Fellowship of Reason

A quest for a reality-based moral community in the modern world.

The Fellowship of Reason (FOR) is a distinctive organization that emerged in the late 20th century with a clear focus on fostering a reason-based moral community. Founded on November 1, 1998, in Atlanta, Georgia, FOR represents a novel approach to understanding and living morality outside the traditional religious frameworks that have dominated for millennia. This initiative marks a significant departure from the conventional, offering a philosophy that emphasizes rationality, objective validation of moral laws, and a commitment to individual and communal flourishing based on reality.

Origin and Philosophy

The inception of the Fellowship of Reason traces back to its first meeting in 1998, signifying the beginning of a community deeply engaged in the pursuit of ethical living through reason. Martin L. Cowen III, a pivotal figure in the organization, has been instrumental in translating complex philosophical ideas into accessible concepts, even engaging with popular culture by translating works like Harry Potter from Ancient Greek to English to underscore the universality and timelessness of certain moral and ethical inquiries.

Mission and Activities

Central to FOR’s mission is the advocacy, celebration, and propagation of a morality based on reality. This morality seeks to fill the void left by traditional religions in addressing the objective human needs for meaning, purpose, and ethical guidance. FOR’s moral philosophy is intricately detailed in its literature, exploring concepts such as the ultimate value, the meaning of life from various angles, and the pursuit of happiness through purposeful living.

The Fellowship of Reason actively encourages its members to engage in lifelong learning, ethical reflection, and the pursuit of personal goals that give life meaning and direction. Regular meetings and activities foster a sense of community among members, who share an interest in various disciplines such as music, art, theater, dance, history, culture, religion, philosophy, science, and more.

Philosophical Underpinnings

At the heart of FOR’s philosophy is the notion that reason and knowledge are the truest guides to living well. This philosophy posits that a life lived in accordance with reason is not only possible but desirable, offering tools for enhancing one’s life and the lives of those around. Through weekly celebrations and daily spiritual exercises, FOR aims to focus attention on the good things in life, advocating for a rational approach to happiness and fulfillment.

Community Engagement

FOR is structured as a Georgia non-profit corporation, reflecting its commitment to ethical engagement and community development. Membership offers individuals the opportunity to be part of a moral community that values education, ethics, and the flourishing of human potential. The organization’s presence on platforms like Meetup.com facilitates its outreach, inviting individuals who are passionate about performance, teaching, and sharing their interests with like-minded people.

The Fellowship of Reason stands as a beacon for those seeking a moral community grounded in rationality and reality. Its establishment and continued operation underscore a significant cultural and philosophical shift towards secular morality, offering an alternative to traditional religious moral systems. Through its philosophy, activities, and community engagement, FOR provides a space for individuals to explore the meaning of life, pursue personal goals, and engage with a community of individuals dedicated to living ethically and purposefully​​​​.

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