Reason
The Fellowship of Reason is a reason-based moral community located in Atlanta, in the United States. While the Fellowship of Reason is not religious, their philosophy holds that churches serve a useful function by providing "moral communities."
Fellowship of Reason is also the title of the book which articulates the theoretical foundations for the organization, Fellowship of Reason: A Moral Community for the 21st Century.
The purpose of the organization is to provide a social context in which participants may find it easier to achieve personal flourishing, meaning in life, and happiness. This is done through adult education, philosophical discussion, the recognition of personal accomplishments, the promotion of purposeful living and personal reflection, and the celebration of cherished values and important life events.
Their philosophical stance, a form of eudaimonism, has a number of influences, most notably Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, but also   David Norton's life stages, Abraham Maslow's writings on self-actualization, Joseph Campbell's study of myth, and the ideas of and the Stoics regarding eudaimonia as the ultimate aim of life. They advocate human relations based on reason and goodwill.
Six essential activities
Participants in the Fellowship of Reason practice the following:
- Fellowship: They gain greater awareness of themselves through friendships with others of similar values.
- Reflection: They take time to quietly reflect on the challenges of their lives in order to improve their ability to meet them.
- Orientation: They remind themselves of their chosen values and principles regularly.
- Learning: They discuss philosophy and literature to learn to live more wisely.
- Enjoyment of Art: They enjoy art as a means of gaining emotional fuel.
- Celebration: They participate in ceremonies that symbolically mark significant life events or uphold important values.
The Fellowship of Reason is the longest lived, presently existing, reason-based moral community in the world. In fact, the phrase "moral community," rarely used in the last century of philosophical writing (Google it to see), has been reintroduced as a concept by the group.
Having recently studied Joe Sachs' (formerly of St. Johns College, Anapolis, MD) translation of the Nicomachean Ethics, the group is exploring the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, between the beautiful and the good. According to Aristotle, the beautiful is the goal of all truly ethical action. Evidence the commonly used expressions: "That was a beautiful thing you did" and "Don't be ugly."
- Fellowship of Reason: A Moral Community for the 21st Century. ISBN 0-7388-6232-0
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. Fellowship of Reason. pp. 156–157.
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. 'Chapter 7: Our Philosophy of Reason'. In Fellowship of Reason.
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. Fellowship of Reason. pp. 83–89.
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. 'Chapter 11: Mythology'. In Fellowship of Reason.
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. Fellowship of Reason. p. 80.
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. Fellowship of Reason. p. 14.
- Cowen III, Martin L. 2001. 'Chapter 1: Reasons for Being'. In Fellowship of Reason.