EXTERNAL EVENT - Encountering Faiths and Beliefs

Whatever our own backgrounds, the opportunity to hear from people with different faiths or beliefs from our own is rare. Based on a programme developed by 3FF (Three Faiths Forum), on 28th November you can come and hear four speakers – Christian, Jew, Humanist and Muslim – explain their beliefs and how they came to hold them. And afterwards, there will be a question and answer session.

The panellists are :

• Abigail Kay: graduate charity management trainee
• Alom Shaha: author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook and a trustee of the British Humanist Association
• Rev. Paul Collier: Copleston Centre Church, Peckham
• Themina Kazi: Director, British Muslims for Secular Democracy

The event is free, but tickets need to be booked at http://www.michaelcrofttheatre.org.uk/wazzon.aspx

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  • Steve C.

    Alom Shaha is going to be there, and if you have read his book, and or met him, you will know that he can give a very firm defence of his humanist position

    November 21, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Yes, Alom is very eloquent. But IMO just as we shouldn't attack, neither should we defend. Defend what? Reason doesn't need defending, it should be the religious who defend their positions now, it's been long enough that we have had to kowtow to the unreasonable position. Rather, we should be asserting confidently (and empathetically) that faith is a faulty way of coming to knowledge. One can still engage with the religious in a meaningful and kind way, whilst being true to that position. The problem lies when everyone listens politely to why Islam is a religion of peace (or whatever) but don't challenge such claims. (It isn't, but that is still not really the important point). The point is all faith, including religious faith, is not a virtue but a vice. Giving credence to & indulging in superstitions isn't harmless to others as beliefs inform real life actions. If this weren't just so far I would try and come but I do hope it won't be all about defending and tolerating.

      1 · November 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "explain their beliefs" which science has proved are completely bogus and are so an utter waste of time, unhelpful in society, discourage individuality and critical thinking.

    "how they came to hold them" - indoctrination.

    "the opportunity to hear from people with different faiths or beliefs from our own is rare" - rubbish - we never stop hearing from them. What a total waste of time and in the process giving credence to adults believing in fairy tales. I’ll be doing a talk next year about how it’s untenable to hold a faith any longer, backed up by scientific evidence which even most atheists are unaware has been produced (the faithful will need that word 'evidence' explaining to them) leading to the only possible conclusion: all faith is unjustified. It's high time we stopped telling adults it's ok to believe in fairy tales and brought an end to state sponsored superstition.

    I'm told (by the top bods in humanism) that all humanists are atheists so I imagine you're all on board.

    2 · November 8, 2013

    • Roger

      When someone is willing to "explain their beliefs" in public it does give others the opportunity to counter them. Not something that happens very often in churches, schools, the media, etc.

      1 · November 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Given there's no disclaimer to say this group doesn't necessarily agree with the views expressed tends to imply that humanism is not challenging faith here, and is validating all these views as reasonable positions to take and thus equal, which is totally incorrect factually. As Georgi's said above the likelihood is no one will make any meaningful challenge and if they do the religious will get all disturbed and claim they're being picked on and the reasonable person who asked the question will be asked to leave, because that's the way Britain is today. Say what you like but keep it to yourself seems to be the way it works. So unless this event is going allow, actually encourage, robust and frank challenging then it's worse than pointless. And I think we all know it's not going to allow it.

      2 · November 9, 2013

  • Roger

    I can't make this event (I have a rehearsal just up the road as it happens) but I do visit schools (often religious ones) on behalf of 3ff and put forward a strong case for humanism/atheism/rationality - it feels worth doing to me, even if only a few of the kids are willing to look at the foundation of their beliefs.

    November 9, 2013

    • Roger

      And incidentally I will be going to a (Catholic) school on Monday under the label of "Humanist" and one of the first things I plan to say when introducing myself is that I could equally be called atheist, rationalist, skeptic or even faithless.

      1 · November 9, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Well exactly, it's about critical thinking rather than labels and it's of course of value to be part of the 3ff in order to counter the dogma that we're not able to protect children from, thanks to the the State sponsorship of faith. But with adults we should be educating them that it's not ok to have these medieval beliefs, let alone pandering to them like this. I'm willing to bet that no one will challenge faith being in any way acceptable, at this event, and instead it'll be a polite vicar's tea party where everyone feels very 'tolerant', and conveniently ignores that while they're there 3 girls (on ave) will have had FGM performed, because of these very attitudes. That's what PC tolerance is doing today.

      November 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I totally agree with Adrian. It's ridiculous to say that it's 'rare' to hear Christian, Jewish and Muslims views. Most societies in the world are based on them, and give them undue reverence. Of course, I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to spout their nonsense, but I dislike the fact that events like this put religions on the same level as Humanism, which is based completely on reality. I doubt anyone is going to leave this talk with a different view to the one they went in with!

    3 · November 8, 2013

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