British Humanist Association

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Fri, 04/17/2015 - 08:23
Views: 33746854
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Time: 03:56 More in Howto & Style
Categories: Canal Humanista

Andrew Copson explains Humanism at the Ancestor's Trail 2014

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 04:06
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, explains Humanism - the non-religious way of living which says we can look to science and reason for answers about our natural world, and which puts human beings at the centre of morality. We don't need religion, deities, or any kind of supernaturalism to be moral.
Views: 776
43 ratings
Time: 38:33 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

UK 'faith' school London Oratory found to discriminate on basis of race and social status

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 07:50
In 2014, the London Oratory School, a Catholic state-funded school in West London, was found to breach the statutory Admissions Code in a whopping 105 different ways through its ridiculously stringent religious admissions criteria. As part of its determination, the schools adjudicator noted that its admissions criteria amounted to selection on racial and socio-economic grounds. In the above video, BHA Campaigns Manager Richy Thompson appears on the BBC London News to discuss this finding, and an appeal from the school, which says that having to rewrite its admissions policy would go against its religious ethos. Richy also makes a broader case against religious selection in schools.
Views: 1657
60 ratings
Time: 02:10 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Building humanist communities: Alice Fuller, Catherine Dunphy, Isabel Russo, and James Croft discuss

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 06:03
In this session from August 2014's World Humanist Congress in Oxford, our panellists tackle whether there more that humanists can do as national and local communities to develop its coherence as a movement. Summary: If the humanist movement is to help bring about a new Enlightenment, does it first need to build its own self-confidence and coherence as a collection of people? This session explores various aspects of the humanist movement as a community and how that element of humanist organisations can contribute to these requirements. What is the need (if any) for what are called (depending on country) ‘counsellors’ or ‘pastoral support’ in the humanist movement? Should there be an element of teaching or promoting in their roles or the roles of other humanist professionals? What is the role of ceremony? Can the humanist model of completely personalised ceremonies be sustained as the movement grows? Is it really fully realised even now in every country? If not, is there a risk of descent into meaningless ritual? Is there a need for local humanist community - for local meetings or chapters? What is their role? And is it inward- or outward-looking or both? How do these functions cohere and contribute to an overall movement? Alice Fuller, former BHA trustee and coordinator of Young Humanists as of 2015, chairs the event. Her panellists are Isabel Russo, Head of Ceremonies for the British Humanist Association; James Croft of the Humanist Community at Harvard; and Catherine Dunphy, a former Roman Catholic chaplain who since started the Clergy Project, a peer community for ex-clergy.
Views: 443
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Time: 01:21:58 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Martin Rowson, Padraig Reidy, Jo Glanville, Mike Harris: Challenges to news and opinion journalism

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 05:59
In this session from Oxford's World Humanist Congress, panellists discuss whether the values of ‘enlightenment’ journalism be found in the midst of commercial pressures, press regulation aimed at rampant abuses but threatening press freedom, threats of actions of libel and competition from Twitter, blogs and unmoderated web forums? Can print journalism survive? Internationally, governments threaten and then shut down newspapers and blogs deemed dangerous to “security”, they arrest journalists and allege complicity with opposition groups they only seek to interview and report on. In areas of conflict journalists risk more than arrest: dozens every year lose their lives, not always by accident. Does ‘citizen journalism’ offer an alternative to visting journalists in conflict zones? News and opinion journalism face a raft of challenges. Some threats are novel in the digital age, some have always been with us, and our panel of journalists and freedom of expression campaigners will have mixed but hugely informed views on how modern journalism can continue to get the message out. Guardian cartoonist and British Humanist Association trustee Martin Rowson chairs journalist Padraig Reidy (formerly of Index on Censorship and New Humanist), English PEN director Jo Glanville, and Mike Harris of Don't Spy On Us for this interesting discussion on the powers and limitations of the free press.
Views: 132
5 ratings
Time: 01:25:53 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Janet Radcliffe Richards, Richard Norman: Are we still blinkered by pre-Enlightenment thinking?

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 05:54
Is the Enlightenment project still incomplete? In this session from August 2014's World Humanist Congress in Oxford, two distinguished humanist philosophers will explore how far secular thinking since the Enlightenment remains distorted by remnants of pre-Enlightenment assumptions. Janet Radcliffe-Richards looks at debates about sexual equality, assisted dying, and concern for the environment, to suggest that many secular arguments have continued to draw on unacknowledged assumptions about a ‘natural order’ and ‘natural purposes’ - assumptions which make sense only in a religious context. Richard Norman queries whether we still need some sense of the ‘natural’ shape of a human life and a human society as a framework which sets limits to the idea of unfettered choice.
Views: 573
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Time: 01:25:54 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Opportunities for freedom of expression in a digital age (World Humanist Congress)

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 03:50
Hisham Almiraat, Anahi Ayala Iacucci, and Richard Bartle chaired by Jodie Ginsberg at the World Humanist Congress 2014 in Oxford. This session from the World Humanist Congress looks at the opportunities they offer for new tools to promote freedom of expression. We will discuss new forms of human rights activism being developed by international organisations and bodies, and aim to define normative standards on how free expression should be protected online. Touching on the rise of global communities of bloggers, how the emergence of citizen media has increased transparency, the effects of global whistleblowing post-Snowden, the positive effect of crisis mapping and crowdsourcing in improving disaster relief, the role of social networks in today’s media environment, and what we can learn from virtual worlds when it comes to freedom of expression and human rights, this session is a must for anyone who wants to see what the future is for us in a digital age. The freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds is an essential part of how we participate freely in the cultural life of society. The Internet has radically changed the way in which people exchange information and ideas, and from communities, but has also presented serious challenges to privacy, and human rights. As national and international laws develop and adapt to keep pace with digital technology, consumer demand, and cultural practices in a global economy, we need to explore how to build a firm foundation to encourage a fair and open society for all.
Views: 216
7 ratings
Time: 01:28:13 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Stephen Law & Malcolm Evans debate 'The War for Children's Minds' (World Humanist Congress)

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:43
What rights do children have to freedom of thought and expression and to freedom of religion or belief? Are they the property of their parents, who should be free to mould them as they wish? Does the state have any duty to protect children from what it - and the majority of the population - see as warped views? If so, where do the powers of the state end - what protects us from totalitarianism? Is education part of the economic system, ensuring a supply of trained workers? Or is it a subversive process of training children in critical thinking, wherever that leads? Can any education about ideas and beliefs be objective - and if not, does it matter? Should children be brought up to respect and obey authority - or to mock and question it? When schools are being ‘contracted out’ to sponsors with religious and commercial interests, do we need safeguards to protect children from subtle or not so subtle indoctrination? What is the law - in the UK and elsewhere and internationally - on children’s rights and parents’ rights and the duties and powers of the school and the state? What should it be? Philosopher Stephen Law and legal scholar Malcolm Evans debate this tricky topic, chaired by BHA Director of Public Affairs and Campaigns Pavan Dhaliwal.
Views: 551
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Time: 01:27:36 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Joan Bakewell interviews Peter Tatchell: A life dedicated to human rights (World Humanist Congress)

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 06:41
From the 2014 World Humanist Congress: journalist, TV presenter, and Labour party peer Baroness Joan Bakewell interviews the legendary human rights activist Peter Tatchell. For 47 years, Peter Tatchell has been a prominent campaigner for human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice. With groups like OutRage! and the Green Party and now as director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, he campaigns for human rights in Britain and internationally. In interviews from 2009, Tatchell said he stepped down as a parliamentary candidate for the Green Party citing numerous physical attacks, including beatings at the hands of Robert Mugabe’s bodyguards during an attempt at a citizen’s arrest and of thugs at a Pride rally in Moscow, that have left him mildly brain-damaged. He told the Guardian, "I'm lucky…What helps me cope is to put things in perspective. My injuries pale in comparison to the pro-democracy campaigners in Iran or the environmentalists in Russia or the political activists in Zimbabwe. If I was doing what they are doing, I'd be dead." Though he also said “I can’t campaign at the pace I used to”, he shows little sign of slowing down. “I can understand why people want a quiet, relaxed, material life, but on another level I can't understand why people just accept things the way they are.”
Views: 531
9 ratings
Time: 01:30:08 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Stephen Law, Jessica Monteith-Chachuat, Deborah Hyde & Owen Davies on monsters in our culture

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:59
Following a fascinating series of lectures at Conway Hall in London on vampires, witches, and werewolves, Dr Stephen Law chairs a panel on these monsters and our prevailing cultural fascination with them, with Jessica Monteith-Chachuat, Deborah Hyde, and Owen Davies,
Views: 266
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Time: 31:09 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

Should Humanism matter in politics? British, American, and European humanists discuss

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 08:13
BHA trustee Naomi Phillips, London Assembly member Tom Copley, UK Member of Parliament Kerry McCarthy, American Humanist Association Director of Development and Communications Maggie Ardiente and European Humanist Federation policy director Julie Pernet discuss how much Humanism should influence politicians who are humanists at the 2014 World Humanist Congress in Oxford. Event description: Humanists tend to be staunch defenders of human rights, including freedom of speech and expression, freedom of belief, and of the prohibition of discrimination. Indeed, humanist organisations around the world put human rights at the forefront of their campaigns and are often vocal when states seek to infringe on or violate rights. But humanists in elected chambers tend to have a patchier record. Some are outspoken and reference their humanist outlook in a defence of science, equality or rights. Others vote through - or at least do not oppose - legislation which, for example, privileges religion, or which seeks to put new limits on free speech, or which permits religious discrimination against atheists or LGBT people. Does this matter? Do we want religion or belief to be personal or private matter or do we want our elected representatives to vote according to their political beliefs or to their conscience? If we want humanists to vote according to their beliefs, what does this mean for religious parliamentarians who do the same?
Views: 532
12 ratings
Time: 01:29:25 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

CFI UK presents Owen Davies on The Persecution of Witches in Europe and America

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 08:01
In this lecture, Professor Owen Davies of the University of Hertfordshire digs into the history witches and their myths for a Halloween-themed CFI UK day conference. Owen has written widely on the social history of witchcraft, magic, ghosts, and popular medicine. In this talk he will explore why and how thousands of people, mostly women, were abused and murdered as witches in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Views: 293
18 ratings
Time: 53:53 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

CFI UK presents Deborah Hyde on The Natural History of the European Werewolf

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 03:35
The werewolf is a common horror motif, but what did people during the witch-hunt of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe really mean when they accused someone of ‘lycanthropy’? In this discussion, featuring films, history and analysis, we will found out who is worse – man or beast. Deborah Hyde writes, lectures internationally and appears on broadcast media to discuss superstition, religion and belief in the supernatural. She is currently writing a book ‘Unnatural Predators’. She is available on Twitter via @jourdemayne and blogs at'
Views: 620
26 ratings
Time: 52:18 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista

CFI UK presents Jessica Monteith-Chachuat on The Modern Vampire

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 06:24
Jessica Monteith-Chachuat on Vampires. The Modern Vampire: Suave and Debonair as we’ve never seen him before. Vampire in film and television have evolved from the undead, pestilence ridden revenants of the medieval and renaissance eras, into handsome playboy figures. Why has there been such a drastic re-interpretation of the vampire, and what does it say about the twenty-first century audience that this new ‘modern’ vampire has permeated popular culture? A lecture by CFI UK:
Views: 572
16 ratings
Time: 37:12 More in News & Politics
Categories: Canal Humanista