Here is some information about some past meetings:
— 2016 —
March 6th – Leaving Belief Behind
Linda LaScola led a fascinating discussion with a panel of clergy and ex-clergy who do not believe in the supernatural. Linda is a coauthor of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind, and was one of the principle forces behind the foundation of The Clergy Project, a private online community where clergy and ex-clergy who no longer believe in the supernatural can discuss their lack of belief and all of the repercussion that follow from that in an open and honest manner.
Brett Wilson gave an entertaining and educational talk on the health impacts from eating highly processed “food substances”, the damage to our soils and farmland due to the industrialization of agriculture, the genesis of our agribusiness economy, and the startling truth about industrial organics.
Brett Wilson is the founder and owner of Horse & Buggy Produce, http://www.horseandbuggyproduce.com/
Rob Penczak moderated a fascinating discussion on how we can have an honest discussion about Islamic extremism.
Featured speakers included:
- Muhammad Syed, President and co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America
- Sarah Haider, Director of Outreach in D.C. & co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America
- Andy Thomson, M.D., author of Why we Believe in God(s) & expert in religiously motivated suicide terrorism
- Dr. Peter Boghossian. author of A Manual for Creating Atheists & expert in critical thinking and moral reasoning
— 2015 —
Annual Solstice Celebration
The Greater Richmond Humanists joined Richmond Reason and Naturalism Association (RRNA) for a Winter Solstice Celebration at the Richmond UU church. Attendance was very good and a great time was had by all.
Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy
Charles Gerena, Steve Leibovic and Aaron Sutch gave very interesting and informative talks on Electric Cars and Solar Energy. Our audience was very engaged and had great questions. We look forward to keeping up with DriveElectricRVA and VASUN and wish them success.
DriveElectricRVA In addition, Steve Leibovic will be there to talk about his Tesla and to share his knowledge and experience.
September 13th – Critical Thinking and Constructive Conversations about Faith
Dr. Peter Boghossian, Tombstone da Deadman, David Tamayo and Larry Mendoza joined us for an event on Critical thinking hosted by Rob Penzcak. The event was in the Great Hall and turnout was good. We are hoping to host more big events like this in the Great Hall in the near future.
August 23rd – The Compassionate Brain
July 28th – Natural and Organically Certified Food Sources
July 14th – The Sustainable RVA Project
Karin Miller educated us about the Sustainable RVA project, the purpose of which is to draft and subsequently support implementation of a 35-year sustainability agenda for the greater Richmond region. SRVA will help ensure that the Richmond region’s quality of life will be enhanced by creating a healthy, vibrant and resilient economic, social, and physical environment for all. www.sustainable-rva.com
June 23rd – Our Environmental Crisis: Is Design the Answer?
Patrick Farley gave an informative talk, making the case that many environmental problems can be solved with more thoughtful design. We had a good, healthy crowd of about 25 people. Here are some related links from the talk:
Book: Cradle to Cradle
Book: The Ecology of Commerce
Building: Brock Environmental Center
Building: VCU Rice Center
June 9th – Humanism and Unitarian Universalism
Rev. David MacPherson gave a very informal and entertaining talk on how humanism ideals developed along with those of Unitarian Universalism
May 26th – Health Consequences of Climate Change
Dr. Bill Nelson gave a very informative talk on climate change and the health consequences we can expect to see from it. We had a healthy turnout of 30 people. I will be posting his website here soon.
This was our first presentation by a remote presenter using Skype since the UU church was recently renovated. The new connection is very fast and the technology worked flawlessly. We are very excited about the potential to bring in other speakers using this technology.
If you’d like to learn more about Street Episemology, please check out www.streetepistemology.com.
— 2014 —
August 12th – Happiness and Public Policy
“Happiness, Freedom, and Autonomy” by Will Wilkinson, on Forbes.com.
The World Happiness Report, commissioned by the United Nations
These may be harder for people to access:
Helliwell, J. & Huang, H. (2008). How’s your government? International evidence linking good government and well-being. British Journal of Political Science. Vol 38, Issue 4, pp. 595-619
Inglehart, R., Foa, R., Peterson, C. & Wlzel, C. (2008). Development, freedom, and rising happiness: A global perspective (1981-2007). Perspectives in Psychological Science, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp. 264-285.
Veenhoven, R. (2004). Happiness as a public policy aim: the greatest happiness principle. Chapter 39 in Positive Psychology in Practice, Ed. by Alex Linley and Stephen Joseph
June 24th – End of Life Issues
This is the Conversation Project that Tim was talking about. This looks really interesting:
Here is a page containing advance directive forms:
Here is some information about palliative care from the American Cancer Institute, including information about recent legislation:
Rachel asked that I share these two links:
Hard Choices for Loving People
Note that the document (5 Wishes) and book (Hard Choices for Loving People) have to be purchased if interested, but there is a link to look at the sample document and part of the book. Rachel says that many families she works with find these resources helpful.
Finally, here are the three TED videos that I recommend:
This one is very short (6 minutes) and to the point, having basic tips about how to prepare for end of life:
Life that Doesn’t End with Death, 11 minutes: (recommended for a look at how other cultures deal with death)
We Need a Heroic Narrative for Death, 15 minutes: