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.

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 BOOK GROUP, May 10 "The map that changed the world"

The Next HAT book group meeting:

Date: Saturday, May 10
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
TIME: 2:30-4pm
BOOK:  The map that changed the world: William Smith and the birth of modern geology
by Winchester, Simon.

3 holds / 19 copies (plus e-book and audio book in Library)

In 1793, William Smith, an engineer and canal digger, concluded that rocks were arranged in layers and that each layer contained different fossils unique to it. This was a monumental discovery, as it contradicted existing church beliefs, and it would become the foundation for the science of geology. Smith spent the next 20 years creating the world's first geological map.

Still a thing of beauty, this sizeable representation (8' 6') of the underside of England from Wales to the Thames remains a testament to Smith's persistence. Tragically, he did not realize any significant income from his map, and four years after its publication he was sent to debtor's prison. Upon his release, he remained virtually homeless and unemployed for ten years. Not until 1831 was he finally recognized for his great contribution when he was awarded the first Wollaston Medal and given a small lifetime pension by the King.

HAT Forum, Sat. April 12, 11 am, OISE

HAT Forum , Saturday April 12, 11 AM
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Topic: Is man an aggressive animal?
Facilitator:  Bryant Brown

1. What qualities constitute the basic nature of man?
2. Is aggression a natural or acquired characteristic?
3. What precipitates aggression?  What precipitates passivity??
4.What is more aggressive, individuals, families, nations?
5. Is aggression the cause or effect of our economic system (i.e. capitalism)?

HAT Forum, Sat April 5 OISE

What is a Nation?
HAT Forum
Saturday 5 April 2014
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street West
Time: 11am -1pmProposed by: Moses Klein

What is a nation? Is nationalism a sentiment with any value to you? How do we understand developing events in Ukraine and in Quebec in this light?
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.