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?
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.