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Hull and East Riding Humanist Group

A social group for humanists, atheists, secularists, sceptics and agnostics

“Forgiveness”

Posted by Tim on 21/10/2019
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What is forgiveness? Is it an act or a process? Should we, or perhaps can we, forgive wrongs done to another? Is it right to forgive wrongdoers too quickly? And (something we should be prepared to consider) are there some things that are simply unforgivable?
Our October meeting will be a talk by Dr Stephen Burwood. Dr Burwood’s research interests are primarily in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of human embodiment, though he has also written in the fields of environmental philosophy and the philosophy of education. Stephen is a member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, the Society for Applied Philosophy and the Humanist Philosophers Group. His other interests include the later Wittgenstein, especially On Certainty. Recent publications include An Introduction to Metaphilosophy (with Søren Overgaard and Paul Gilbert) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Date:    Monday 2oth August 2018, 7.30pm
Venue: the back room of the Tiger Inn, Lairgate, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 8JG

Our August speaker was Dr Stephen Burwood of the University of Hull Philosophy department who has been a long term supporter of the Humanists UK philosophers group and has spoken to HERHG twice before, on 24th May 2014 on “Is Science Possible without God?” and before that on 19th October 2009 on “The Problem of Evil”. This time Steve will be talking about “Personal Identity and the Brain”.
Steve said of his talk:
“The diachronic problem of personal identity is the problem of determining the identity of something over time: in our case, for example, it is expressed by the question, “What makes us the same person today as yesterday, or last year, or as ten years ago?” A popular answer nowadays is often formulated along the lines; same person = same brain. One can see the philosophical appeal of this. It gives voice to a widespread feeling that the brain plays a unique role in mindedness (paying due deference to the brain sciences) and, perhaps more importantly, neatly captures in one go both psychological and physical continuity (the two traditional approaches to resolving the problem). Fundamentally, this brain-is-self view favours psychological continuity as the principal criterion of self identity but gives this a materialist twist, thereby ensuring a form of physical continuity as well. Pared down to a simple syllogism, the argument appears to be as follows: I am my mind; my mind is—in some important sense—my brain; therefore, I am my brain. However, things are never quite so simple and there are several reasons why this is not a very satisfactory or satisfying answer.”

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Are the claims of religion true? Is religious belief rational? The so-called ‘New Atheists’ like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens would answer ‘No’; but this assumes there is a ‘neutral ground’ from which such claims can be objectively assessed. Some Christian apologetics argue that there is no such neutral ground and that notions such as ‘truth’ and ‘evidence’, and even reason itself, are Christian concepts. As such, there is no opposition between religion and science, because science is dependent on religion. But, we might want to ask, is this claim itself true?

The speaker for the May meeting of HERHG is Dr Steve Burwood. Steve’s research interests are primarily in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of human embodiment, though he has also written in the fields of environmental philosophy and the philosophy of education. Stephen is a member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, the Society for Applied Philosophy and the Humanist Philosophers Group. His other interests include the later Wittgenstein, especially On Certainty. Recent publications include An Introduction to Metaphilosophy (with Søren Overgaard and Paul Gilbert) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

The meeting will begin at 7.30pm. All welcome.

Venue: Back room of  The Tiger Inn, Lairgate, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 8JG.

 

The Importance of Unbelief

Posted by Tim on 28/05/2011
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