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.
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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.
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HAT EVENTS | GTA EVENTS | GTA NEWS | HUMANIST NEWS | HAT NEWSLETTER | ETHICAL ACTIONS | UNIV of TORONTO EVENTS

HAT Forum: The Jian Ghomeshi Affair

HAT Forum
Saturday 29 November, 11:00-1:00
OISE (252 Bloor St. W.) Room 4-420  *NOTE UNUSUAL LOCATION*
Topic: The effect of the alleged behavior of Jian Ghomeshi on the relationship between the sexes
Proposed by: Michael Chin

1.      What might be the cause for this type of behavior?
2.      Why are some people attracted to celebrity even though they are aware of a potential risk. We often hear of people who are attracted to those who are on death row or to those who have been convicted of heinous crimes such as Paul Bernardo.
3.     There are many who do not want to leave abusive relationships and some seem to attract those with a history of inappropriate behavior.
4.      Is there anything we can learn from the reluctance of those in power to take action against a “star” such as a Jian Ghomeshi, Ray Rice or Jimmy Saville? Is this any different from our reluctance to “do the right” thing if there could be a personal cost? 
5.      How do we define consensual activity?  Should we require that any physical activity that occurs in private be agreed to in writing? Should we outlaw certain types of behavior? However, violent activities such as Boxing, MMA (mixed martial arts)  where the objective is to render your opponent incapable of functioning are legal and regulated. Should the government get more involved in regulating the behavior between the sexes? If Ghomeshi and others are interested in “rough sex” should the government regulate this activity to protect the public? 
6.      Might this case result in false accusations in the future?
7.      Could an unintended consequence be a chill in the banter as it relates to the majority of the interaction between the sexes that both parties do not find objectionable?

HAT Forum: Parental Authority and Parental Responsibility

HAT Forum
Saturday 22 November 2014, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Meeting Room #304
Topic: Parental Authority and Parental Responsibility
Proposed by: Moses Klein
1.       What responsibilities do parents have to their children? What responsibilities does the larger society have? Do they conflict?
2.       In what ways have our society’s standards about child-raising changed in your lifetime? In your opinion are these changes for the better?
3.       Is corporal punishment ever acceptable? With what limits? Under what conditions should outside agencies intervene?
4.       Religious parents typically inculcate their children with their own beliefs. Is this acceptable? With what limitations, if any?
5.       Should parents have the right to refuse medical treatment on their kids’ behalf? On what basis?

HAT Forum: Dying with Dignity

HAT Forum
Date: Saturday, November 15, 11:00 AM
Place: 519 Church St.,
Topic: Dying with Dignity
Proposed by Camila Arroyo

1. Is there an ethical difference between passive DWD (ie withholding treatment with palliative care) and active DWD and are both equally acceptable?
2. What legal sanctions should be put in place to avoid abuse of DWD laws?
3. Is it posible to put this law in place without having abuse? What's the best possible way to avoid abuse of the system on elderly or those unable to afford treatment?
4. How does one determine who is mentally capable of making these decisions and what possibilities could there be for those deemed uncapable for making those decisions? Moreover, Should this only be for terminal illnesses? 
5. In one study, When palliative care was provided, a statistically significant amount of people chose to change their mind about assisted suicide (45%). Should this choice be exhausted before doctor assisted suicide?
6. What kind of training and education, if any, should doctors and nurses have in discussion of this topic to terminally ill patients? For example, should doctors and nurses be allowed to inform patients on that option first?
7. Should the law be open to more than "terminaly ill patients with life expectancy of 6 months or less"? Can this decision be made by proxy (ie. parent to child)?
8. How do we best use this law in situations where prognosis is more unpredictable?

Note: This will be a shortened Forum, so that we can all get to Dale Roy's talk afterward.

HAT Book Club: A Year in Provence

HAT Book Club

A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle
Discussion on Saturday, December 6th, 2:30 PM
Call 416-966-1361 or email HATcoord@gmail.com for location

Book summary:
Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.

Dale Roy on SKETCH:Creating Opportunities through Art for Marginalized Young People

HAT monthly speaker
Speaker: Dale Roy
Topic: SKETCH:Creating Opportunities through Art for Marginalized Young People
Date: Saturday, November 15, 1:30 PM
Location: OISE (252 Bloor St. W.), Room 4-414

About SKETCH:
SKETCH creates opportunities for young people ages 16 to 29 living street involved, homeless or otherwise on the margins to experience the transformative power of the arts; to build leadership and economic self-sufficiency in the arts; and to cultivate social and environmental change through the arts.

About Dale Roy:
With an educational background in psychology, journalism and marketing, Dale Roy has been developing ideas and strategies to help organizations reach their objectives for over a decade. Dale joined SKETCH to lead its marketing and communication goals. At SKETCH, Dale is passionate about working with the community to develop the strategies, stories and relationships that bring SKETCH's mission to the public.

This event is free and open to the public.

HAT Forum: Taxation

HAT Forum
Saturday, November 8, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room #106 (Eastroom South)
Topic: Taxes
Proposed by: Dov Mileevsky


1) what is the optimal method of taxing the public: (a) income tax (b) consumption tax (c) property tax?

2) is it fair to penalize higher income individuals by taxing them at a higher percentage vs lower income people? 

3) what should the US government do regarding corporations who have generated billions of dollars offshore and now refuse to repatriate those funds back to the US and incur the tax penalty?

4) is it true that the general public cannot always be trusted to make financially sound decisions with government funds?

5) is it acceptable that religious institutions have special privileges regarding taxes? Should religious schools be allowed to offer a tax write off for tuition? Are charities in general abusing "tax write offs" in comparison to other types of institutions?

HAT Forum: Responses to the Parliament shootings

HAT Forum
Saturday, November 1st, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Meeting Room #303
Topic: Responses to the Parliament shootings
Proposed by: Moses Klein

Did the Parliament Hill shootings change the way we feel about security, about openness, or about Canada? How is the country reacting, and how should it react? What concerns do you have about the balance between security and openness -- have we found the right balance, or do you think we will? What are the causes of such actions, and can we do anything to address them?

HAT Forum: Jobs

HAT Forum
Date: Saturday, October 25, 2014
Time: 11:00-1:00
Location:  519 Church St, Fireplace Room 201
Proposed by: Isabel Foot
Topic: Jobs

Is astounding unemployment globally a side effect of new technology?
Where will jobs come from?
If there are so many things we'd like to do why is there nobody to "pay" for them?

October 18: No Forum, annual members party instead

There is no HAT Forum on Saturday, October 18th. Instead, HAT members are invited to the annual party that afternoon. If you have not gotten the invitation, contact us ((416) 966-1361 or HatCoord@gmail.com) for directions.

Should We Go? Combat against Islamic State

HAT Forum
Saturday, October 11, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Room 201 (Fireplace Room)
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy

This topic was drawn from features in the Globe and Mail, Saturday, October 4th.

A discussion of the opinions of government and media, and our own opinions, on sending Canadian military assistance to fight the Islamic State.

Upcoming HAT monthly events

More details on these scheduled HAT monthly events will be posted later. All speaker events are open to the public free of charge.

Saturday, October 18
HAT annual members' party, 2:00-6:00
HAT members should receive details with the Fall 2014 newsletter. If you do not receive an invitation, contact us for location information. This event is open to HAT members and their guests.

Saturday, November 15
HAT monthly speaker, 1:30-3:00
Speaker: Dale Roy, SKETCH
Topic: SKETCH: Creating Opportunities through Art for Marginalized Young People
SKETCH creates opportunities for young people ages 16 to 29 living street involved, homeless or otherwise on the margins to experience the transformative power of the arts; to build leadership and economic self-sufficiency in the arts; and to cultivate social and environmental change through the arts.

Saturday, December 13
HAT monthly speaker, 1:30-3:00
Speaker: Dr. Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, Research Associate, York University
Topic: Understanding Quasars

Saturday, January 10
HAT monthly speaker, 1:30-3:00
Speaker: Debbie Pond, M.O.M.
Topic: Human Trafficking
Debbie Pond, RCMP – Inspector (Ret.), won many awards during her career in law enforcement, including the Order of Merit of the Police Force (2007) and the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013). She is a member of the National Advisory Team of Defend Dignity, an organization to end human trafficking in Canada, and Chair of the Board of Directors of u-r home, a place of hope for rescued victims of human trafficking. She will bring her considerable credentials and experience to bear on an examination of this very important topic.

HAT Forum: Public Transit in Toronto

Topic: Public Transit in Toronto
Date: Saturday 4 October 2014, 11:00-1:00
Location: 519 Church St., Meeting Room #304
Proposed by: Moses Klein

What is the value of public transit to a major city?
How does public transit fit into an overall transportation strategy?
What are the most important challenges facing Toronto's public transit system?
What, if anything, should be the priorities for future transit development in Toronto?
How well are our political leaders dealing with the transit issue?

Revisiting the HAT Forum guidelines

HAT Forum
Saturday 27 September, 2014, 11:00
519 Church St. Room 304

Topic: Revisiting the Forum guidelines for participants and facilitators
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy

We will be revisiting the Forum guidelines and guidelines for facilitators. Note: because of the talk by Catherine Dunphy this will be a shortened discussion.

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 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.