Archive for the ‘Humanism’ Category

Political Islam

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 | Humanism

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At West Yorkshire Humanists this month, Dr Afshin Shahi delivered us a talk on Political Islam. He discussed the origins of international jihadism, the structural and identity problems facing countries in the Middle East and the potential problems we will face in the future – especially as climate change increasingly causes draught in the region.

One of the key messages in the talk is that trying to combat radicalisation is only really treating the symptoms and not the cause. If we want to solve the problem in the long term we need to look at the problems of inequality and unfairness that allow these ideologies to take hold.

The Problem with Methane

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Humanism

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This month’s talk at West Yorkshire Humanists was John ‘Compost’ Cossham talking about “The Problem with Methane”.

John gave the same talk at Leeds Skeptics a year ago, and I came away with the same gloomy feeling this time, even though I knew what was coming. We are totally fucked. If we think we have fucked up the climate this far, wait until the feedback loops kick in. Climate change causes methane release, that causes more climate change.

John however, is much more upbeat. He is confident that we can change society, reduce our carbon footprint and continue boldly on as a species. He says the world can support all 7,000,000,000 of us, as long as we live in an ecological way. This was heartwarming because in the back of my mind I always wondered whether our population could actually be sustainable in the long term.

After the talk we held our usual social in The George, which was well attended also.

All Bar One social

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 | Humanism

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We have recently increased the number of socials we run at West Yorkshire Humanists. Turn out has been reasonably good: nine people at both our Cuthbert Brodrick social and at our All Bar One social. All Bar One is a nice enough venue. We were able to cash in on their two courses for £10 offer, and they have a good range of alcohol-free cocktails.

The illusion of choice: Genetic screening during pregnancy

Saturday, March 19th, 2016 | Humanism

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At the West Yorkshire Humanists March lecture Professor Karl Atkin, head of the University of York’s Health Sciences department, presented a talk on genetic screening during pregnancy.

Much of the screening has only been introduced in the past 10-20 years, and with generic screening becoming more common, Professor Atkin asked whether we were having the right discussions about ethics as we proceed.

SAL February 2016

Monday, February 29th, 2016 | Humanism, News

The February 2016 event for Sunday Assembly Leeds had a theme of “leaps”. The band played two songs, Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones and Jump, Jive an’ Wail by The Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Jump, Jive an’ Wail

Agnosticism and the dangers of stepping-stones

Thursday, February 25th, 2016 | Humanism

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The February lecture for West Yorkshire Humanists was presented by Robin Le Poidevin. He spoke on “Agnosticism and the dangers of stepping-stones”, discussing whether agnosticism could be a stable position on its own, or merely a stepping-stone between theism and atheism (or the other way).

The talk was really interesting. One of the big questions is how you live as an agnostic. Where do you take your morality from? Either religion or Humanism, suggesting that you are actually learning one way or the other.

The Q&A got a little off topic. Attendance at the pub social after was good.

January food drive

Monday, February 15th, 2016 | Foundation, Humanism

Last month Sarann organised a food drive. It was great to see the various Humanist groups around Leeds including West Yorkshire Humanists and Sunday Assembly Leeds all coming together to help the homeless. As ever, Sarann did an excellent job organising everything!

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Humanist January

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 | Humanism

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We saw another good turnout for the January meeting of West Yorkshire Humanists. We initially put out only a dozen or so chairs in a circle. However, we soon had to add more, making for a large and very misshapen circle. Always a good thing of course!

This month was debate night and we discussed a number of issues. The headline debate was ‘can terrorism ever be justified?’ The arguments are complex and myriad once you get into it.

After the meeting we went to The George for a few drinks.

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They had alcohol-free cocktails for £2.95. I am not sure anyone had ever ordered them before was there was a lot of confusion about how to make them. However, they tasted good, and we ended up getting a second round.

Humanist winter social

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 | Events, Humanism

winter-social

To end the year West Yorkshire Humanists held a social at the Lawnswood Arms.

SAL December 2015

Monday, December 28th, 2015 | Events, Humanism, Photos

For the December event at Sunday Assembly Leeds, Dermot led an assembly on “traditions”.

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