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: 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 Forum: Trinity Western Law School

HAT Forum
Saturday, June 21, 11:00-1:00
OISE (252 Bloor St. W.) Room 2-198
Note: The Forum returns to OISE for June 21-28 only. In July it will be back at 519 Church St.
Proposed by: Gary Higgins

Trinity Western University students must sign a strict Christian covenant governing behaviour, including abstaining from sexual intimacy "that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."
A special B.C. Law Society vote was called after critics objected to Trinity Western University's covenant, which forbids all students and staff from engaging in sexual relationships outside of marriage between a man and woman. (Trinity Western University)

Question: Should the Trinity Western University be accredited across Canada; in light of their policy binding all their students from engaging in premarital sex?

Book Club: Nomad

HAT Book Club meeting
Saturday, July 5th, 2:30
Nomad, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Location: Fox and Fiddle, 280 Bloor St. W., back room

The Toronto Public Library has 100 copies in stock.
"In her powerful new memoir, the #1 bestselling author ofInfideltells the stirring story of her search for a new life as she tries to reconcile her Islamic past with her passionate adherence to democracy and Western values. A unique blend of personal narrative and reportage, moving, engaging, wryly funny at times,Nomadgives us an inside view of her battle for equality in the face of considerable odds.

Ayaan captured the world's attention with Infidel, the eye-opening memoir of her childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia, and her escape to Holland en route to a forced marriage in Canada. Nomad is the story of what happened after the Dutch director with whom she made a documentary about the domestic abuse of Muslim women was murdered by a radical Islamist and death threats forced her into hiding; of her bid to start a new life in America; of her renewed contact with her family on her father's death; and of her attempts to live by her adopted principles. With deep understanding, and through vivid anecdotes, and observations of people, cultures, and the political debacles that are engulfing the world, she takes us with her on an illuminating, unforgettable journey."

HAT Forum, June 14: Ontario Election

Date: Saturday June 14, 2014, 11:00 - 1:00
Topic: Ontario Election- What have we learned?
Proposed by: Isabel Foot
Location: 519 Church Street Community Centre, 3rd Floor (NEW)
What are your thoughts about the Ontario election? Did events change your feelings about any of the parties? What did you think about the scripted messages? Where do we go from here?

The Science of Shakespeare (talk by Dan Falk)

The Humanist Association of Toronto presents
"The Science of Shakespeare"
by Dan Falk, HAT Humanist of the Year for 2013
Saturday, June 21, 2013, 1:30-3:00 PM
Location: OISE (252 Bloor St. W.), Room 4-414

William Shakespeare lived at a remarkable time -- a period we now recognize as the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. New ideas about the human body, the earth and the universe were transforming Western thought. Award-winning journalist Dan Falk will explore Shakespeare's interest in the scientific discoveries of his time -- asking what he knew, when he knew it and how that knowledge is reflected in his work.

Dan Falk has written for Smithsonian, New Scientist, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, The Walrus and many other publications, and is the author of two previous popular science books, In Search of Time and Universe on a T-Shirt. He has been a regular contributor to "Ideas" on CBC Radio, and has won several international awards for his radio documentaries. He lives in Toronto.

All are welcome **** Free admission

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.