Feb 2016 – Should BC schools adopt Quebec’s Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum?

Should BC schools implement a formal program of study of religion in our culture, perhaps using Quebec’s as a model? While gaining knowledge of various religions and their place in the culture would seem to be a good thing, objections were raised: associating a study of ethics with the study of religion; the possibility that non-religious worldviews would not be...

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Jan 2016 – Ethical Decision Making

Ethics is at the heart of humanism, so this was a good opportunity to look at how we make ethical decisions. Using the difficult issue of assisted dying (a hot topic in Canada right now with federal legislation pending and Quebec having recently introduced their own), we looked at five criteria for evaluating a course of action: utilitarian – what does the most...

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Nov 2015 – Developments in brain research and their societal implications

Special guest – John Marton, North Island College Psychology instructor. Topics covered included  – neuron development; brain plasticity; memory; research tools (fMRI); consciousness; fetal stress impact; meditation; ‘spiritual’ experience following temporal lobe damage; degree to which brain research can explain ‘human nature’;...

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Oct 2015 – The New Atheists

A discussion of the impact and effectiveness of the the “New Atheists,” (notably Dawkins, Harris, Dennet, Krauss, and Hitchens) inspired by this Guardian Video:

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April 2015 – Is Hawking right about Artificial Intelligence?

This meeting was a reaction to the extensive press coverage given to statements by Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and others regarding the potential dangers from unchecked development of Artificial Intelligence.  Their concern is expressed in a letter originating from the Future of Humanity Institute. Here are links to the letter (which references a paper...

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January 2015 – Affiliation? A look at Humanist Canada

Humanist Canada has recently offered an affiliate system, whereby humanist and like-minded groups can associate with the national organization, obtaining national exposure, the ability to participate in national campaigns and events, receive news, and offer local members discounts to join Humanist Canada. There are many noteworthy national and provincial groups promoting...

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