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 Forum
Greek Debt; a discussion of Issues
Saturday Aug 1st 2015
11: a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
519 Church Street, Room 304

HAT Forum - Greek Debt; a discussion of Issues
Saturday Aug 1st 2015
11: a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
519 Church Street, Room 304
proposed by Cecilia Rayo

We are not experts in Economics, but we can elaborate using our critical thinking to offer some answers to these complicated questions:
What went wrong in Greek”s economy?
Why was it allowed to drag this long?
Are the Greeks the only ones to be blamed?
Who are the beneficiaries of this crisis?
Why it is said that “Bankruptcy is worst than Austerity?
Corruption and tax evasion are easy to be controlled?
What are the consequences for EU if this crisis is not contained?

HAT Forum : Fixed Election Dates: Sat July 25th 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. OISE Rm 4-426

HAT Forum

Saturday 25 July 2015 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

OISE, 4-426

Proposed by: Moses Klein

Before 2007 Canadian election law recognized the Prime Minister’s
prerogative in setting an election date, but a 2007 law established a
semi-fixed date. (All provinces except Nova Scotia have also enacted fixed
election laws.) It does not prevent early elections when the government
loses a confidence vote, as in 2011, nor did it prevent the Prime Minister
from calling an early election in 2008. However, analysts do attribute to
the fixed election schedule the extended campaign we seem to be in.

1. 1. Are there other reasons, besides the 2007 law, that political
campaigning before the writ period is more active than it used to be?

2. 2. How do you feel about longer political campaigns? If it’s a bad
thing, what can or should be done about it?

3. 3. Does the fixed election date limit the Prime Minister’s power
in important ways? Is this a good thing?

4. 4. Overall, do you support fixed election dates?

5. 5. Should the rules for political activity outside the writ period
be changed? In what ways, and why?

One of the issues I'm touching on (although not directly related to the
2007 changes) is the rules about activity before and during the writ
period. For background information, the best article I know explaining this
is this blog post from Alice Funke, aka The Pundit:
http://www.punditsguide.ca/2015/01/how-a-little-noticed-clause-in-the-fair-elections-act-up-ends-all-conventional-election-timing-speculation/

Forum topic: The Pan-Am games and similar major events Saturday 18 July, 11:00-1:00 OISE (252 Bloor St. W.) Room 4-426

HAT Forum - Forum topic: The Pan-Am games and similar major events

Saturday 18 July, 11:00-1:00

OISE (252 Bloor St. W.) Room 4-426

Toronto is in the middle of hosting the largest international sports event
ever held in Canada. How has that affected our lives and our city? Is it an
asset to the city? An inconvenience? What consequences do you expect for
the city in the aftermath? Should Toronto bid for other major international
events?

HAT Book Club Meeting Sat Jun 8 to discuss "Decade of Fear: reporting from terrorism's grey zone" by Michelle Shephard

We will be discussing the following book at our regular meeting on Saturday, August 8 at 2:30.
 
Decade of fear: reporting from terrorism's grey zone  
Year/Format: 2011, Book, 320 p.
4 holds / 28 copies
Decade of Fear is a darkly entertaining journey through the complicated, often bizarre world of national security since 9/11. Shephard began a ten-year search for answers that took her through the streets of Mogadishu and Karachi, into the mountains of Waziristan and behind the wire of Guantanamo Bay two dozen times.
Michelle conducted hundreds of interviews worldwide, and with sharp insight and an appreciation for the absurd, she weaves together stories of warlords, presidents, spies, grieving widows and global terrorists, to describe the historic decade where often the West’s "solutions” for terrorism only served to exacerbate the problem.. Gripping, heartbreaking and infuriating, Decade of Fear broadens our understanding of a decade that was all too often described through panicked rhetoric.
For further info and location please leave your contact info at 416-966-1361

HAT Newsletter Summer 2015

Please click on this link to see the HAT Summer 2015 Newsletter

HAT Forum Sat July 11th 2015 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Setting Precedence: Culture vs Ethics

HAT Forum Sat July 11th 2015 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: The Klein House (call 416-966-1361 for specifics if you are a member or regular Forum attendee)

Setting Precedence: Culture vs Ethics

As we have no received wisdom from an objective higher power to guide us, humanists are asked to critically consider all sources of wisdom to develop and redevelop our ethical sense and give meaning to our lives. Our views of right and wrong, desirable and undesirable and our values determine our own course through life.
If we wish to go beyond ourselves to influence the world and make it a better place for ourselves and for others we need to decide a direction based upon our values and ethical sense. We realize, however, these can be biased by our position in the world - our race, our gender, our class and our culture.
From the desire to positively impact the world but also be respectful of the differences between humans comes some tension and a potential conflict.
1. Are there ethical standards that take precedence over culture?
2. How far can we go to produce a philosophy of human well-being that can be applied across all cultures? What are the pitfalls associated with this?

3. Example: The Wulin Dog Eating Festival in China took place recently. A reported 10000 dogs were killed and eaten. Many of the dogs were treated inhumanely, by Western standards (boiled alive, skinned alive). Protests against the Festival took place. Are there legitimate ethical grounds to argue against this cultural practice?
4. Example: Many cultures in the world place a lower value on women than men and treat them very differently in many spheres. Do we have any grounds to promote a value of respect and equality for women on these cultures in other countries? What about when they are acting within our own country?
5. Democracy, Freedom of Speech, gender equality, wealth equity, tolerance can all be discussed in terms of where each of these values is limited by culture (including religion) and whether the need to respect the value trumps cultural sensitivity.
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.