Thursday, December 04, 2014

'Humanity Education Council' (HEC) cf 'Religious Education Council'


Help get Humanism into GCSE and A Level RE -
Respond to consultation request/
(Government proposals for GCSE would permit 75% of the time to be spent on one religion, and 25% on another religion).
But what we really need is to replace RE with a course on Humanity - including the role of religion.

Chris Street Allan Hayes - I think the new 'Humanity' subject should have 75% of time spent on Humanism and 25% on Naturalism!

I propose we establish a 'Humanity Education Council' (HEC) cf 'Religious Education Council' (REC).

HEC Members would comprise: academics,atheists, educationalists, freethinkers, humanists, naturalists, philosophers, scientists, secularists, skeptics, teachers, teenagers etc.

The main criteria of HEC membership: a naturalism worldview. Those members or groups with a supernaturalism or religious worldview would not be permitted to become full HEC members with voting rights.

The function of HEC would be to develop a new 'Humanity' National Curriculum (as suggested by Allan Hayes)

HEC would campaign for Government proposals for GCSE Humanity to permit 75% of the time to be spent on Humanism, 25% on Naturalism (to include Atheism and the historical role of Theism).

HEC would campaign for an Act of Parliament to end the compulsory subject of Religious Education in all UK schools. Humanity would compete with Religious Education for teaching time in all schools.

Moving Naturalism Forward

I'm a Naturalist - not a naturist!

I have two main philosophical worldviews: Naturalism & Humanism. (world view: "a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world*")

Naturalism is "the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted*"

(I think of atheism as a conviction rather than a worldview. I prefer 'conviction' to 'belief' because for me 'belief' has religious undertones, Although in English Law 'belief', as in 'religion and belief', refers specifically to a non-religious belief.)

Naturalism is a worldview that covers morality - Sam Harris makes the case that morality can be based on science.

*Oxford Dictionary (3rd Edition) 

h/t Neil Davies (April 2014) at Swindon Humanists for reminding me about the 'Moving Naturalism Forward' conference back in October 2012.

Attendees included Richard Dawkins, Sean Carroll, Dan Dennett, Alex Rosenberg, Jerry Coyne, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Massimo Pigliucci, Steven Weinberg.

Discussions were about: Naturalism, Morality, Meaning, Purpose, Epistemology, reductionism, Consciousness, Evolution, Determinism, Free will.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Peter Boghossian - Faith - An Epistemology (how people come to knowledge)

Peter Boghossian said (13m-14.30m video above) "The faithful are not well cognitively, they need our help. They've caught a virus of an unreliable way to know the world. An epistemological sickness. Believing things from faith causes people to misconstrue what is good for them, and what is good for others. If someone is ill, you are not upset with them. Therefore it is not about being annoyed, or humiliating the religious any more than if they had a cold. But as with a physical illness, you try and help them recover, with compassion and understanding. This is not about changing beliefs but about leading them gently to think about HOW they form those beliefs."

London Atheist Activist Group Q&A with Peter Boghossian