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.
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.
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.
52% non-religious – British Social Attitudes Survey
52% of people surveyed were non-religious.
Should the non-religious 52% be represented in law on education, instead of the compulsory, daily, Christian worship imposed on most schools?
Cornwall Humanists do believe in fairness.
See more on the Humanists UK website.
A New Online Course on Humanism
Scientist, writer, and broadcaster Alice Roberts has today launched a new, ‘massive open online course’ (MOOC) on humanism introducing participants to humanists from around the world to hear their stories and explore their beliefs and values.
The course features contributions from well-known scientists, artists, and politicians, as well as humanist campaigners, celebrants, and pastoral carers, including journalist Polly Toynbee, scientist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili, rock musician Frank Turner, novelist Natalie Haynes, and writer and academic Steven Pinker.
See more on Humanists UK website
Find more information and register for the course at:
Bishops in the House of Lords
The presence of the Church of England in the House of Lords entrenches a privileged position for one particular branch of one particular religion.
Only 16% of the population profess affiliation to the Church of England according to the 2013 British Social Attitudes survey, (and only 1.4% being in Church on any given Sunday according to the church’s own attendance figures.)
Did you know that if two members of the House of Lords wish to speak, the Bishop is given the right to speak first?
Cornwall Humanists work towards a fairer society at local and national level.
director of Public Affairs and Policy for “Humanists UK”
Richy Thompson came to give a talk to Cornwall Humanists at their monthly meeting on 18th September.
Richy described six areas of “Humanists UK” activity, to a well-attended meeting.
- Government Contacts – Speaking with central government in London, through contacts with civil servants and MPs. The all-party Humanist group of 100 MPs, led by Crispin Blunt, is very important.
- Research – publicising relevant research and undertaking new research when necessary.
- Campaigns – Encouraging members and supporters to advance campaigns for change, by writing to MPs, writing letters to newspapers, and organising protests.
- Media – Promoting the inclusion of a Humanist perspective in newspapers, television, and other public media.
- Legal – Challenging illegal practices, and supporting individuals who are going to court to fight injustice, such as the refusal of assisted dying.
- Advice – Helping people who are suffering from unfair discrimination in a faith school, or who are struggling with the imposition of Collective Worship.
What can we do in Cornwall?
Richy gave examples of what we could do locally, to advance Humanism.
We could attend the constituency surgery of our local MP to learn about their standpoint, and ask for their support in advancing Humanist ideals.
We can try to influence local decision making through our membership of SACRE, the body advising Cornwall Council on Religious Education.
We can make sure that our views are publicised in local newspapers, and heard on local radio and television.
Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy for Humanists UK will come to speak to the Cornwall Humanists Group on Tuesday 18th September.
The talk will be in the Fal Building of Truro College, starting at 7.30pm – everyone welcome!
Richy Thompson is Humanists UK’s Campaigns Manager and works on issues from across Humanists UK’s public policy remit. From May 2011 to February 2015 he was the Faith Schools and Education Campaigns Officer, and before that he was the President of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies. Richy is a member of the advisory group of the Sex Education Forum, on the steering groups of Voice for Choice, the Accord Coalition for inclusive education and the Fair Admissions Campaign, and a representative of Humanists UK at the Religious Education Council for England and Wales.
Read more about Richy Thompson