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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Professor Alice Roberts talks about Humanists UK

Hot potatoes 2019: humanists speak their minds (video)

Shropshire Humanist held their annual Hot Potato open mike evening on 17 January 2019, and it was a big success.

Videos from our meeting: Humanism in Action

At our September meeting, humanists talked about their activities.

Maxine Beech talked about her job conducting humanists weddings, funerals and baby-naming:

Sue Falder on humanist pastoral Care and chaplaincy:

Education in schools by Simon Nightingale:

The full meeting:

#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.

Simon Nightingale talking about Humanism on video

Shrewsbury U3A record all their guest speakers and upload the videos to YouTube for all to watch. In April 2017, the chair of Shropshire Humanist Group, Dr. Simon Nightingale, spoke to them about Humanism.

This talk is a well-structured introduction for anyone interested in humanism. There are questions from the U3A audience towards the end.

Simon Nightingale gives an introduction to Humanism at Shrewsbury U3A

Shrewsbury U3A member and chair of Shropshire Humanist Group, Dr. Simon Nightingale outlines the principles of humanism. This talk is a well-structured introduction for anyone interested in humanism, for example, those who believe that it is possible to lead a good life and be a good person without religion 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 especially encouraged to watch the presentation which includes questions from the U3A audience towards the end.

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