#Humanism: What it is and why it Is important. Video of talk by Simon Nightingale

Simon Nightingale gave his talk at Oswestry Library on 18 May 2018.

Simon’s 2017 talk is also online. He will be giving the talk again on Wednesday 4 July at 7.30 pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

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21 June: World #Humanist Day in #Shrewsbury

World Humanist Day is celebrated every year on June 21. It is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organisations to publicize the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement, and the International Humanist and Ethical Union has been celebrating the day since the 1980s.

This year, the regular meeting of Shropshire Humanists coincides with World Humanist Day, and we’ve decided to mark the day by bringing Humanism to the centre of town. We shall be in the Square in Shrewsbury during the day with stalls demonstrating various craft activities that members are engaged in, including demonstrations of puzzles, upholstery, photography, junk music, batik, and rag rug making, live music and information regarding Humanism. This will continue at our usual meeting place in the evening from 7.00 at the University Centre.

We shall will be setting up stalls about 9.30 to hold activities from 10am to 3pm. Any offers of help with setting up, handing out leaflets and speaking to members of the public, playing music, exhibiting activities and clearing up at the end will be gratefully accepted. Or join us from 7.00 pm at the at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

For more information please contact Mal Brown through the Contact page on this site.

Introducing Humanism: Non-religious Approaches to Life (Online Course – second chance to enrol)

Humanists UK are running the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), which was a huge success earlier this year, for a second time. If you missed the first course, we highly recommend that you enrol onto this course – it is free and many of our members have commented on how informative and enjoyable they found the course. Please see the below information and link for more details.

Learn about humanism – a non-religious, ethical worldview shared by millions across the world.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/introducing-humanism

Humanism is a non-religious, ethical world view shared by millions of people around the world. Humanists believe that this life is the only life we have, that the universe is a natural phenomenon with no supernatural side, and that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.

However, there is widespread misunderstanding about what it means to be a humanist or to live a life without a religion. On this course you will learn more about humanist beliefs and values, and discover how humanists attempt to answer life’s big questions.

  • The humanist understanding of human beings: our nature, capacities, and responsibilities
  • How humanists answer questions about the world (science, reason, scepticism) and the consequences for a humanist understanding of reality
  • A humanist approach to making life meaningful and the value of individual freedom
  • The origins and evolution of morality and a humanist perspective on how to be good
  • The humanist vision for society (secularism, freedoms, and human rights) and the motivations behind their goals
  • Different definitions of humanism, its history, and its diversity

4 July: Public talk on Humanism in Shrewsbury

Dr Simon Nightingale, Chair of Shropshire Humanists, will be giving a public talk Humanism: what it is and why it is important on Wednesday 4 July at 7.30 pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Humanists believe one can lead a good life and be a good person without religion.  Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.

At present over 50% of the UK say they live without religion and among young people it is over 70%.

Dr Nightingale, a retired consultant neurologist from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, has been working for humanism for some years, conducting humanist funerals and weddings. He is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury SACRE – the Local Authority committee that oversees Religious Education and Collective Worship in our Shropshire state schools and a member of the Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum. Currently he is chair of Shropshire Humanists, the organisation that has arranged this talk.

For those who are interested in learning more about humanism, Shropshire Humanists will be running a six-week course in September/October in Shrewsbury.

 

18 May: Public lunchtime talk in Oswestry on Humanism

Humanism: What is it and why is it important?

Over 50% of the UK population (and over 70% of young people) say they live without religion. Most of them have humanist beliefs, even if they do not call themselves humanists. Come and find out about humanism.

Dr Nightingale, a retired consultant neurologist from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, has been working for humanism for some years, conducting humanist funerals and weddings. He is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury SACRE – the Local Authority committee that oversees Religious Education and Collective Worship in our Shropshire state schools and is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals Chaplaincy Committee and a member of the Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum. Currently he is chair of the Shropshire Humanist Group.

Friday 18 May 2018, 12.30-1.30pm, in Oswestry Library.

Admission £3 – Please book with library staff. Refreshments included- profits donated to OXFAM.

Around Shropshire: Ludlow and Marches Humanists and Engaging Issues

In South Shropshire, North Herefordshire and the Welsh border areas there is another humanist group, our neighbours the Ludlow and Marches Humanists. A copy of their latest newsletter can be downloaded here and their website is here.

They always have an interesting programme, and the following meetings are planned:

20 February 2018 – “Telling people about Humanism” by Dr Simon Nightingale. Simon is a semi-retired neurologist and chair of  Shropshire Humanist Group. He has given many talks on Humanism and is occasionally heard on Shropshire Radio. He participates in inter-faith discussions and will be considering techniques, tactics and pitfalls when communicating Humanist  messages to people of different outlooks.
Thursday 8 March 2018, special meeting – on Brexit legislative programme by Lord Jeff Rooker: Please note that this meeting only will be in the Zion room at the Methodist Church Hall, Broad Street, Ludlow. Jeff Rooker will be concentrating on the progress of the legislative programme through the House of Lords, full title yet to be revealed.
20 March 2018 – The Reverend Kelvin Price, Rector of Ludlow. Talk title to be agreed. We have not had a formal talk from the Church of England for many years now, and it will be interesting to see his approach to falling numbers and alternative uses of church buildings, as well as the continuing relevance of the C of E as a state religion.
17 April 2018 – Christine Hyde on Greece ”Changed or Unchanged” – Chris and Hugh spent several years in Greece and grew to appreciate the culture, albeit different in many ways from our own. Chris will be concentrating on
the village (Elaia) and area they know best, quote: “I will talk about customs still practiced from Dorian times, the Orthodox Church, and the Evil Eye, ending with a few photos of the wild life. Hence the suggested title”.
15 May 2018 – AGM. As usual, we will try to make this an interesting evening, with cake and refreshments and either a video or a special discussion to follow the AGM.

Engaging Issues is a church-based group in Church Stretton, but its talks are often of interest to humanists and others.

Tuesday 6 February – “Can Christians talk with one voice about God?”. Dr Benjamin Wood is a Quaker ethicist and theologian, interested in the relationship between faith & society, secular politics and the Church.
Tuesday 27th February – “Britain’s Housing Affordability Crisis”. Chrissie Pepler
7:30pm in the United Reformed Church, High Street, Church Stretton. A £3 donation is requested to defray expenses.

To be a Humanist: questions from a Christian

The following contribution by Peter Bellingham, a committed Christian, was made at our Hot Potatoes open mike night on 18 January. Several listeners asked for it to be made available, and Peter said he was happy for it to be posted here. He poses some fundamental and difficult questions about the nature of man, consciousness, causation, determinism, free will and the meaning of life. Humanists may attempt to answer these questions differently from a Christian, such as Peter, but they are questions we all find a challenge.

 

Do I have to be human to be a humanist?

 

What is a human?

Is a human a certain arrangement of atoms?

Is your chair a certain arrangement of atoms?

Is a leaf a certain arrangement of atoms?

Is your dog a certain arrangement of atoms?

 

Are you more valuable than your dog?

Are you more valuable than a leaf?

Are you more valuable than your chair?

Why?

 

Is your conscious experience just the product of atoms?

Are your thoughts and choices just the product of atoms?

What turns a human into a humanist?

Is it a choice, or can cosmic radiation cause the change?

How do we know which atoms are in control?

How do you know which atoms are right?

 

Are you disappointed by anything in life?

Are you upset by any injustice in life?

Why be disappointed?  Why be upset?

Some end up happy, some sad; why expect anything different?

 

Isn’t everything just the purposeless product of atoms in motion?

 

Is a human more than atoms in motion?

Is a humanist more than atoms in motion?

 

Is that why you’re here tonight, thinking?

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