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.

HAT Forum
Sat Feb 6th 2016
11 a.m. To 1 pm
519 Church Street Room 304
Topic "Social Engineering"

“Social Engineering"
Proposer: Richard Dowsett (from Hassan’s suggestion)
Social Engineering refers to efforts made to influence attitudes and behaviours –
on a large scale by governments, media, corporations, action groups or, 
on a small scale by activists, hackers, con-men or those wishing to gain a social advantage or societal improvement. 
These efforts employ:
an understanding of how people make decisions and 
the motivations behind their behaviours 
to target them in such a way that desired behaviours will be elicited.

Examples of Social Engineering (SE) or where it is employed,
Public Service Ads
Government Campaigns (e.g. anti-smoking)
Political opinion shaping, spin doctoring, news releases
Public Relations
1. Is SE inherently manipulative? 
2. Does your view of SE change if its aims are seen as societally positive?
3. Does your view of SE change with the degree of transparency involved? 
4. The “calling out” or “naming and shaming” of others’ negative social behaviours could be seen as a form of SE. Discuss the real world benefits and drawbacks of this type of SE.
5. Discuss SE on the following dimensions: Pragmatic, Coercive, Necessary, Ineffective, Ethical, Obsolete
6. Should Humanist groups attempt to create their own "agenda" to infuse into the population psyche using SE? Do SE tactics align with Humanist Principles?
7. Humanist groups are often occupied with preventing religious indoctrination of children in schools. If we were in the position to instill humanist values instead, would we do it? Is this a potential source of hypocrisy?

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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.