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Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists is a welcoming and stimulating group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet twice a month in Bournemouth for presentations and lively debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, human rights, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social evenings. See 'About Us' and 'About Humanism'. Receive the free monthly pdf Dorset Humanists Bulletin/Newsletter. Dorset Humanists are a British Humanist Association Partner and a National Secular Society Affiliate. Our Humanist celebrants conduct funerals, weddings and baby namings.

The Happiness Course

Happy SunSeptember/October 2015. All sessions: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
The Green House Hotel, 4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX

Happiness is good for you and good for society, but what makes some people happier than others?

Is it possible to attain greater happiness in life and sustain it without dramatically changing our personal circumstances?

Scientific studies by experimental psychologists have revealed that around half of your happiness level is determined by your genetic inheritance and a surprisingly small 10% reflects your life circumstances. While there may be limitations to how much you can alter your circumstances, the great news is that around 40% of your happiness level can be directly affected by simple daily activities and the conscious choices you make.

This enjoyable six-week course will enable you to explore the philosophy, psychology and science of happiness, while learning how to make the changes that will improve your own personal happiness level. We’ll also look at some common causes of unhappiness, and discover how changing your thinking and doing some basic practical activities can help you experience a happier life.

There will be a small charge for this course to help cover venue hire and expenses. All sessions: 7.30pm – 9.30pm at The Green House Hotel, Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX.

Session schedule:

1. Big questions about life; introduction to positive and humanistic psychology: Tuesday September 8th 2015

2. Foundations for happiness – social and environmental factors:.Monday September 14th 2015

(No meeting in 3rd week of September)

3. Supporting your happiness system – physical and neurological factors: Tuesday September 29th 2015

4. Happiness habits – proven techniques to increase your level of wellbeing: Tuesday October 6th 2015

5. The science of happiness – looking at further research findings: Monday October 12th 2015

6. Pulling it all together and living your one life: Tuesday October 20th 2015

Total Course cost: £24 for non-members, or £18 for members of Dorset Humanists, or £6 for students

(Note: The total course cost is the same regardless of how many sessions you choose to attend. i.e if you are a non-member, a single upfront payment of £24 works out at only £4 per session if you choose to attend all six of them)

Ways to book:
1. See a committee member at a Dorset Humanists meeting and pay with cash or a cheque. Please make cheques payable to 'David Warden'.
2. Email David Warden at chairman@dorsethumanists.co.uk and request our bank details to arrange a BACS payment.
3. Phone David Warden on 07910 886629 for BACS details
4. Contact us via the contact form on our website for our BACS details
5. Contact us in one the above ways and request a mailing address to post a cheque. This address will be David's or Simon’s home address.

Please book early to avoid disappointment due to a limited number of places!

Course leaders: David Warden BA (Hons), MA, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is Chair of Dorset Humanists. Phil James BSc(Hons), MSc is a Member of the British Psychological Society and currently a PhD researcher at Bournemouth University.

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed by car and on foot via its rear entrance in Gervis Road. The hotel has a small onsite car park, and roadside parking is also available in Gervis Road).

Click here to view details of forthcoming and recent Dorset Humanists events on this website.

 

September Bulletin

DWI felt privileged to join the Major's Procession to the Bournemouth War Memorial at a service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war on Japan. Bournemouth's Poet Laureate, James Manlow, reminded us of the 'terrifying peace' which ended the war and the ash cities which remained. Although the service was predominantly Christian I was encouraged by several people who approached me and said it was good to have humanism represented.

In this month's Bulletin we pick up on the theme of 'Humanists for a Better World' by including a piece on how humanists are changing lives in Uganda. You can also find a link to Marilyn Mason's talk on 'Humanists for a Better World' if you missed the event itself.

Our stimulating events programme continues throughout the Summer and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Best wishes,
David Warden
Chair, Dorset Humanists

http://dorset.humanist.org.uk/dorset/DH-Bulletin-September-2015.pdf

Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion 12 September 2015Saturday 12th September 2.00pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown Bournemouth BH9 1TW

With Clive Aruede and Lola Tibulu of London Black Atheists

For social and historical reasons black societies tend to be very religious, often socially excluding those who live their lives without belief in God. Even here in the UK, a census of church attendance in 2005 showed that black people accounted for nearly half of all churchgoers in London!

In this presentation Clive and Lola will be sharing the experiences that led to them rejecting their religious beliefs and later co-founding London Black Atheists. Their group’s mission is to encourage and enable people of all ethnicities, particularly of the African Diaspora, to ‘come out’ as atheists, and they provide support and a welcoming environment to anyone wary of receiving hostile reactions from family and friends.

Originally from Nigeria, Lola Tinubu has lived in the UK for 25 years. She is a legal representative for refugees and migrants, a human right activist and a staunch supporter of the LGBT community. She describes herself as a feminist and an unapologetic atheist. She was raised in a devout Seventh Day Adventist Church family, and has been both a street preacher and a church worship leader. She is a co-founder and one of the organisers of London Black Atheists, and has appeared on 4ThoughtTV and BBC’s The Big Questions.

Also from Nigeria, Clive Aruede came to the UK with his parents when he was around six, and was brought up as a Methodist.  As an adult he married a Catholic, converted to Roman Catholicism and practised as a Eucharistic Minister, before a journey of discovery led him to atheism. He is currently Chair of London Black Atheists.

London Black Atheists works with the British Humanist Association, London Atheist Activist Group, and Central London Humanists, and despite the name ‘Black’ welcomes atheists of all races.

Come along to hear Clive and Lola share their journeys from Christianity to atheism, along with their experiences of building a positive community for atheists in London.

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and an easy way to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to our event listings on these sites:

http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists/events/

You can also help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Being Human

Being Human 26th August 2015Wednesday 26th August 7.30pm
The Green House Hotel,  4 Grove Road, Bournemouth BH1 3AX

With Dr Fiona Coward.

What does it mean to 'be human', and what is it that makes us unique as a species? Is it even possible to identify a single, critical, and universal human characteristic that explains the essence of our uniqueness?

Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory of evolution showed that we share common ancestry with other great apes, and the fossil record and archaeological finds clearly demonstrate that modern humans didn’t emerge from ancestral apes in a single step, so when did populations along the way become distinctively ‘human’?

In recent decades scientists have been surprised to discover that many other animals demonstrate some of the skills we once thought were exclusively 'human', such as making and using tools, living together co-operatively in large groups, communicating in highly complex ways and even using and understanding symbols. In this thought-provoking presentation Fiona Coward will discuss the implications of these findings on how we think about what it means to be human, and will explain when and how some of the most obvious characteristics and behaviours that distinguish us as a species evolved.

“Join us for a highly informative examination of what it means to be human”

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

Dr Fiona Coward is Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Sciences at Bournemouth University whose research focuses on how and why humans were able to scale up their social lives from the very small social groups we lived in for much of our prehistory to the global social networks which characterise people’s lives today.

(The Green House Hotel can also be accessed via its rear entrance in Gervis Road. The hotel has a small onsite car park, and roadside parking is also available in Gervis Road).

Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and an easy way to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to our event listings on these sites:

http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists/events/

You can also help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

July Bulletin

DWThis month we’re out and about at various summer festivals informing our fellow Dorset residents (and visitors) about Humanism and our activities, events and work at Dorset Humanists.

This month’s bulletin includes a report on our first attendance at Bournemouth’s Pride Festival, “Bourne Free”, which proved to be a spectacular success. Next up is the Tolpuddle Festival in the heart of Dorset. Please drop by and say hello if you’re planning on attending.

Also in this month's Bulletin, we have our own report of the British Humanist Association's excellent conference in Bristol, and details of a great line-up of events over the coming months.

http://dorset.humanist.org.uk/dorset/DH-Bulletin-July-2015.pdf

Best wishes, and we hope to see you soon,
David Warden
Chair, Dorset Humanists

The Enigma of Nature and Nurture

Enigma of Nature & Nurture posterSaturday 8th August 2.00pm 
Moordown Community Centre, Coronation Avenue, Moordown Bournemouth BH9 1TW

With Emeritus Professor Norman Maclean

Eminent geneticist Norman Maclean will be exploring the dual influences of heredity and the environment on our behaviour, intelligence and personality. The nature or nurture debate is one of the oldest in psychology, and has particular relevance for topics such as crime and punishment; as whether someone has a genetic predisposition to behave in a certain way (nature) or has learned criminal behaviours (nurture) affects how much personal responsibility they should bear for their actions.

The debate also profoundly affects educational theory and practice. Should we encourage our children to study, and invest significant resources in their education, assuming that learning and intelligence is mainly nurture, or is intelligence chiefly inherited so the talented will always do well?

Rare cases of identical twins separated at birth and reared separately have helped move these debates forward, but how close are we to solving these psychological and biological mysteries? Find out in this fascinating talk! 

Norman Maclean is an Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Southampton University. His research interests and writings span genetics, genomics, fish, conservation of wildlife and molecular biology, and he has written and edited many popular books on nature and genetics. His books include: Silent Summer: the state of the wildlife in Britain and Ireland, A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife and Animals with novel genes.

Join us for a thought-provoking examination of the nature or nurture debate!

Free entry (donations appreciated).     Everyone welcome!

Please indicate your interest in attending this event on Meetup.com and/or facebook as it helps raise our group’s profile on these sites (Meetup also offers you timely email reminders and an easy way to discover other interesting groups in your area). To help you find them, here are the direct links to our event listings on these sites:

http://www.meetup.com/Dorset-Humanists/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists/events/

You can also help us promote Dorset Humanists and this event by displaying an A4 poster. Download an A4 printable copy here, or email Dave at DHcensus(at)hotmail.co.uk for a PDF.

Click here to view details of other forthcoming and recent events on this website.

Events Programme Update

DH Events Prog Jun-Sept 15 (Front)Dorset Humanists’ latest events programme is now available for download. This issue covers the period through to the first half of September 2015. As always, it includes stimulating presentations and discussions covering a wide range of topics with a great line-up of guest speakers, and we hope you’ll find many events that you’d like to attend.

Everyone is welcome to join us at our public events whether they are a member or not, so if you enjoy discussing some or all of these topics with like-minded people please come along. Our members and visitors are people with lively minds who want to learn, explore, discuss and debate, while ensuring our society is guided by sound values based on reason, evidence and compassion. We hope finding a group such as ours will also be a source of great friendship and fun!

Dorset Humanists is entirely funded by voluntary donations from our members and visitors, so if you enjoy our events and share our aims and values, please help us continue our activities by paying our optional annual membership fee of £12 (Students £5). Membership also enables you to participate in determining future group activities, vote on constitutional issues, and elect committee members.

To join us, pick up a membership form at one of our meetings, or see our website.

http://dorset.humanist.org.uk/dorset/DH%20Programme%20June%20-%20Sept%202015.pdf