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Humanist Symposium #51

Welcome to the 51st Humanist Symposium, coming to you on a truly auspicious day on which we celebrate two unarguably excellent things. Firstly, over here in the UK it’s Mother’s Day. Not to be confused with Mothering Sunday, which is a deprecated Christian festival that just happens to coincide with Mother’s Day in Europe – but not in the US. It gets confusing. Mothers, though! I think we can all agree they’re pretty great. Secondly, over there in the US it’s Pi Day. 3.14. Without pi we wouldn’t have the hula-hoop, Stargate or Quidditch, and wedding rings wouldn’t work, so it’s ... Read More »

Faith of Britain Day

Everybody! Everyone, this is important. You need to listen to this: Faith Of Britain Day is a day that focuses all of the positive energy in the country towards achieving our hopes and aspirations. For exactly two minutes on March 6th at 11.00am our consortium of psychics and healers will act as a channel for the positive thoughts of the entire country. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? It’s so obvious. They’re going to channel our positive thoughts! Channel them into, you know, the channel-place. It’s going to be so awesome. Why March 6th? March 6th has been chosen as ... Read More »

Faith, science, and David Hume

Dr. Steven Novella today has a good post on the ‘faith’ involved in science. He takes on the common accusation that the assumption of a rational universe is an underlying, unjustified assumption of science1: Let us conduct a thought experiment. If we do live in a naturalistic world that predictably follows its own laws, then empirical hypothesis testing should be able to, over time, work out those laws and how the universe works. There would be no theoretical reason why science could not eventually understand any natural process. So far all the evidence seems to be pointing to the conclusion ... Read More »

Good, bad and the middle ground

Just when I was starting to think it was just me, I find, via Norm, that Butterflies and Wheels also disagreed with norm’s earlier comment about seeing only the bad in religion. B&W disagreed with him, he countered their arguments, and they’ve just replied. I’ve read through the arguments and, although I still think that Norm misrepresents what’s being said, I’ve discovered some viewpoints I hadn’t considered before. While most reasonable people agree that creationism / intelligent design are dangerous and backwards ideas, there are far fewer who are willing to debate religion itself – the attitude of ‘you mustn’t ... Read More »

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