Vol. 117 No. 5

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THE MYTHS OF CHRISTIAN EUROPE Kenan Malik
An argument of strong scholarly and historical character, that the origins and underpinnings of Western culture are manifold: owing a good deal to Greek and Judaic thought, and indebted to Muslim culture in a number of ways. As regards the modern values of democracy, tolerance, equality and freedom of expression: these are largely the product of the Enlightenment–the period following that in which Christianity was the dominant cultural force in the West. Abstract by Tom Rubens.  

THE SCIENCE OF GOD, GHOSTS AND GOBLINS Richard Wiseman
A psychological exploration of why people believe in supernatural entities. Possible reasons for such belief are: suggestibility, false expectation, and the tendency to read meanings into events which have no meaning. Abstract by Tom Rubens.  

UNNATURAL PREDATORS: THE FOLKLORE OF FEAR Deborah Hyde
A psychological study of why people believe in malign supernatural forces and magic. This belief is an attempt at systematic understanding and manipulation of natural laws. Understanding this help us to combat the influence of such belief. Abstract by Tom Rubens.

WHAT DO ALL CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW? John Tillson
Schools should convey knowledge as part of the broader task of promoting the virtue of truthful belief; and curriculum content ought to encompass beliefs which children need to have in order to avoid being put at a practical disadvantage in life. Abstract by Tom Rubens.

‘THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE’ Babu Gogineni
Chiefly in the underdeveloped world, belief in witchcraft and sorcery has horrific consequences, especially for women. What is needed world-wide is state education of an enlightened type, to eradicate superstition and false belief.

CONWAY CONFIDENTIAL Jim Walsh
A report of the two-day festival at Conway Hall. A variety of events were staged, including singing and drama, in conjunction with the Conway Collective, the Society’s new theatrical company.

THE ETHICS OF REPRODUCTION ON A FINITE PLANET Roger Martin
An argument in favour of population control. The planet, with only finite space and resources, cannot sustain unlimited population increase. Much more money can and should be put into family planning programmes; and the various prejudices against the latter need to be overcome. A reduction in population will lead to an improvement in overall quality of life. Abstract by Tom Rubens.

VIEWPOINTS: Chris Purnell, Mazin Zeki

ETHICAL SOCIETY EVENTS

 

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