Ludlow and Marches Humanists: talk on 19 November, and Remembrance Sunday wreath laying

Ludlow and Marches Humanists presents a talk on Samaritans by Libby Dolloway and Chery Sell. Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline. Although the name derives from the Biblical Parable of the Good Samaritan, Samaritans is a secular organisation.

Tuesday 19th November 2019, 7.30 pm, at The Friends Meeting House, St Mary’s Lane, Ludlow SY8 1DZ. All welcome. For more information: david215@talktalk.net.

Remembrance Sunday this year is on the 10th November. Ludlow and Marches Humanists will again be laying a wreath at the Ludlow Peace Memorial in Castle Square. Ludlow. Please do join them at 10 am as the Civic Ceremony starts at 10.30 am.

16 May:  Introduction to the Bahá’í faith by Pete Hulme

Pete HulmePete Hulme will give an introduction to the faith, but intends the main focus to be on a key aspect of consciousness that plays to his strengths as a psychologist and a Bahá’í. It was one he struggled with when he became a Bahá’í, post qualification as a sceptical agnostic clinical psychologist. The issue concerns whether or not the mind is reducible to the brain, that is, is the mind independent of the brain or simply a by-product or emergent property?

He thinks this is a crucial issue, amongst others, in terms of whether we can truly reconcile mainstream materialistic science and most transcendent spiritual traditions. It can be dealt with without too much psychobabble, and in his view can also be debated by all sides of the argument in a spirit of genuine exploration, but is also a major point of sometimes unproductive contention.

Thursday 16 May at 7.30 pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ. You are very welcome to come for tea and coffee from 7 pm to meet and chat with other members and guests. A voluntary donation is requested towards room hire and refreshments.

A Shropshire Humanist in South Africa

by Simon Nightingale, Chair, Shropshire Humanists

I have recently returned from a two week holiday in Cape Town where I was visiting my son, Sam, who is also a neurologist and is currently doing research there on HIV in the brain.

While there, I met an interesting group of people who call themselves DINK (the Afrikaans word for THINK). They’re all sceptical freethinkers and would consider themselves atheist or at least agnostic. They were keen to hear about humanism and so I gave them a talk. They did a recording of it and you can see it on YouTube.

However, it is similar to the talk I gave given to the Shrewsbury U3A which is rather better recorded.

Interestingly only 17% of the population of South Africa say that they live without religion (in the UK it’s >50%; among young people >70%). Virtually everyone else in South Africa is Christian.

The very large black African community are Christian of one kind or another. The largest group are known as the Church of Zion and it seems they’ve incorporated Evangelist Christian beliefs with a kind of ancient tribal ancestor worship. Very few South Africans call themselves humanist and indeed the members of DINK knew very little about humanism. I encouraged them to consider humanism which is a worldview with positive beliefs and values, rather than just being a negative atheist.

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18 April: Childhood Emotional Neglect: The Intergenerational Conundrum by Dr Angela Blanchard

Thursday 18 April: University Centre 7.30 pm: Childhood Emotional Neglect: The Intergenerational Conundrum by Dr Angela Blanchard (School of Psychology, Keele University)

Angela will give a presentation on her recently completed PhD research into emotional neglect of children and how it affects them as adults. Angela is a person-centred counsellor.

Childhood emotional neglect is increasingly recognised as a distinct form of child abuse which may occur alongside other forms of child abuse or as a stand-alone issue. Yet it remains nebulous, poorly understood and under-researched, compared to other forms of child maltreatment. In this presentation, Angela will outline her research into childhood emotional neglect, focusing in particular on the intergenerational aspect. Is childhood emotional neglect inevitably passed on from one generation to another? Can the same individuals be both harsh parents, and loving grandparents? If there is a cycle of childhood emotional neglect, can we ever break out of it? Angela promises to raise more questions than she answers, as she continues to search for understanding and healing both for herself and her counselling clients. You can see her PhD video here:

Ludlow and Marches Humanists, 16 April: Challenging Genesis – Heroes and villains writing the History of the Earth

A talk by Tony Martyr.  Tony is a mechanical engineer who has worked on projects in 44 countries of the world and is a retired visiting professor of Powertrain Engineering (University of Bradford). Tony also has a degree in Earth Sciences and a lifelong interest in the history of Science. He is the author of 4 editions of a textbook on engine testing and a popular science book about Why Projects Fail.

Tuesday 16 April 2019, 7.30pm, at The Friends Meeting House, St Mary’s Lane, Ludlow SY8 1DZ

All welcome.

Please note this is not organised by Shropshire Humanists.

21 March: Talk Yourself Better, by Ariane Sherine

Comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine created and organised the Atheist Bus Campaign, persuading Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association to support her – and buses with variations on the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” ran in 13 countries across the globe.

As a result, Ariane received an Inbox full of hate mail from Christians, which eventually led to a major nervous breakdown and suicidal ideation. She ended her journalistic career, and didn’t write again for over three years. In this talk, she will tell the full story of how therapy and medication saved her life, prompting her to write her new book, Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person’s Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help. Ariane will be signing copies of Talk Yourself Better after the talk.

Ariane also wrote the bestselling celebrity book The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. She has written for BBC1’s My Family, Channel 4’s Countdown and BBC2’s Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, as well as for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, New Statesman, New Humanist and The Spectator. She lives in London with her seven-year-old daughter, Lily.

Birmingham Humanists meeting, 21 November: Ariane Sherine

You may be interested in the next meeting of Birmingham Humanists, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 21 November. Ariane Sherine, the comedy writer and journalist who created the Atheist Bus Campaign, as well as the bestselling celebrity book The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, will be giving a talk, based on her new book Talk yourself better.

The meeting will be held at Moseley Exchange, 149–153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP.

We’ve all watched films and telly programmes featuring therapists, such as The Sopranos – but what’s the best way to access therapy in real life if you’re not a mafia boss? What’s the difference between therapy and counselling, or CBT and psychoanalysis? And why pay a stranger to listen to you in the first place? Can’t a good friend provide a shoulder to cry on?

In her talk Ariane will answer all these questions and more, demystifying once and for all the secret world of therapy – with plenty of laughs along the way. She’ll also be signing copies of Talk yourself better after the talk.

Ariane has written for BBC1’s My Family, Channel 4’s Countdown and BBC2’s Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, as well as for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Observer, New Statesman and The Spectator.

Please note: this event is not organised by Shropshire Humanists.

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