North Yorkshire Humanists

For the one life we have


What is Humanism?

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Humanists are atheists and agnostics who make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values. We take responsibility for our actions and base our ethics on the goals of human welfare, happiness and fulfilment. We seek to make the best of the one life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves, individually and together.

Can you be good without God?

Our Young Humanist Essay Competition this year was on the topic, Can you be good without God?. First prize was awarded to Nathan Jeffs. You can read his winning entry here.

Mon 19 September

Why I am a Humanist, our first event in the Harrogate and Knaresborough area.

7.00pm in the side room at Wetherspoons (Winter Gardens), Unit 4, Royal Baths, Parliament Street, Harrogate HG1 2RR.

Tues 27 SeptemberPeter Atkins

Our 4th Annual Lecture: Science as King, with Prof. Peter Atkins.

Prof. Atkins will argue that there is nothing that the scientific method cannot elucidate and that there is no better way of understanding the universe, in all its aspects, from its cradle to its grave.

Peter Atkins was a lecturer in physical chemistry at the University of Oxford until his retirement. He is the author of numerous science textbooks as well as books on science for the general public, including The Periodic Kingdom, The Second Law, Creation Revisited, and Galileo’s Finger: the ten great ideas of science.

7.30pm to 9.00pm, in the City of York Suite of the Hilton Hotel, 1 Tower St, York YO1 9WD.

Tickets are £5. For details of buying your tickets, email, or come to any of our meetings.

Tues 4 October

No meeting (because it's so close to our Annual Lecture).

Tues 1 NovemberAfshin Shahi

Political Islam, with Dr Afshin Shahi of the University of Bradford.

Dr Afshin Shahi is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and Lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at the University of Bradford. He has contributed to international media outlets including, Washington Post, Bloomberg Business, National Public Radio (US), Voice of America, ITV News, Sky News, Tehran Times, the Daily Telegraph and various BBC radio and TV stations. He has appeared in national programmes such as BBC Breakfast.

7.30pm to 9.00pm, in the Denham Room, Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Wed 9 November

Book Club Meeting - Candide by Voltaire. 8.00pm in The Black Swan, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR.

Tues 6 DecemberAnna Semlyen

Yoga as Medicine/Secular Practice. Plus a skeptical view of the nativity story (comedy/poetry). With Anna Semlyen.

Anna Semlyen has taught yoga since 1996 and is BWY Specialist Advisor on Back Care and Therapeutic Yoga Research. Author of Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs.

She has 3 poetry collections and was slam winner at WOMAD festival.

7.30pm to 9.00pm, in the Denham Room, Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Tues 3 JanuaryStuart Jesson

Is expressive theism the answer for atheists who miss God?, with Dr Stuart Jesson, Lecturer in Religion, Philosophy and Ethics at York St John University.

7.30pm to 9.00pm, in the Denham Room, Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Tues 7 FebruarySimon Blackburn

On not being an atheist: Hobbes and Hume.

Each of Thomas Hobbes and David Hume mounted devastating attacks on the credibility of religious doctrines. Each was well-known as an infidel. But neither of them accepted the label of "atheist". In my talk I discuss why, and commend the wisdom of their respective positions.

Simon Blackburn is an academic philosopher known for his work in metaethics and in the philosophy of language. He is the author of many books, the most recent being "Mirror, Mirror".

7.30pm to 9.00pm, in the Denham Room, Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.

Click to go to the BHA web site

To contact us, ring our secretary, Charles Anderson, on 01904 339107, or email