Ludlow and Marches Humanists meeting, 21 November: Does God exist?

ludlowquakers-ed-sm Burt Flannery asks “Does God Exist?”

Burt had for many years been troubled by the big questions: Why are we here? How did we get here and where are we headed? And why, after tens of thousands of years of human existence, is the world so frequently characterised by man’s inhumanity and peaceful coexistence so illusory. So Burt wrote a book “What’s God got to do with it?” to consider and debate these questions.

Burt, a former mathematician and management consultant, was a keen sportsman for most of his life, until a knee injury abruptly curtailed his competitive activities.

Tuesday 21 November 2017, 7.30pm, at The Friends Meeting House, St Mary’s Lane, Ludlow SY8 1DZ

All welcome. Email for more information.

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Next meeting: 16 November, The big change in religion and belief – how might a Humanist respond?

Jeremy Rodell, Dialogue Officer of Humanists UK

Britain is currently going through what’s been called the biggest change in religion and belief landscape since the Reformation, 500 years ago. 53% of the population now say they belong to no religion, while the figure for 18-24 year olds is 71%.

But what’s really going on? What are the facts? And what are the practical implications? Can the non-religious help make it work? Jeremy Rodell is Humanists UK volunteer Dialogue Officer, and a former Trustee.

Thursday 16 November at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. All welcome, but voluntary donations requested.

Simon Nightingale on radio: talking about why he is a humanist

Simon Nightingale talked on BBC Radio Shropshire on Sunday morning, 8 October, about humanism and atheism and explaining why he is a humanist and a member of Humanists UK.

You can hear the talk for a limited time at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05gfbtk

Listen on the time line from 1:20:00 to 1:25:00.

Simon Nightingale on BBC Radio Shropshire

The Mike Hough memorial trophy held by Carol and SimonSimon Nightingale, Chair of Shropshire Humanist Group, spoke on BBC Radio Shropshire’s Sunday morning “Faith and Ethics” program. He talked on the sin of certainty, referring to Stephen Cherry’s most interesting and witty book “The Dark Side of the Soul”. He also talked about the humanist show garden that won a trophy and top gold medal at Shrewsbury Flower Show, and about humanist books in schools.

To hear it go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p059xc5r#play and listen on the time line from about 1.19.00 to 1.27.30. This is available for a limited time.

21 September meeting: The ups and downs of ‘doing good’ – lessons from Bwindi, Uganda

The story of Omushana, Sunshine for Children – a small charity based in Shrewsbury and helping children in southwest Uganda. This illustrated talk will include observations and anecdotes (serious and amusing) on the pluses and minuses of charity and Fair Trade projects in the area. The talk will be given by Gillian Castle, who is a Shrewsbury resident and runs the charity.

Thursday 21 September at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Telford talk: An introduction to Humanism on 21 July

Shropshire Humanist Group is sponsoring a talk about Humanism on Friday 21st July at 7.30 pm at Meeting Point House at Telford Shopping Centre, Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS. It will be presented by Dr Simon Nightingale, Chair of Shropshire Humanist Group.

The talk is an introduction for anyone interested in humanism, whether or not they call themselves a humanist. Humanists are those who believe that it is possible to lead a good life and be a good person without religion, and anyone favouring that view will find areas of common interest. Those with religious faith who are interested in learning more of a rapidly growing, influential non-religious world view are most welcome. Teachers of Religious Education may find the talk helpful and informative. Tea/coffee/biscuits available afterwards.

This talk will be followed by a course on humanism, consisting of six weekly 2-hour sessions beginning on Wednesday 27 September for 6 weeks, also at Meeting Point House. Members of the public are welcome to enrol for the course. There is a limit on numbers and there will be a small charge. Full details are here.

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. 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 the Shropshire Humanist Group, the organisation that has arranged this talk.

Meeting Point House is near Telford Shopping Centre, and 10-15 minutes walk from Train and Bus Stations. Brown Elm car park is nearby. There is wheelchair access.

15 June meeting: Blasphemy and freedom of expression – a matter of life and death, by Paul Sturges

Professor Paul Sturges OBE, Emeritus Professor of Library Studies at Loughborough University

Professor Sturges’ talk will range over the history of the offence of blasphemy in relation to freedom of expression, with examples from some different parts of the world. The examples of blasphemy will include some that would seriously offend religious believers. There will also be accounts of hangings, lashings and horrible murders by people enraged by blasphemy. He will contrast blasphemy laws and their consequences, with laws and international statements on freedom of expression.  In the process he will attempt to draw useful distinctions between critical comment, satire, offensive speech and publication, and incitement to hatred, whilst stressing the value of good manners and consideration for others.

University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ, at 7.30 pm on Thursday 15 June.

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