‘THE UNHOLY MRS KNIGHT’AT THE BBC: SECULAR HUMANISM AND THE THREAT TO THE ‘CHRISTIAN NATION’, c.1945-1960 Callum Brown
Margaret Knight’s BBC radio broadcasts, given in 1955 and entitled ‘Morality Without Religion’, were a catalyst in the process by which Christian culture lost the dominance which it had, at an official level, previously held in Britain. Though the broadcasts were not explicitly anti-Christian, they did advocate a humanistic approach to the moral training of children, as opposed to the imposition of scriptural authority. One of their long-term effects was to make the BBC more culturally liberal, and less deferential to tradition and convention. Abstract by Tom Rubens.
APES LIKE US: TOWARDS AN EVOLUTIONARY HUMANISM Volker Sommer
Detailed research over the last half-century has cast doubt on the traditional distinction between the human and the animal. Certain traits, once thought to be exclusively human, are found in the higher apes. This discovery has led to the creation of the Great Ape Project, which advocates that some privileges which currently apply only to humans should be extended to the great apes. This advocacy is limited–it does not ask that apes be viewed as in every way equivalent to humans–but it is, nevertheless, important. The new view now being taken of the apes links with a broader development in evolutionary thinking: one which rejects the mind-body dualism which originated with Descartes, and which sees all evolved beings, including humans, as material entities, to be understood entirely in materialistic terms. Abstract by Tom Rubens.
VIEWPOINTS: Donald Langdown, Barbara Smoker, Fiona Weir, Beatrice Feder, Charles Rudd, Ray Ward, Chris Purnell
ETHICAL SOCIETY EVENTS