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Introducing Humanism

Humanists UK have teamed up with Sandi Toksvig to launch a new massive open online course (MOOC) about humanism, called Introducing Humanism. Sign up for the course here.

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 latest Young Humanist Essay Competition 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.

What's On

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 and has recently become President Elect of Humanist Students (a section of Humanists UK).

He is a sub-editor at Palatinate UK, Philosophy and Religion editor at The Bubble UK, writer and editor at progressive news platform Conatus News, and co-editor at Secular Nation, Atheist Alliance of America’s magazine.

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

Wed 14 March

Book Club Meeting - What is Populism? by Jan-Werner Muller. 8.00pm in The Black Swan, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR.

Mon 19 March

Philosophy Club Meeting - Thomas Malthus 8.00pm in The Black Swan, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR.

Tues 3 AprilGill Main

Child Poverty in the UK: Understanding its nature, causes and consequences, with Dr Gill Main.

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

Child poverty has featured in the news and in policy debates for decades under both Labour and Conservative governments. More recently, media coverage has highlighted the growing numbers of children falling into poverty following substantial cuts to public spending, whilst some politicians have challenged the definition and measures of child poverty.

Since we know that child poverty damages children and societies, why is it so difficult to come to an agreement on what it is and what to do about it?

Gill will provide some background context about child poverty, discuss why it is so difficult to come up with a definition that we can agree on and detail some of the changes that might be needed, in policy and in popular and media representations of poverty, to make a sustained difference to the lives of children in poverty and the adults those children become.

Dr Gill Main is an Associate Professor in the School of Education, at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on child poverty, social exclusion, and well-being. She is currently leading a project which focuses on the links between child poverty and subjective well-being.

Previously her work has included the largest-scale study of poverty and social exclusion in the UK, collaboration with The Children's Society investigating children's perspectives on their material needs, and international projects with UNICEF and other agencies.

Gill is co-editor of the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, and has recently published a co-edited book - Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK.

Tues 1 MayRichard Spedding

Building a Humanist response to Major Incidents with Richard Spedding.

Richard Spedding will describe a Humanists UK project looking to support both those affected and the emergency services who deal with major incidents such as Grenfell Tower and severe flooding.

As a police officer in North Yorkshire, Lancashire and with the Home Office, Richard was involved at all levels of major incidents and was also a strategic (gold) firearms and public order commander. He has seen first-hand and understands the value the voluntary and faith sectors bring to support both affected communities and the emergency services involved during major incidents. Following his retirement and after the Manchester bombing and Grenfell Tower tragedies, Richard asked what support and assistance members of Humanists UK provided during and after these incidents in partnership with other voluntary and faith organisations.

Since raising this question, Richard has led on a project for Humanists UK initially scoping out what this provision of support and assistance would look like. This scoping has taken place in three government regions – the North West, London and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Key strategic relationships have also been made with organisations such as the British Red Cross, Emergency Planning Society and its Human Aspects Group.

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

Tues 5 June

A Soapbox Evening, following on from our (hopefully brief) AGM.

This is a chance for people to kick-off a short discussions about any topic of their choice. Come along and pose a question, give a point of view, have a rant, get something off your chest ... the floor's yours!

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

Click to go to the Humanists UK web site

To contact us, email us at info@nyhg.org.uk