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: 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 Forum: Do conservative values conflict with humanist values?

Date: Saturday, June 7, 2014, 11:00-1:00
Topic: Is humanism compatible with traditional conservative values?
Proposed by: Richard Dowsett
Location: 519 Church St. Community Centre, 3rd floor (NOTE NEW LOCATION)

How does someone who is politically and perhaps socially conservative reconcile these values with their humanist principles to see themselves as representing both philosophies?
Conservative generally describes the values of someone that believes there are important facets of the present or past that need to be "conserved" against change. Many of the HAT principles are specifically about change (Freedom of inquiry, valuing gaining knowledge, creativity, acknowledging fallibility). Can you commit to conservative and change simultaneously?
The conservative worldview sees humans as powerful but also tragically flawed with natural tendencies toward greed, laziness and self-interest. Is the humanist worldview essentially optimistic about human nature or is this more a function of the individual practitioner?

​Are we ready to work together for our humanism​​ with others of both conservative values and liberal​​ values without judgment or exclusion?

HAT Forum: Some questions about our Forum process

HAT Forum
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 11:00-1:00
OISE, Rooms 2-281 and 2-289
Topic: Some questions about our Forum process
Proposed by: Jody Perrin

1) How do we encourage courteous and respectful exchange of ideas and opinions?
2) How might we avoid persuasion and enrich our understandings?
3)  What do we mean by listening seriously to each other? 

Note: The first two HAT Forums in June will be at the 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St. near Wellesley. Stay tuned for more information about subsequent Forums.

Humanist of the Year, 2013: Dan Falk

Humanist of the Year:  Dan Falk, Science Journalist
with Tanya Long, Program Coordinator.
April, 2014.

HAT Forum: Ontario Election

HAT Forum
Saturday, May 17, 2014
OISE, Rooms 2-198, 2-199
Proposed by: Moses Klein

What are your thoughts and feelings about the Ontario election? How will you vote? What issues do you want the parties, leaders or candidates to talk about more? Are there events in the past 3 years that have changed your opinions of any of the political parties?

Change of Location! HAt Annual General Meeting May 3, 11am

Date: Saturday, May 3
Time: 11:00am to 1:00pm

The U of T Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue, 2nd Floor
at Willcocks Avenue, 250m south of Harbord Street

TTC access: via the 510 Spadina Streetcar
Parking: SW corner of Classic Ave. & Huron St. (150m away)

Agenda Items include:
•    presentation of the Humanist of the Year Award
•    discussion of future projects
•    election of Steering Committee members for 2014
Refreshments will be served.

Hat Forum, Sat. April 26, 11am OISE "Trigger warnings"

HAT Forum
Saturday 26 April 2014
Topic: Trigger warnings
Proposed by: Moses Klein

A trigger warning is a notice preceding any kind of media that the content might contain a trauma trigger for some people. Are they a good idea? In what contexts? Are there contexts in which they are inappropriate? One use that has recently been much debated in our media is in a university syllabus: How do we feel about that?

HAT forum Sat 19 April, OISE 11am

HAT Forum, Saturday 19 April
Time: 11:00-1pm
Location: OISE, Rooms 11-200, 11-204
Facilitator:  "M.A".

"Although there is, more often than not, agreement that we as humans have, by nature, such attributes as ‘aggressive’, we, at the same time, also agree that we ‘should NOT’ be aggressive, or at least that our aggression should NOT result in violence. Culture, in the form of laws and customs, is (perhaps) designed to provide for such channels, i.e. for what we ‘should BE’.

Our ‘consciousness’ (apparently distinguishing us from other animals) of what we are, on the one hand, and what we perceive ourselves to actually be, on the other hand, enable us to ponder that which we are not but which we CAN be. The question remains, however, whether we really can (successfully) engage in an enterprise of becoming or whether any 'becoming what we are not' is but an illusion and we are doomed to accept what we are as animals.

1. Can we intelligently (or otherwise) design ourselves as individuals and/or our society as our collective ‘self’, to change from what we are towards what we think we ought to be?’ (‘transhumanism’ ? :) or do we have to accept ourselves as what we are?
2. Does our consciousness of what we ARE necessarily encourage us to BECOME what we are not?
3. Does accepting ourselves as what we are mean embracing Social Darwinism?
4. If we agree that we should become something that we are not, how can we as Humanists know what that thing OUGHT TO BE without a belief in any divine revelation (a God-/god-sent plan)?
HAT meetings are free and open to members and the public. Most events are at OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, unless indicated otherwise. ___________________________________________________
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm
The Monthly Meeting, is usually the Third Saturday at 1:30pm
The Steering Committee meets First Wednesday of each month, at 7pm
The Book Group meets monthly on Saturdays.
The Film program (formerly met) on the Third Sunday of the Month at 3pm at CFI, 216 Beverly Street. (Currently in hiatus - looking for better technology!)