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 Monthly Meeting, Sat Jan 11, 2014. 1:30-3pm "Anti Semitism", Martin Klein

HAT MONTHLY MEETING
DATE: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
LOCATION:  OISE, 252 Bloor St. west, Room TBD
SPEAKER:  Dr. Martin Klein, “Anti-Semitism from a Personal Perspective”

Martin Klein was born in New York in 1934 and grew up in the New York area in the 1940s and 1950s, a time of cultural change. In the late 50s, he became interested in Africa and wrote a thesis at the University of Chicago on French colonialism in Senegal. He has since taught African history, first at the University of California in Berkeley and, since 1970, at the University of Toronto. He retired in 1999, but has remained active in research and writing. He has written three books and edited seven. His work is mostly about slavery and the slave trade, but he has also written about Islam and colonial rule.

Dr. Martin Klein will talk about growing up Jewish in New York during the 1940s and then about how he became aware of larger patterns of racism, stigmatization and discrimination. He will then analyze how anti-Semitism differs from other forms of racism and why they persist in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.
 

HAT monthly meeting, Sat. Jan. 11, 2014, Dr. Martin Klein on Anti-Semitism

HAT Monthly Meeting
DATE: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 1:30-3pm
LOCATION: OISE, 252 Bloor St. west, Room TBD
SPEAKER:  Dr. Martin Klein
TOPIC:  “Anti-Semitism from a Personal Perspective”

Martin Klein was born in New York in 1934 and grew up in the New York area in the 1940s and 1950s, a time of cultural change. In the late 50s, he became interested in Africa and wrote a thesis at the University of Chicago on French colonialism in Senegal. He has since taught African history, first at the University of California in Berkeley and, since 1970, at the University of Toronto. He retired in 1999, but has remained active in research and writing. He has written three books and edited seven. His work is mostly about slavery and the slave trade, but he has also written about Islam and colonial rule.

Dr. Martin Klein will talk about growing up Jewish in New York during the 1940s and then about how he became aware of larger patterns of racism, stigmatization and discrimination. He will then analyze how anti-Semitism differs from other forms of racism and why they persist in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society.






All are welcome.

HAT Book group, Jan 4, 2014, "The Yacoubian Building"

HAT book club meeting.
Date:  January 4th, 2014,  2:30 -4:00 pm:
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
TOPIC:  "The Yacoubian building"   
By Alaa Al Aswany (trans: Humphrey Davies) 2004

10 copies and a DVD available in the Library and also available in book and e-book. (eg., Chapter, Eaton Centre, Bay Bloor
"The Yacoubian Building holds all that Egypt was and has become over the 75 years since its namesake was built on one of downtown Cairo's main boulevards. From the pious son of the building's doorkeeper and the raucous, impoverished squatters on its roof, via the tattered aristocrat and the gay intellectual in its apartments, to the ruthless businessman whose stores occupy its ground floor, each sharply etched character embodies a facet of modern Egypt - where political corruption, ill-gotten wealth, and religious hypocrisy are natural allies, where the arrogance and defensiveness of the powerful find expression in the exploitation of the weak, where youthful idealism can turn quickly to extremism, and where an older, less violent vision of society may yet prevail.

Alaa Al Aswany's novel caused an unprecedented stir when it was first published in 2002 and has remained the world’s bestselling novel in the Arabic language.

HAT Monthly Meeting: Sat Dec 14: The Ethics of the Faith" - Ean Burchell

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Time: 1:30 – 3 pm
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor west, Room 4-414
TOPIC: “The Ethics of the Faith: Right, Wrong and the God of Abraham”
Speaker: Ean W. Burchell

“The Ethics of the Faith” will attempt a rational, objective analysis of the ethical implications of monotheism. Central to this attempt will be a discussion of the position of Yahweh/Jehovah/God in the three monotheistic faiths. It will also be important to provide working definitions of “faith” and “ethics.” The key question throughout will be not whether the god of Abraham exists, but whether his commands, laws, and morality tales offer us anything of ethical value.

Themes will include:

The original creative acts and the first “sins.”
The Decalogue and its perceived centrality to Judeo-Christian morality. Other elements of the Mosaic Laws will be brought in to expand on certain of the Commandments.
The creation of the devil. Other “hero” tales may be included as time permits.
 
Ean W. Burchell was born in Cape Breton in 1965. He studied Politics and History at Carleton University, Ottawa, and then moved to New York City. While in New York, he attended Fordham University and received a Master’s Degree in History and Secondary Education. He returned to Canada and received a Bachelor of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax. For the next 16 years, he travelled in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Jordan and Turkey, then in Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand. In August 2013, Ean submitted his doctoral dissertation on the topic of Instructional Leadership at California Coast University.

His intellectual interests include history, philosophy, religion and politics. As an educator, he has always been particularly concerned with the clash between faith, in anything, and critical thinking, a problem he has encountered at least as often with educated adults as with teen-aged students. His first book, The Ethics of the Faith: Right, Wrong, and the God of Abraham, is an examination of the morality of the god of Abraham, whether we accept the foundational texts of the Abrahamic faiths as literally true or allegorical. Though personally an atheist, Ean has tried not to write from this perspective.

THIS EVENT IS FREE, and ALL ARE WELCOME

HAT FORUM, Sat. Dec. 14, "The end of Patriarchy"

HAT FORUM
DATE:  Sat Dec 14, 11am - 1pm
LOCATION:  252 Bloor Street West, OISE
TOPIC:  The End of Patriarchy.
FACILITATOR:  Deborah Jenkins

All are welcome to this discussion of ideas.

Dec 23 is "Human Light" day. Here are some other Humanist Holidays

Humanist Holidays – Dec 23 is Human Light

Here is a short list of various days and events which have been developed by humanists around the world.  The IHEU endorses World Humanist Day (21 June), Darwin Day (12 February), Human Rights Day (10 December) and HumanLight (23 December) as official days of Humanist celebration, though none are yet a public holiday.

DARWIN DAY, Feb 12
WORLD HUMANIST DAY,  June 21
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY,  Dec 10
HUMANLIGHT,   Dec. 23

Humanists may also recognize other dates, such as
HYPATIA DAY, March 15 A pagan, and probably an atheist, Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman of remarkable intellect who advanced mathematics and the science of astronomy in her time. Her death at the hands of a christian mob in March 415ce has been described as marking the end of classical antiquity.
“All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.”  —attributed to her, unverified

EARTH DAY,  April 22

PI DAY, March 14
Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the U.S. month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.[2]
Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 (or 22/7 in the day/month date format), since the fraction 227 is a common approximation of π.[3]

 for something truly encompassing, see

CARL SAGAN’s COSMIC CALENDAR  (illustrations at this link)
Cosmic Calendar is a scale in which the 13.8 billion year lifetime of the universe is mapped onto a single year. At this scale the Big Bang took place on January 1 at midnight, and the current time is mapped to December 31 at midnight.  At this scale, there are 434 years per second, 1.57 million years per hour, and 37.7 million years per day. The concept was popularized by Carl Sagan in his book The Dragons of Eden and on his television series Cosmos as a way to conceptualize the vast amounts of time in the history of the universe.

Kevin asks about donating a laptop to Swami's streetkids program

If anyone in the Toronto area has an old laptop that they are willing to donate to Swami Manatavadi's Kid's Kingdom Unorphanage in India, please let me know. I have an offer from someone travelling to Delhi on Saturday to carry it to him. Please remove any sensitive files but leave the operating system & any useful programs and include the charging cables.
 
Write to Kevin on Facebook, or vegve (at) gmail.com

HAT FORUM Sat. Dec 7, "Social Class"

HAT FORUM
Date:  Sat Dec 7, 2013, 11am - 1:30pm
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Topic:  SOCIAL CLASS
Facilitator:  Norine Earl

The facilitator will propose questions around the concept of Social Class, such as:

1.  Are the people of a “higher” class better than the others in the class “below” them?
2. To what extent is a social class a culture? Or are some groups of people just “failures” in relation to others
3. How do the value systems of the upper middle class differ from the working class?
4. How might the different value systems be related to and/or mutually affected by the different kind of work done by the respective classes?
5.  How is the socialization  process different for children growing up in the respective classes?

Ontario Humanist Society « UofT Roundtable on Reviving Public Science in Canada, Nov 29, 5:30-7:30

Ontario Humanist Society « UofT Roundtable on Reviving Public Science in Canada, Nov 29, 5:30-7:30

You are invited to attend this free event:

Critical Condition: Reviving Public Science in Canadawill take place on Nov. 29, 2013, from 5:30-7:30.

Come to an event celebrating the life of three scientific organizations that died and one that was resuscitated, and help us brainstorm about ways to revive public science in Canada.

Dr. Paul Cappon, the former President of the Canadian Council of Learning (2004-2012) will talk about the Council’s birth and untimely death. The Council studied and fostered ways in which Canadians were learning in school, at home, in the workplace and in their community, throughout their life cycle.

Dr. Robert Page, former Chair of the
National Round Table on Environment & Economy (1988-2013), will discuss the life and death of the Roundtable and its valuable contributions to our understanding of the links between the environment and the economy – now more needed than ever! It researched and advocated a low carbon economy and argued that Canada was well positioned to achieve this goal. However, its advice was not appreciated, which led to its demise.

Dr. Peter Ross, former senior research with the Ocean Pollution Research Program will talk about "Ocean pollution science in Canada: Navigating without a compass” – the outcome of terminating a program within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that led to many important regulations and controls improving commercial and traditional seafoods by lowering levels of various chemicals in marine wildlife. It improved the health of several fish and marine mammal populations. Sadly, the program itself died in 2013.

Dr. Diane Orihel, founder of Save ELA, will discuss the death of the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area and its miraculous resuscitation through Ontario – find out why it is still in critical condition on life support, unable to rise from its bed of suffering. During its healthy life, the ELA influenced public policy in water management in Canada, the USA and Europe.

The talks will be followed by a Q and A period, and we will then brainstorm together what can be done to Revive Public Science in Canada.

This event is organized by Scientists for the Right to Know, the University of Toronto Faculty Association, the Graduate Students’ Union of the University of Toronto, the York University Faculty Association and Save ELA.
 

HAT FORUM Sat Nov 23, ROB FORD affair

HAT Forum
Saturday 23 November, 11am - 1pm
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street W
Topic: The Rob Ford Affair
Facilitator:  Moses Klein

How are we reacting to the developing story around the mayor? What does it take for an elected official to be deemed incapable of fulfilling his or her duties? Should the province intervene, or is that an intrusion on municipal self-government? What do you find interesting in this saga?

HAT Book Group, Sat Dec 7, 2:30pm "No Nonsense Guide to World Food:

Hat Saturday Book group on December 7th.
OISE:  252 Bloor Street West, 2:30-4pm
Leader:  Jodi Perrin
Book discussed:The no-nonsense guide to world food
by Roberts, Wayne, 1944-Year2008, Revision updated: August 5, 2013

Food security is a topic that is increasingly in the public's consciousness. Covering fast food, health food, institutional food, and more, this No-Nonsense Guide shows why and how "real food" has become scarce, dominated as it is in the West by agri-business and supermarkets. Wayne Roberts discusses nutrition, health, economics, and gives examples of effective food systems being developed by individuals, communities, and governments.
An essential guide to this important issue, this book will appeal to students, food professionals and activists, public health staff and concerned citizens - anyone who wants to understand the international food system and how it can be improved.

HAT FORUM: Sat Nov 9, 11am "Respect for the Dead"

HAT Forum
Saturday, November 9th
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Topic: Respect for the Dead
Facilitator:  Moses Klein

Is it important to show respect for the dead? How do we do that?
What sort of bereavement rituals do you find most appropriate? How much should the wishes of the dead, as opposed to the concerns of the living, shape the process?

Participants are encouraged to stay for Bob Hope's talk on Natural Burials after lunch.

REMINDER: Hat monthly meeting, Nov 9, "Natural Burial", OISE, 1:30 PM

Natural Burial:  Free talk at HAT Nov 9
Everyone is invited to the HAT MONTHLY SPEAKER, Sat Nov 9, 1:30-3pm, OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, room 6-170.

SPEAKER:  Bob Hope, HAT member from Owen Sound.
Please come, and ask lots of questions!

HAT weekly Forum, Sat. Nov 2 "Humanist Principles - Sustainable environment"

HAT weekly Forum
Date: Saturday November 2
LOCATION:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street W, Room No. 10-204
TOPIC: A discussion of No. 10 of our Canadian Humanist Set of Principles
FACILITATOR:  Jodi Perrin

“Humanists affirm that human beings are completely a part of nature, and that our survival is dependent upon a healthy planet that provides us and all other forms of life with a sustainable environment.”
How can this principle inform and affect our lives?



HAT MONTHLY MEETING: Sat. Nov 9, 1:30pm "Natural Burial"

Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Time: 1:30 – 3 pm
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor west, Room tbd
Topic: “Natural Burial: A ‘New’ Old Concept of Burial”
Speaker: Bob Hope, a member of the Natural Burial Association
 
Natural Burial is a “new” old concept of burial. In 2008, Victoria BC was the first city in Canada to offer it as a choice and interest has been growing since.
 
Natural burial methods are designed to return the body to the earth without inhibiting the natural process of decomposition, leading to a sustainable burial process with little environmental impact.  Different from conventional cemeteries, a natural burial site (also known as a woodland cemetery) is managed for the benefit of wildlife and is planted to encourage a diverse range of flora and fauna.  In this way, natural burial grounds actively contribute to the protection and creation of forests and parklands.
Bob Hope is an Owen Sound, Ontario resident and member of the Natural Burial Association, a Canadian non-profit organization. Bob has studied the issues of conventional burial and cremation as well as the benefits of natural burial when  compared to other forms of interment or cremation. This presentation concludes that it is time for Natural Burial to become an important alternative choice for environmentally conscious citizens.

HAT Forum Sat Oct 26, 11am OISE

HAT FORUM
DATE:  Sat. Oct 26, 11am
LOCATION:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West, Room 2-198
TOPIC: The Positive Aspects of Faith - Is there a place for faith in the humanist perspective?
Topic Contributor: Richard Dowsett

Faith defined as firm belief in something for which there is no proof - complete trust.
How can having faith be beneficial to the individual?

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Don't forget - HAT monthly meeting follows at 1:30 pm:

Early notice: HAT Month talk, Sat Nov 9, "Natural Burial", OISE

HAT monthly speaker meeting
Saturday, November 9, 2013  1:30 – 3 pm
OISE, 252 Bloor west, Room tbd
TOPIC: “Natural Burial: A ‘New’ Old Concept of Burial”
Speaker: Bob Hope, a member of the Natural Burial Association
 
Natural Burial is a “new” old concept of burial. In 2008, Victoria BC was the first city in Canada to offer it as a choice and interest has been growing since.
 
Natural burial methods are designed to return the body to the earth without inhibiting the natural process of decomposition, leading to a sustainable burial process with little environmental impact.  Different from conventional cemeteries, a natural burial site (also known as a woodland cemetery) is managed for the benefit of wildlife and is planted to encourage a diverse range of flora and fauna.  In this way, natural burial grounds actively contribute to the protection and creation of forests and parklands.
Bob Hope is an Owen Sound, Ontario resident and member of the Natural Burial Association, a Canadian non-profit organization. Bob has studied the issues of conventional burial and cremation as well as the benefits of natural burial when  compared to other forms of interment or cremation. This presentation concludes that it is time for Natural Burial to become an important alternative choice for environmentally conscious citizens.

HAT Forum, Sat Oct 12, 11am OISE, "Gratitude and random chance"

Hat Saturday Forum
Date: Saturday October 12, 2013
Time: 11 am-1pm
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Discussion:  Gratitude and Random Chance
Faciltator:  Isobel Foot

early alert: November Book Club, Nov 2, 2:30pm OISE "Charlotte's Web"

HAT Book Club.
Date:Saturday, November 2 from 2:20-4:00,
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Our fiction book choice for this month  is the children’s story “Charlotte's’ Web” by E.B.White

Judy Rebick: Humanist of the Year. Sat Oct 26, 1:30pm, OISE

HAT MONTHLY MEETING
Saturday, October 26, 2013
1:30 – 3 pm
OISE, 252 Bloor St West, Room 5-250

ALL ARE WELCOME TO:
Judy Rebick, photo courtesy of David Smiley
“An Afternoon with Judy Rebick”
Judy Rebick, Writer, Activist, Feminist, will accept her HAT Humanist of the Year 2012 Award. Join us for an informal conversation with Judy, exploring her commitment to social justice and equity for all.
 
Judy Rebick is a well-known social justice activist, writer, educator and speaker. One of Canada’s best known feminists, Judy is the former President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and was a spokesperson for the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics during the fight to legalize abortion.  During the 1980s she co-chaired the Ontario Coalition for Employment Equity and was involved in organizing for employment equity at the federal and provincial levels.
 
She is an author.  Her latest books are Occupy This! and Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political. Judy recently stepped down after eight years as the CAW Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University.  She  is the founding publisher of rabble.ca and is currently on CBC Radio Q’s media panel. During the 1990s, Judy was the host of a national TV show on CBC Newsworld.
 
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.