North Yorkshire Humanists

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The Evil God Challenge

The Evil God Challenge: Watch this video where philosopher Stephen Law asks: Why is belief in a good God much more reasonable than belief in an evil God? If belief in an evil God is absurd, then why isn't belief in a good God?

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What is Humanism?

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, Does Religion Have a Future?. First prizes were awarded to Amy Pointon (under 15) and John Dalrymple (15 - 19). You can read their winning entries here and here.

Tues 2 January

Quiz Night and Social

Extending the festive season, instead of a guest speaker, let’s get to know each other a bit better with a friendly social evening. There'll be drinks and nibbles and quizzical entertainment from our resident quizmaster Neal Hawman.

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

Mon 8 January

Philosophy Club Meeting - What's the point of education? 8.00pm in The Black Swan, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR.

Wed 17 January

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

Tues 6 FebruaryDr Peter Mayhew

Why are there so many insect species?, with Dr Peter Mayhew of the Department of Biology, University of York.

At scales distinguishable by the naked eye, there seem to be a lot of insect species on Earth. Many introductory biology textbooks try to explain why, but until recently there was little hard evidence behind this speculation. The last decade especially has contributed much evidence from two sources; fossils and phylogenies (evolutionary trees), driven by the molecular and computational revolutions. I will outline some of the key hypotheses posed, the evidence supporting and refuting them, and hence summarize what we do and do not know now.

Despite much new data and work, the lessons of the last decade are sobering: there will be no fast solutions to conundrums about hyper-diverse groups because the job of gathering adequate data is just too vast. Our current best answers are fascinating, but may ultimately turn out to be wrong.

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

Mon 12 February

Philosophy Club Meeting - Force vs. Pacifism: when is force justified? 8.00pm in The Black Swan, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR.

Tues 6 MarchAngelos Sofocleous

Logic and Argumentation with Angelos Sofocleous

Humanists value rationality and critical thinking over belief and faith. It is therefore crucial to know how to apply rationality and how to use it when making arguments and also when critically assessing the arguments of others.

Knowing the basics of logic and argumentation allows someone to avoid committing logical fallacies.

Angelos Sofocleous will explain the foundations of logic and give an analysis of what logic is through the concepts of validity, soundness in deductive logic and inductive logic, indicating their differences and outline various applications of them in the real world.

Angelos studies Philosophy and Psychology at Durham University, where he is president of Durham Humanist Students Society. He is writer and copy editor for Conatus News and Secular Nation, and philosophy & religion editor for The Bubble Durham.

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