MeetingsOur public meetings usually take place on the first Tuesday of every month. Meet from 7:30pm for an 8:00pm start.
We meet at The Showroom, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX. A map showing the location of the The Showroom can be found here
Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 8:00pm
The best arguments for God you probably haven't heard & why they still don't work
Ben Norwood, Sheffield University Atheist Society
A look at some of the more interesting/novel/brilliant attempts to 'prove' Gods existence.
Can they convince you?
We are still working on our programme for rest of the year. We will post the information as soon as it is available.
Past Meetings 2013
Tuesday 7th May 2013 at 8:00pm
Freedom of Expression
Roy Brown, International Humanist and Ethical Union
right to freedom of expression has come under increasing pressure over
recent years, not only in the developing world but here in the West.
The non-aligned movement comprising more than half the member states of the United Nations mainly from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are continuing their efforts to have the UN adopt an international law against "defamation of religion" (read "blasphemy"); to introduce "complementary standards" to further restrict freedom of expression; and by attempting to subordinating human rights to the need to respect "traditional values".
In Europe governments increasingly fearful of minority pressure are seeking to reduce social tension by criminalising even the mildest insults to, and valid criticism of, religions and religious practices.
But human rights are first and foremost individual rights. They do not belong to any group, nether the majority, nor any minority, but to all individuals. And freedom of expression is that right which underpins all our other rights and freedoms. Without strong protection for the right to freedom of expression we will be unable to expose discrimination, oppression and the abuse of human rights around the world, and corruption, malpractice, inefficiency and incompetence closer to home.
Roy has supplied us with a transcript of his talk: "Global threats to Freedom of Expression"
Roy was also invited for an interview on Sheffield Live and they have a podcast of the interview. The relevant section is between about 10 and 40 minutes into the interview. Unfortunately a request for an interview with radio Sheffield arrived too late.
Tuesday 2nd April 2013 at 8:00pm
The Omega Course Part 2
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the pulpit
Mike Granville, Sheffield Humanist Society
As non-believers we are not always as familiar as we would like to be with the questions and answers about religion, from the basics about the existence of god(s) to the details of the Bible.
This event will try to help you with some of the questions that perhaps have you a bit puzzled.
Mike Granville will discuss some of the more common issues but you can also send in your own question in advance if you would like to.
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 5th March 2013 at 8:00pm
Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment
Janet Heimlich, Author & Journalist
High-profile cases such as the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and “faith healing” child deaths in some fundamentalist Christian congregations have made the public aware that religion can sometimes mask deviant and harmful behaviour. But the extent of the problem is far greater than most people realize.
Janet Heimlich, author and journalist will look at the subject of her recent book about the many forms of child maltreatment found in religious contexts, including biblically-prescribed corporal punishment and beliefs about the necessity of “breaking the wills” of children; scaring kids into faith and other types of emotional maltreatment such as spurning, isolating, and withholding love; paedophilic abuse by religious authorities and the failure of religious organizations to support the victims and punish the perpetrators; and religiously-motivated medical neglect in cases of serious health problems.While fully acknowledging that religion can be a source of comfort, strength, and inspiration to many young people, Ms. Heimlich makes a compelling case that, regardless of one’s religious or secular orientation, maltreatment of children under the cloak of religion can never be justified and should not be tolerated.
Tuesday 5th February 2013 at 8:00pm
The Ethics of Emergency Medicine Research
Steve Goodacre, University of Sheffield
If any of us has the misfortune to suffer a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, a stroke or a serious injury, we will want to receive timely and effective treatment. However, we can only be sure that treatment is effective if it has been tested in a trial involving people with the medical emergency in question. A fundamental principle of the Declaration of Helsinki, which was drawn up in the aftermath of human experiments conducted by the Nazis, is that people should only be a subject of medical research if they have given informed consent. But how can someone with a medical emergency, who may be distressed, confused or even unconscious, give informed consent to take part in research?Steve Goodacre is Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Sheffield and a Senior Faculty Investigator for the National Institute of Health Research. He has extensive experience of undertaking research in emergency medicine. In this talk he will describe the challenge of balancing the need to develop and test new treatments for medical emergencies against the need to respect the autonomy of critically ill or injured people to decide whether or not they take part in research.