On March 21st adults will be filling in their census forms.
Cornwall Humanists held a meeting by Zoom last Sunday, on 14th March.
We discussed the leading question about your religion in the census form.
It asks “What is your religion?” – which assumes that you have one.
The unbiased question would ask,
“ Do you have a religion?” and then,
“ If so, which one?”
It was decided to write to local newspapers, to encourage people to answer the question on religion, without being guided to say that they have one, by the way the question is worded.
This matters because census results are one of the elements used to plan policy on health, education and social services.
So, if you are not religious please tick “No religion” on your census form.
Dr Oliver Curry gave the Darwin Day lecture on Friday 12th February.
Dr Curry summarised his findings saying,
“Morality is all about cooperation.”
Dr Oliver Curry
Cooperation can be thought of in seven areas:
1. Kinship – loving your family.
2. Mutualism – loyalty to your group.
3. Exchange – returning favours.
4. Heroism – being brave.
5. Deference – respecting your superiors.
6. Division – sharing resources fairly.
7. Possession – respecting rights to property.
There is a 2019 ten minute Ted Talk by Dr Curry.
He talks about the Science of Morality.
Access his video here.
Gaining Balance in RE
Should RE teach Christianity, or about Christianity?
Understanding Christianity and the study of religion and worldviews, is an academic study by former RE teacher Chris Selway which is recently published.
The paper argues that several changes are necessary if RE is to gain credibility with the public:
- It should be taught through an objective, critically-engaged and pluralistic approach.
- Education about religion should explore both the positive and negative consequences of religion in a balanced way.
- RE should take “more of a socio-historical or anthropological approach”, rather than one which is focused on theology.
- There should be a “major shift” in the funding and management of RE.
To see more visit the website of the National Secular Society.
A Link With Humanism
Did you know that the architect who developed the idea of the geodesic dome was R Buckminster Fuller? (1895-1983) He was named Humanist of the Year in 1969, by the American Humanist Association. He drew insights from nature with no supernatural intervention. His name has later been given to fullerenes, types of carbon molecules, which have structures resembling geodesic spheres.
Humanists UK Podcasts
Chief Executive Andrew Copson speaks to humanists in the public eye about what they believe, to understand more about their worldview and the values, convictions, and opinions they live by.
The first series ran from early June to early August 2020.
A complete list of the interviews can be found here.
The second series began on 12 November 2020 with Leo Igwe, a Nigerian human rights advocate. He campaigns against superstition and child witchcraft accusations. The above link will take you straight to Leo’s conversation with Andrew Copson.
James Croft Lecture
You can watch the James Croft lecture which was organised by Plymouth Humanists.
The lecture traces the history of ideas and institutions from Felix Adler to the present day.
You can watch it here.
(You may need to go back to the start of the lecture if it begins half way through.)
Voltaire Lecture 2019
Adam Rutherford gave the Voltaire Lecture on 24th May 2019.
His lecture was entitled,”How to Argue with a Racist”.
The lecture lasts for about 71 minutes.
With the recent murder of George Floyd in mind, you may wish to find out more.
See and hear the lecture on Youtube.
Every human being is born equal.
Humanism is about showing respect and tolerance for others, thinking for ourselves,
seeking knowledge and justice, and trying to lead and promote happy, decent lives for everyone.
Watch a one-minute video narrated by Stephen Fry here.
You can answer ten questions to see how much your views fit with Humanism.
See the questions here.
“Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker
Steven Pinker’s 2018 book “Enlightenment Now” makes the case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.
Mary suggested that I should watch a discussion of the ideas in the book on YouTube.
She also suggested adding information to our website.
The discussion between Steven Pinker and Stephen Fry lasts nearly 80 minutes.
You can find the discussion on YouTube here.
The image shows the hardback version of the book, but a similar paperback edition is available.