Archive for September, 2008

The author recommends…

Things are a little crazy around here as I’m preparing my PhD thesis for submission, so I would like to direct your attention towards some other nuggets of humanist thought and wordsmithery.

First off, I recommend a visit to FreeThought Fort Wayne, who are hosting the 25th Humanist Symposium blog carnival. There’s a whole bunch of interesting stuff which I haven’t had time to read yet, and it also includes my piece about Humanism and Polyamory.

Second, the Friendly Humanist and the Not-Quite-So-Friendly Humanist have published their first columns for the Humanist Society of Scotland magazine ‘Humanitie’. The idea is that they present two different perspectives on a set topic. They’re starting off big and discussing death for their first outing.

Finally, it’s Freshers’ Week here at the University of Edinburgh and the Humanist Society will be gearing up for another year of activities. You can find them manning a stall at the Freshers’ Fair, this Wednesday and Thursday  at the Pleasance Societies Centre and and on Wednesday they’ll be wandering around trying to get people to take part in a Prayer Contest (pick a deity, make a prayer, roll the dice, closest number wins!). Then on Saturday, they will be climbing Mount Improbable, walking up Arthur’s Seat and discussing the evolutionary time line as they go. Look out for them at the Chaplaincy Fair on Tuesday too.

Happy reading and see you back here in a week!

Accord coalition launch

Monday 1st September 2008 saw the official launch of Accord, a coalition campaigning for inclusive education and opposing the practice of faith schools to select pupils and staff on the basis of religion. The coalition includes religious groups, humanists, trade unions and human rights groups; plus a wide array of big name supporters including religious leaders and some familiar humanists and secularist thinkers.

Continue reading ‘Accord coalition launch’

Pride Glasgow 2008

On Saturday (August 30th), the University of Edinburgh Humanist Society attended Pride Glasgow and the Not-Quite-So-Friendly Humanist has a report and pictures. We hosted a stall with friendly faces and materials on humanism and human rights, with support and encouragement from the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and the Humanist Society of Scotland.

It seems to have become a rather sad tradition that I initiate and organise our attendance and then find myself unable to be there on the day. However, it is very important to me to have humanists attending pride and celebrating diversity and supporting human rights.  The personal arenas of sexuality and gender identity are still particularly targeted by religious belief and intolerant attitudes and humanists have a responsibility and opportunity to address this. In fact, humanists in the UK have been offering same sex affirmation ceremonies since 1987. Outside of religious edict and conservative traditional views, there is no logical reason to object to or enforce any kind of sexuality as long as it’s consenting, and likewise with gender. Sex, love and gender are of great importance to the individual, but society and religion have no place dictating individual behaviour in these matters.