Humanist Newsletter July 2004


  • Kia Ora and hello:

    A few of us gathered at Wright’s Hill and through the mist found our memorial trees. A little maintenance was done and we returned to Jeff and Joan’s fire after a short detour to Eileen Bone’s grave in Karori Cemetry. I often think when we do this that we are following a human prescription that over many generations can lead to the creation of a religion. A group of friends gathers, remembers a charismatic person, tales are told, anniversaries become rituals, a second generation continues the tradition and we have a god or goddess in the making. Clearly, we are not doing this, but I am sure Eileen would chuckle. A film ‘Osama’ set in Afghanistan has been in Wellington recently. This realistic film, the first feature length film made in Afghanistan since the Taliban, showed the difficult and very tragic life of women in Kabul during the rule of the Taliban.

  • Last Meeting

    Led by Kent Stevens, considered the violent movie, ‘The Passion of Christ’. In constrast to them film, the ethical aspects of the teachings of Jesus were discussed and compared with humanistic values. The meeting concluded there were some humanistic aspects to the teachings but they did not reach modern humanist standards.

  • July monthly meeting:

    Monday 5 July Turnbull House Wellington. All welcome 7:30pm Topic: A discussion on religious studies led by Caroline Aurora. Caroline wil talk about the reasons she had for taking religious studies at Victoria University and the benefits she has found from doing this study.

  • Radio Access:

    11 am 783 kHz Sunday 4 July: Unfortunately this very listenable programme is not available outside Wellington. Jeff is saving recent programmes so that we can compile a CD which we will include with a magazine.

  • Committee / Council meeting:

    Sunday 4 July 10:45 AM at Caroline’s 1/21 Rolleston St, Mt Cook, Wellington.

  • AGM 2004:

    Sunday 19 September. We are waiting to hear if Dr Brockie is available as a keynote speaker. If not, we will still proceed. In accordance with the constitution nominations for Council members are welcomed. Each nomination shall be in writing, signed by the proposer and seconder and bear the written consent of the nominee.

  • Email Discussion Group:

    We would like to encourage communication with each other via email. Jeff Hunt would enjoy communicating with you on Humanist related subjects of your interest. To join his discussion group email Jeff Hunt at [email protected]

  • Snippets:

    from an interview by journalist Johann Hari with Irshad Manji author of ‘The Trouble with Islam – a wakeup call for honesty and change.’ Dominion Post Saturday 26 June, page E5. Irshad Manji is a Muslim Canadiam woman who… “wants an Islamic reformation. Christianity did it in the 16th century. Now we are long overdue.” The core concept in Mahji’s thought and that of all progressive Muslims is… “itjihad isn’t some wacky new idea. When Muslims were at their most prosperous, their most innovative, their most respected, was when we practised ijihad, in Islam’s golden age from 750 t 1250 CE. The greatest Muslim philosopther Ibn Rushd, championed th freedom of reason” It was in the 12th century that Baghdad scholars “formed a consensus to freeze debate within Islam and we live with the consequences of this thousand year old strategy. They did it to keep the Islamic empire from imploding. They thought all the dissent and disagreement would lead the empire to fall apart…. the Islamic empire no longer exists, and our minds still remain closed.” Mahji thinks the solution lies with Muslim women. “At the moment half the resources of Muslim societies -the women- are squandered. Yet investing in women makes amazing sense. Educate a Muslim boy and your’ve educated a boy. Educate a Muslim womana and your’ve educated a whole family. The multiplier effect of helping Muslim women is amazing” Mahji asserts “Empowering women is the way to awaken the Muslim world.” Editor note: Here in New Zealand research from the Competent children survey has shown that it is the education of the mother that is the key factor in the development of their children.

  • Article

    A History of Humanist Thought by Rosslyn Ives from Australian Humanist Autumn 2004 is omitted, but a search of the Internet will give other quality articles on this and similar Humanist themes.

  • Can you answer this question?:

    If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?