The Humanist Association of Toronto provides a focus of activities and discussion for Humanists in the Toronto area. Please note: HAT events are open to the public, and views expressed do not necessarily represent the official views of the Humanist Association of Toronto. For all public statements, educational events, media enquiries, please contact the webeditor, who will forward your enquiry to our Spokesperson.
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm
The Monthly Meeting the 2nd or 3rd Saturday at 1:30pm (TBD)
The Steering Committee meets 1st Wednesday, 7pm
The Book Group meets monthly.

HAT Forum: Canada and ISIS

HAT Forum
Saturday 13 September 2014, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 201
Topic: Canada and ISIS
Proposed by: Isabel Foot

What should Canada do?
Who are these people; we`re going to do what to them? Why?
Is it still oil?
Beheadings/ 9-11
Shock and Awe
Are the media readying us again for war with the Arabs?
Where do you see this going?
What should Canada do?

HAT Forum: IQ

HAT Forum
Saturday, September 6, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 304

Proposed by Gary Higgins

0. Are IQs rising? falling?
1. Are intelligent people necessarily more socially conscious? better humanists?
2. Would it be desirable to artificially boost IQ or intelligence with eugenics, stem cell research, GMOs, drugs and chemicals, or mechanical devices?
3. Could advertising, television, and modern conveniences (i.e. computers and apps and devices) contribute to decreasing or increasing IQ?
4. Is consent required for IQ testing? Could a person, or the parent of a child, refuse permission for these tests? Who has access to these records?

Clergy Project, September 27

HAT's next monthly speaker will be
Catherine Dunphy 
speaking about 
The Clergy Project
Saturday, September 27th, 1:30-3:00 (note change of date)
OISE (252 Bloor St. W.), Room 3-311

Speaker: Catherine Dunphy - A humanist, atheist and former Roman Catholic student chaplain, Catherine is a founding member of The Clergy Project and former Executive Director. She is the Operations Manager for Rational Doubt, a blog on Patheos –,  and she is currently writing a book about the founding of The Clergy Project and her experience of losing her faith in seminary.
Topic: The purpose of The Clergy Project is to provide a safe haven for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs. It originated from a growing awareness of the presence of these professional clergy and a concern about their dilemma as they moved beyond faith. Catherine’s talk will be of interest to anyone who faces or has faced a similar dilemma. 

HAT newsletter for download

The old URL that HAT has been using for archives and downloads is temporarily not working. Archived materials will not be lost permanently, but in the meantime, the most recent (summer 2014) newsletter can be downloaded instead from this link. Our apologies for any confusion.

HAT Forum: Media and Prejudice

HAT Forum
Saturday 30 August 2014, 11:00-1:00
519 Community Centre, 519 Church St.
Topic: Media and Prejudice
Proposed by: Cecilia Rayo

How do you think the media has portrayed visible minorities when they participate in an event that is perceived negatively?

What are the effects of this portrayal of visible minorities on the minds of children?

How do you as a humanist fight against prejudice?

Do you think that the media has evolved in the way they portray visible minorities?  If yes how?

HAT Forum: Suicide and Humanism

HAT Forum
Saturday, August 23, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 201

Topic: Suicide and Humanism
Proposed by: Richard Dowsett
  • What emotions do humanists experience when they think about suicide?
  • Does a humanist philosophy allow for suicide as a legitimate life choice under certain circumstances? What circumstances?
  • What consequences would this philosophy have within the greater society if it were the predominant one?
  • Whatever our thoughts on suicide, are they consistent with our thoughts on other life/death issues such as capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia?

Catholic schools force students to study religion despite court order

From today's Globe and Mail:

Catholic schools in Ontario are requiring students to take religious courses despite a recent court decision that ruled they can’t be forced to attend.

In multiple correspondences reviewed by The Globe and Mail, Catholic school board officials from across the province have denied requests from Catholic high-school students that they be excused from religious studies on the basis that their parents are Catholic school ratepayers.

All of those students requested the exemptions for academic reasons, in hopes of spending more time on courses important to university applications and apprenticeship programs. But the boards contend that Catholic students aren’t eligible for the exemption because they aren’t eligible to attend public schools.

For the full story:

HAT Forum: Evil in a Humanist Worldview

HAT Forum
Date: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Time: 11:00-1:00
Location: 519 Church St., Room 201

Topic: The Concept of Evil in a Humanist Worldview
Proposed by: Moses Klein

Do humanists recognize such a thing as evil? How does a humanist understanding of it differ from a theological understanding?

HAT Forum: Remembering War

Hat Forum:  Remembering War
Date: Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 11:00 - 1:00
Location: 519 Church St.   Room 201
Topic: The experience of our remembering
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy
Remembering whom? Can we say something about the quality of our remembering?
What affect is amplifying our individual remembering?  our collective remembering?
How do we ritually mark the deaths of participants? Their service?
Who is there at the ritual? Who is not there? So what?

HAT Forum: The Intrinsic Value of a Human Being

Date: Saturday 2 August, 11:00-1:00
Location: 519 Church St., Room 201
Proposed by: Cecilia Rayo

The intrinsic value of a human being is said to be the same for all individuals, irrespective of their race, nationality, age, education, profession, health, behavior,  usefulness for someone or contribution to the society. 

Do you agree with this principle? Explain your position.

Do you think that Western societies follow this principle?

In which situations do you think this principle is applied and in which is not?

HAT Forum: Human Aggressivity

HAT Forum: Human Aggressivity
Date: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 11:00-1:00
Location: 519 Church St.  Room 201
Topic: A better way to think about human aggressivity.
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy

The problem. Is human warring cruelty inevitable? Why?  or  Why not? – in our common sense style of wondering. Joseph D. Lichtenberg’s suggestion of a motivational systems theory will be lightly brushed as a base for my own hope of a ‘no’ answer to our question.

HAT Forum: The Good Life and Humanism 2.0

Date: Saturday, July 19, 11:00-1:00
Location: 519 Church St. Room 201 (note new room number)
Topic: The Good Life and Humanism 2.0
Proposed by: Jody Perrin

1)    What are some of the qualities, goods, values and relationships that you choose to be part of a “Good Life”?
2)    In what ways might our society or culture contribute to our creating a “Good Life” for ourselves?
3)    In what ways might our own Humanist Association encourage our living a “Good Life”?

Humanism and Defining the Good Life

HAT Forum 
Date: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Time: 11:00-1:00
Location:  519 Church St
Proposed by Eric Kronlachner
Submitted by Isabel Foot

Topic: humanism and defining the good life

Humanism as a  practice to get along with your fellowman?  What is fair? 

HAT Forum: Pipelines

Date: Saturday, July 5th, 11:00-1:00
Place: 519 Church St.
Topic: Are the proposed pipelines a pipe dream, or could they become reality?
Proposed by: Erik Krohnlachner

HAT Forum: First Nations names in sports

Date: Saturday, June 28, 11:00-1:00
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor St. W., Room 2-198. Note change in location.
Topic: First Nations names in sports
Proposed by: Moses Klein

Is the use of team names based on native peoples offensive? Why or why not? Are there circumstances in which you would find it acceptable? Must teams with native-based names use stereotypical imagery? In what way is a name like the Florida State Seminoles different from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?

The Forum will return to the 519 on July 5th.
HAT meetings are free and open to members and the public. Call (416) 966-1361 for location information. ___________________________________________________
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm.
The Monthly Meeting, is usually the second Saturday at 1:30pm; specifics should be found on this blog.
The Steering Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month, at 7pm.
The Book Group usually meets on the first Saturday afternoon of the month.