Event: Happy Human Light! Dec. 23

Here is the HumanLight website. The first celebration began in New Jersey, and is starting to spread. You can send E-cards to friends from this website (look under COMMUNITY), which say:

"In this season, we celebrate the light of hope and reason
That emanates from everyone of us!
A positive vision of a peaceful and happy world.
Happy HumanLight!"


Event: Watts Lecture on Evolution, Nov. 19

Watts Lecture featuring Professor Evelyn Fox Keller
Nov 19, 2009 7:00pm
Location: AC223, ARC Lecture Theatre, University of Toronto Scarborough, 1265 Military Trail

"In this 150th year since the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" the debate continues...

One of the most striking features of the nature-nature debate is the frequency with which in invites two apparently contradictory claims: first, that it has finally been resolved, and second, that it refuses to die. What is it about this topic that causes so much trouble? What is it that so stubbornly resists resolution?

In this talk, Professor Fox Keller will explore the many ways in which we become enmeshed by the tangle of meanings that make up the nature-nuture debate.

Professor Evelyn Fox Keller received her PhD. in theoretical physics at Harvard University, and worked for several years at the interface of physics and biology before turning to the history and philosophy of science. Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT, Fox Keller is the author of more than 10 books (e.g., The Century of the Gene; and Making Sense of Life), and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees. Her latest book, The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture, is forthcoming.}

Event: Orientation week - come meet the Chaplain!

Dr. Gail McCabe and other interfaith chaplains will be available to meet and greet students at the Clubs Fair (King's College Circle and Hart House Circle), Sept. 4, 12-4pm.

Lecture: Dr Gail MCCabe on Humanist Rituals

Saturday July 11, 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor St. West ROOM 4-422
Dr. Gail McCabe: "Secular Rituals, Society, and Humanism"

Dr. McCabe is a scholar with interests in Ritual Studies, Social Psychology and a Sociology of the Body informed by Critical Cultural Analysis.

Her dissertation, "Morphing the Crone: An Ethnography of Crone Culture, Consciousness and Communities" expands a theory of how ritual and dramas are implicated in social life on earth and in cyberspace. She takes the position that humans and humanists, no matter where they locate themselves philosophically, physically or spiritually, are certainly not 'beyond belief.' On that account, humanists have everything to gain from an understanding about how these different aspects of culture give structure to social order and human communities.

Dr. McCabe holds appointments as an officiant from Humanist Canada. She is also a member of the University of Toronto Campus Chaplain's Association serving the secular community at the University of Toronto. She taught in the Sociology Department at Glendon College and more recently, was the Academic Advisor, Calumet College, York University. She currently teaches the Community Services Worker program at a private college in Mississauga. This event is free and open to the public.


Humanist section of the TDSB Faith Accommodation Guide

Submission by Dr. Gail McCabe of a Humanist Section for the Faith Accommodation Guide of the Toronto District School Board

Submitted by Gail McCabe PhD RSSW
For the Humanist Section, TDSB RARPO Guidelines and Procedures

Humanist Philosophy
Humanism is a naturalistic, scientific, secular philosophy of life. Humanists embrace core human values of respect, responsibility, compassion and love. We look to nature and on-going inquiry for the explanation of life rather than to a divine or super-natural power.

Humanism is an ethical stance that calls for a commitment to the betterment of humanity through the methods of science, democracy, and reason, without limitations imposed by political, ecclesiastical, or other dictates.

Humanist Principles and Core Values

We live our lives in the belief that this is our only life. Therefore, we have a great responsibility to ourselves, and to the others with whom we share this planet, to make it the best life possible. Humanists hold 'human happiness' and gender parity with the highest regard. Therefore, we believe that the orderly progress of society demands that the views of others must be respected regardless of race, gender, social class, religion or creed so long as those views do not limit or intrude on the rights of others. Humanists support the full inclusion of all individuals through the separation of religious practices from the democratic institutions of state and governance.

Humanist Practices
Humanists have no established rituals or practices, but do recognize many rites of passage and historical events on an individual or ad hoc basis. For example, Humanists may celebrate birthdays or the coming of age of children; Humanists may choose to host a Celebration of Life at the death of a loved one; some individuals may wish to publicly declare their decision to unite by means of an appropriate ceremony.

Holidays & Celebrations

Humanists do not have any holidays or celebrations unique to themselves. However Humanists groups and individuals frequently observe special dates on the calendar such as the solstices. Others may wish to recognize, from time to time, the decisive role in the advancement of reason and scientific method represented by the work of Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Bertrand Russell and Dora Russell.


Science and Religion: Fact or Friction, 6:30 pm Wed Jan 21, Hart House

Science and Religion: Fact or Friction, 6:30 pm Wed Jan 21, Hart House

A panel of U of T profs invite students to engage on the relationship and challenges between faith and reason. A Hot Talk sponsored by Hart House and the Multi-Faith Centre.

Welcome to the Humanist Chaplains Blog

We're launching a new blog for a new partnership.

The Campus Chaplains Association at University of Toronto has appointed Humanist Chaplains to serve the needs of the Secular students at U of T, and the general population of the University Community.

We're just getting started, and will be using this blog to communicate with students and others in the Toronto secular community.

We hope to have our comments and interactive functions up and running over the summer, and hope to hear from you through this blog, as well as in person, during the coming year.

Gail McCabe and Mary Beaty, Chaplains.