May 2013: The Ethical Dilemma Draw
James Dobson, our chairman arranged for members to draw out of the hat (actually a plastic bag) a variety of ethical dilemma's to debate. The topics chosen were:
- What do you think about religious content (i.e. hymns / prayers) included at Humanist funerals?
- What do you think of David Cameron's intention to make the killing of a police officer subject to life imprisonment that means life?
- Should Humanists found their own free schools?
- Lewisham Borough has been put at the bottom on the UK Peace Index (2003-2012). Is Lewisham the least peaceful place in the UK?
- Should Jedi's be allowed to marry legally like the Humanists want to?
- Retirement is bad for happiness, health and lifestyle. Is this true?
- I want to criticise a belief in God to a muslim, but I do not want to upset him - how?
- Should we be using the services of companies who minimise their tax liabilities?
Apr 2013: Good without God - Sam Fremantle
Sam Fremantle of the London School of Philosophy explored with us the fact that philosophers from the time of classical Greece to the present day have attempted to prove that we have an obligation to act morally without appealing to any divine authority. In his talk Sam Fremantle looked at some of these philosophers and discussed whether any of them had succeeded. His talk started with Aristotle 384BC-322BC and the Nicomachean Ethics. We learnt that to be generous was a good thing but to be too generous was 'profligate' and not generous enough 'mean', The same type thinking applies to bravery - too brave is 'foolhardy' and not brave enough is 'cowardly'. The morality of stealing in order to feed your family was discussed. And the conundrum about morality was summarised by Sam Fremantle as follows; "In terms of evolution, biologists may be able to explain whey we are good, but they still cannot explain why we 'should' be good". It was an engaging philosophical stroll through history, which included philosophers like David Hume 1711-1776, Immanuel Kant 1724 - 1804, John Stuart Mill 1806-1873, Fyodor Dostoyevsky 1821-1881, Henry Sidgwick 1838-1900, Jean-Paul Sartre 1905-1980, E. O. Wilson b 1929, Richard Dawkins b 1941, Peter Singer b 1946 and Michael Sandel b 1953.
Mar 2013: Diabetes - Dr Susan Aldridge
There are 3.7 million people with diabetes in Britain today, of whom nearly one million do not realise they have the condition. Diabetes accounts for 10 per cent of the NHS budget today and this is set to double within a generation – threatening to ‘sink’ the NHS. Worryingly, most of this money is spent treating the devastating complications of the disease –blindness, amputation, & stroke. Dr Susan Aldridge also mentioned that a diabetic is four times more likely than average to suffer depression. Dr Aldridge, editor of Diabetes Update, talked about how to prevent diabetes and, if you do have the condition, what you can do to lead a long and healthy life. For instance if you are a man and your stomach measures over 40" or a woman with your stomach measuring over 36" then you are at risk from Type 2 diabetes which can start in middle age. It seems that when people become overweight, the body can undergo some sort of biochemical reaction, and once the pancreas starts to pack up, there is no turning back. Clues to diabetes cover the Four "T"s; Tired, Toilet, Thirst and Thin. To summarise, she said that diabetes was a plight of the modern human condition, where we do too much sitting down, and that we should hold short meetings standing up, as one way to combat a sedentary life style.
|Barbara Smoker: 90th Birthday Celebration|
Sun Jun 02 @ 1:00PM -
|Issues for Humanists - A discussion led by Don Langdown|
Thu Jun 13 @ 2:00PM -
|How to Grow Old: Babara Smoker|
Thu Jun 20 @ 8:00PM -
|Clinical Psyhology Moral Issues: Asad Abbas|
Thu Jul 11 @ 2:00PM -
Thu Nov 14 @ 2:00PM - Thu Nov 14 @ 5:00PM
|AGM and mythmas celebration|
Thu Dec 12 @ 2:00PM - Thu Dec 12 @ 5:00PM