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: Film Day June 16

June 20th: 3pm. CFI 216 Beverly Street
TITLE: God Grew Tired of Us.
This documentary about four of Sudan's "Lost Boys" who fled the civil war, eventually getting asylum in the United States.

Free admission, all welcome.

HAT FORUM: Sat. June 5 11am-1pm, OISE Room 11-204

SAT June 5, OISE 252 Bloor Street West, 11am - 1pm Room 11-204
TOPIC: Death, and why are some many people afraid of it. Should they be?
FACILITATOR: Cornelis van de Graaff

There are many questions about Death, we can ask ourselves, aside from the Fear of Dying.
There is also the question ofsShould we postpone it, if possible and at what cost?
Some might come up with Euthanasia. Not whether it is or should be legal, but how do we look at it from a Humanist viewpoint. Is it moral for the state to encourage dying? For a crime or for financial reasons?

HAT petition re Sex Education in Ontario

[You may download a printable version of this petition HERE]

Petition to the Government of Ontario

We the undersigned support the proposed 2010 revisions to sex education in Ontario. As the government is rethinking the curriculum, we strongly encourage that the final version retain the following admirable features of the original proposal:

Proactive: By discussing issues of sexuality with children before they experience the difficult and confusing changes of adolescence, the proposed curriculum will help them to cope with those challenges when they do reach puberty.
Holistic:

The curriculum integrates the medical implications of sex with the emotional aspects of a relationship, encouraging adolescents to consider all factors in deciding how intimate to get with a partner.
Non-judgmental:
The proposed curriculum does not tell students what decisions to make about their own sexuality. Instead, by informing students of the many reasons to delay sexual activity, including risks of pregnancy and disease as well as issues of person comfort, it helps them to make their own decisions responsibly.
Inclusive:
The proposed curriculum acknowledges different forms of sexuality, most notably sexual orientation. As early as Grade 3, even before they consider the mechanics of sex, children can understand the special relationship of a loving couple, and can appreciate that such couples may include two men, two women, or one of each. Later, when they become aware of their own sexual orientation, this should help gay as well as straight children to understand their developing urges.
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Please send completed forms to: Humanist Association of Toronto, c/o Moses Klein, 123 Howland Ave., Toronto, ON, M5R 3B4

HAT FORUM: Sat. May 22, 11am -1pm OISE Room 11-204

Saturday, May 22, 11am -1pm OISE 252 Bloor Street W, Room 11-204
Topic: 'The meaning of dreaming'
Facilitator: Isabel Foot

The meaning of dreaming (real physical sleep state) and how it fits into out lives.

Information supplied for this forum:

Dreams and our awareness of dreams seem to have evolved with us. Mammals dream, at least they have a characteristic Rapid Eye Movement. Children dream.

A lot of discussion seems to lie around if dreams and/or our awareness of them gives the individual an evolutionary advantage to survive in the world- a coping mechanism for the conscious mind, for example Joe Griffin and the expectation fulfillment theory.

Dreaming is Nature’s solution to the problems emotions cause animals and humans. (An emotion is another word for an expectation.) Stress, for example, is caused by an accumulation of arousal patterns in the autonomic nervous system that are not being de-aroused by taking the necessary actions that would do so.

The prime function of dreams is to metaphorically act out undischarged emotional arousals (expectations) that were not acted out during the previous day. By dreaming we complete the arousal/de-arousal circuit so as to wake up with an unstressed autonomic nervous system and our instincts intact, see
http://why-we-dream.com/thetheory.htm

Or are dreams "doors" to the unconscious part of the mind. Perhaps they are not identified with our body, career, personality, but to a wider being-ness. Of course, this can still be an evolved facility.

e.g. In the view of the Qur'an, sleep is outwardly the suspension of the natural forces in man, but it is at the same time a return of man's spirit to his inner being. Sleep is the lesser death, and death is the greater sleep. In both cases, the spirit is transferred to a different world." ­ Sayyid Musawi Lari, Resurrection, Judgment, and Hereafter
http://islamicinsights.com/religion/religion/why-do-we-dream-html

Of particular interest to me (Facilitator) are dreams that repeatedly take us to the same location. Also, the interesting fact that in my dreams, telephones don't work. I have heard of people who have dreams in which keys don't work. What is your experience manipulating mechanical objects in dreams?

Do you have a special interest about dreams you'd like feedback on? Now's the time to ask.

HAT Monthly Meeting: Sat. June 12: "The Gender Divide"

Saturday, June 12  1:30 – 3:00
OISE, 252 Bloor St. west, Room TBD
David Boultbee, Science Fiction Author
“The Gender Divide”

In The Gender Divide, David Boultbee’s second novel, he deals with the controversial issue of gender disparity from an unusual perspective. In a world where women live four times as long as men, Ryan Peters is one of a few men with a similar lifespan. This difference in lifespan has had profound consequences on the world balance of political, economic, and military power and has created a social gender divide that threatens to tear the world apart. Determined to close this gender divide, Ryan will sacrifice anything to succeed. Born in Toronto, Ontario, David Boultbee spent most of his formative years on the family farm in a small rural village in the Greater Toronto Area. He still lives close to his childhood home with his wife and children.

HAT FORUM Sat May 15, OISE ROOM 11-204 11am-1pm

Saturday, May 15, 11am -1pm OISE 252 Bloor Street W, Room 11-204
Topic: 'Income Disparity in the western world: pros and cons - Is equality good for us?'
Facilitator: Robin Russell

No one argues that there is income disparity in the western world. Is this universally a bad thing, or is it a natural phenomenon? Where countries have low versus large disparities, how do their overall societies compare? Which model should Canada adopt: status quo or a shift in one direction or the other?

Finland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark have the least income disparity, while the USA and Britain have the highest. Canada is midway between the two.

As background/research for this forum, people may wish to go to:

1: TVO: The Agenda
to view the May 7th broadcast of Ideology Part I: Is Equality Good for Us?

2: EqualityTrust

HAT FORUM: Sat May 8 OISE Room 11-204 @ 11am - 1pm

Saturday, May 8, 11am-1pm OISE 252 Bloor Street W, Room 11-204
Topic: Sex Education
Facilitator: Moses Klein
As a controversial proposal revising sex education in Ontario is under consideration, we will discuss our preferred approaches to the subject. Do the proposed curriculum guidelines fit with humanistic ideas about sexuality and about education? How, and at what ages, would we advise teaching children about sex and sexuality?
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.