Thursday, 26 March 2009

Our Programme

9 April: Discussion on Human Rights. It is 200 years since Tom Paine died, and last December marked the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Currently there are efforts at the UN by Islamic countries to curtail the right to freedom of expression by passing resolutions to make defamation of religion illegal. Human Rights law is increasingly influential in this country.

14 May: How I Became a Humanist Celebrant. Our member Lesley Arnold-Hopkins is Accredited by the BHA to conduct Humanist funerals. Humanists also conduct weddings and baby-namings. She will tell us something about the courses provided, and entertain us with anecdotes of her experiences.

11 June: Evolution Implies Atheism. Dean Morrison will present the case, to be followed by a Question and Answer session. This presentation returns to the original Darwin Day subject of our first meeting, in February, which got side-tracked by other discussions.

9 July: Discussion on Religious Education. There will be a short report on the 7th July meeting of the East Sussex SACRE, followed by a discussion of issues relating to religious education in general.

13 August: History of Humanism Part 2. George Jelliss, continues the History from 1800, where we left off in March.

10 September: Annual General Meeting. The wording of our Constitution will be decided, and nominations for Secretary, Treasurer and Speaker will be voted on. We can also discuss the aims of the Group, and ideas for our future programme.

1 comment:

  1. Dear George,
    Thanks for informing us about the programmes of Hastings Humanists. I was astonished to know about the efforts being made by Islamic countries to make 'defamation of religion' illegal.
    As per Washington Post report, it appears that Islamic countries believe that only defamation of Islam should be declared illegal. Well, that should not be news. They have believed that (often violently) since 634 AD. In spite of all differences among various Islamic schools, they all agree on one point that the punishment for blasphemy is death. It will be better if the proponents of ‘defamation of religion’ resolution make it clear about defaming whose and what religion. If you look at major religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, et al), they all contradict one another and thus are defaming each other. Followers of Islam and Christianity claim that religion is for love and peace but more blood has been shade in the name of religion than anything else has. Just remember crusades and inquisition in Europe. (There was inquisition in India too but that is another story). Within Islam, there are irreconcilable differences between Sunni and Shia sects that lead to frequent riots.
    Modern age is the age of science. Science has solved a lot many problems and has the capacity to solve innumerable problems too. Therefore, we should give utmost respect to science and scientists. Had Christianity not troubled Giordano Bruno, Galileo and many other scientists, we would have been centuries ahead in scientific development. Religion has lived its life. Instead of 'defamation of religion’, ‘defamation of science’ should be made illegal.
    Awani Kumar