Contrary to the view often expressed in the media, humanists, atheists and agnostics are as fond of music and the arts as the next person. I’m not sure quite when or how we ended up being equated with Cromwellian puritan killjoys, but it is assuredly not so. Having an appreciation of rationalism and scientific method does not necessarily preclude an appreciation of art, music and culture. Inspiration is as plentiful and the awe is as great from the natural world and human imagination as it is from religious wonder. Maybe it’s because atheists and pagans are supposedly busy indulging in immoral sexual acts and drugs, that embracing the totality of the arts as well would be unacceptably greedy. Anyway, I digress.
If you’ve ever wondered what it is that Humanists listen to, I invite you to take a look at the Humanist group over at last.fm. Last.fm is a social networking and music appreciation website. Members are invited to download a software application which tracks the music they listen to and provides charts and information for an online profile. You can also listen to customised radio stations based around artists and users. Users can create groups which are based on appreciation of artists or varied interests. These groups display charts of what the group members play and members can make recommendations and write messages. There’s even an option to look at the demographics. So far it seems the most popular artist for the Humanist group is the Beatles and the average age is 25. If you want to take a look at the group and listen to the Humanist radio station (open to non-members!) then take a look here.