Thursday, 30 November 2017

Hastings Humanists Festive Bash!

Thursday December 14th at 7.30 pm.

The White Rock Hotel

1-10 White Rock, Hastings TN34 1JU
Tel: 01424 422240

We are having a end of year get together with a buffet. £15 per head - but please come along anyway if you don't wish to join in with the food.
£5 non members, £3 members, just to cover the costs of the hotel room hire.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Any Questions on Thursday 12.10.2017 19.30 pm

Any Questions
On Thursday the 12th Oct 2017 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the White Rock Hotel

There are so many big issues that are facing the world at the moment, so this month, let’s take a moment to consider a few of them. 
Bring along ‘Any Question’ that you would like to discuss, and the following are a few that I can think of to get us started……..

·         Is  Donald Trump a short term aberration or a step towards the dystopian future that seems to be the pre-occupation of films, books and plays at the moment.
·         Hastings is a test area for Universal Credit.  Does our experience give any confidence for its future roll out?
·         Is now a good time to buy a property or is the price now so high that the only direction is down?
·         Why are we seeing such a resurgence of nationalism in all its forms?.  From Catalonia to Kurdistan, and ‘America First’ or Brexit or Crimea there seems to be such a strong mood to challenge the status quo that we haven’t seen since WWII
·         And should the state take a stronger role in controlling global companies that don’t obey our rules or pay a fair level of tax?
·         And any other questions that you might like to put to the group….
Look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy
On Thursday the 14th Sept 2017 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the White Rock Hotel

2 months ago, for one day, more than 50% of the UK energy consumption was supplied fromnon carbon based renewable energy sources and for a brief moment we even met our Paris accord targets for 2025.
Just a couple of years ago this would have seemed a dream beyond imagining so despite the doomsayers, the world is making progress. 

So first a review:
·         What is it?
·         How does it work and
·         what you might like to do now as your contribution?

Then Alastair will walk us through some of the practicalities of what he is trying to do in his own home.
Planning permissions, feed in tariffs, what is practical right now and what might be just around the next corner.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Update and forthcoming events

Hastings Humanists are on summer recess for August. The next meeting will be on Thursday September 14th at The White Rock Hotel.

We have had some great debates over the past few months including genetically modified organisms, democracy and morality as well as a look at how news stories are portrayed in the newspapers and other media sources.

Forthcoming meetings will discuss renewable energy and we hope to have Kevin Precious, former R.E teacher, Humanist and comedian later in the year.

I will update the blog once dates are confirmed

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Notable Women of Sussex

Our next meeting will be a presentation on ‘Notable Women of Sussex’ by Ann Kramer
On Thursday the 9th Feb 2017 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the White Rock Hotel

Hastings Humanists welcome Ann Kramer

Ann is a local historian, writer and feminist who has written books such as 
Women Wartime Spies and the Landgirls and their Impact and will share with us the fruits of her research into some notable women of Sussex – many of whom you may not have heard of. Her book Sussex Women selects 30 of the best, from royal mistresses to pioneering doctors, from educators and philanthropists to Brighton dippers and cross dressing music hall stars and brings each vividly to life.  There are lots of local women for us to be proud of, and a few we might not wish to laud too loudly!
Ann’s talk promises to be both educational and entertaining.

After the break we will have a discussion on ‘The causes of women’s under-representation in history’. 
Is it because of patriarchal social structures that have limited female opportunity and downplays their impact; or is there also a difference between men and women, and the way they fight for recognition?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Share your favourites

Share your favourites
The following are some recommendations from the Hastings Humanists Group.
Lots of interesting books, films, songs and YouTube clips – and where possible I have included hyperlinks (blue text and underlined) so you can click on them and see further information on the Internet.
I hope you find it entertaining and useful.


“Atheism in Ancient times” – Atheism can trace its routes back to antiquity and is arguably as old as theism itself.


“Cold Reading” A book on the techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, mediums and illusionists to imply that the reader knows much more about the person than the reader actually does

Stephen Milton

Web links
  • Hans Rosling Ted talk. He is my favourite statistician who explains the world View. His website is gives you the tools to test your assumptions about the world against the statistical facts …Test your beliefs  
  • The best advice to offer to young people starting life wrapped in great humour.  Tim Mitchim UWA address  View
  • Tom Lehrer  Vatican Rag
  •  A sense of Fairness seems inherent in our biology.  See this experiment with monkeys  View     
  • David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes View
  • Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth.  Yuval Noah Harari puts our ability to tell stories at the heart of it. View
  • Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.  View
  • I love table tennis and watch what a professional can do….View
  • “A brief history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson – a humorous and detailed narrative of the history of science.
  • “Homo Deus”  by Yuval Noah Harari – explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century.
  • “Quantum” – Manjit Kumar – The amazing story of scientists who gave up their most cherished beliefs in the pursuit of something totally counter-intuitive that turned out to be real.


  • Awesome Japanese Xylophone in Forest.  View
  • Samuel Barber - "Dover Beach", Op. 3 Fischer-Dieskau, Juilliard . This brooding song for baritone and string quartet, written in 1931 sets with almost miraculous appropriateness the haunting 1851 poem by Matthew Arnold - View
  • Who’s Who in Hell – CNN review View
  • Big Bandstand sound Eastbourne     View 

Linda Dootson

“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking.

A couple of nice quotes See more:

“What did God do before he created the universe?” 

“In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language." What a come  down from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!” 
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time


“Marcus Aurelius, Meditations” translation by Maxwell Staniforth.  A series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy.  Still a source of insight and comfort today.

Elizabeth life has gone by I have often said
'there's a song there?!' life has gone by I have often thought
'life could be more fun if it was  more like a musical’
When  I glanced throo Facebook for things I have reposted
for a hint of what I could recommend tonight
I noticed something that tunes into this
singing stimulates the production of oxytocin,
 a chemical involved in happiness and bonding.
Surveys of individuals who sing regularly report
sustained high levels of emotional stability  and
well-being. Even professional singers,
whose singing literally determines whether they'll be eating or
not in the future, still experience a sense of relaxation and energy after singing
Article /Integrative  Physiological and Behavioural Science  react-text: 53 38(1):65-74 January 2002eact-text: 53 38(1):65-74 January
singing stimulates the production of oxytocin,
 a chemical involved in happiness and bonding.
Surveys of individuals who sing regularly report
sustained high levels of emotional stability  and
well-being. Even professional singers,
(like here The joy of song  )
whose singing literally determines whether they'll be eating or
not in the future, still experience a sense of relaxation and energy after singing
Article /Integrative  Physiological and Behavioural Science  react-text: 53 38(1):65-74 January 2002eact-text: 53 38(1):65-74 January


The Intouchables (2012) Official Trailer [HD]  
A clash of worlds with humour and empathy. (French with sub-titles)


“The God Argument” by AC Grayling
Professor of Philosophy and Master of New College of the Humanities, London
Plenty of YouTube films from 10 mins to over an hour – well worth looking at.


“The Bible for Grown ups” by Simon Loveday
Loveday’s case is that the mantle of historical truth and divine authority has placed upon the Bible an intolerable weight, crushing it as a creative work of immense imaginative and inspirational power. His argument is both fascinating and persuasive
Dinner for One – Freddie Frinton - View

Terry Ballard

Unfortunately, I cannot make tonight's meeting. I would love to be there to discuss my own pet project, humanist music. Here's a list of songs that Barbara and I came up with. Discussing whether a song qualifies as humanist can be both fun and enlightening.

                                                 HUMANIST SONGS
He Ain’t Heavy (He’s My Brother)
The Living Years
You Are the Voice
In My Life
Bridge Over Troubled Water        
Why Worry
When a Child is Born
Theme to The Big Bang Theory
Where’s Your Heaven Now...? *
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Thank You for the Music
Wonderful World
Melting Pot
Sweet Thames Flow Softly
Abraham, John and Martin
Two Little Boys
Danny Boy
Mountains of Mourne
Amazing Grace
The Way We Were
Lean on Me
Do Anything You Want to Do
The First Time Ever (I Saw Your Face)
Wish I Knew How to be Free
Precious Time (Is Slipping Away)

SM - I have added my personal favourite ‘The Universe Song’        View

"Statistics for the Terrified!"  It has a picture of The Scream by Edvard Munch on the front cover and DON'T PANIC written throughout the book! 


The above was the result of this meeting:

Our next meeting will be an opportunity to share your favourites with the group
On Thursday the 12th Jan 2017 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the White Rock Hotel

A Happy New Year to one and all.

Despite the many hostages to fortune carried over from 2016 and slowly coming home to roost in an uncertain future. In a triumph of hope over experience, I remain optimistic that 2017 will be a Prime Year for us all (2017 being a prime number)!!!!

For our first meeting of the year, I would ask you to bring along a recommendation to the group.
  •          A book
  •          A film
  •          A website
  •          A YouTube clip
  •          A Ted talk
  •          A song
Anything that you think that the rest of the group might appreciate knowing about!

You can provide a brief introduction explaining why it is of interest to you, and perhaps read or show a short clip by way of introduction.
If you would like to email some information in advance, I can probably find something on the Internet and save it on my PC for the demonstration.

I have no doubt that there will moments of controversy that we will debate in the normal way. I look forward to seeing you.