• Open Forum
  • NSW Humanist Meetup
  • Activism meetings
  • Occasion meetings

HuVAT Sunday 14 April 2019 3.00 for 3.15 p.m.
is on


We need to know what we're talking about on a subject front and centre in the big ideas that have intrigued humanity. Humanism's ethical stance emphasises the agency of human beings, preferring reason and evidence over dogma. So, how do we develop and implement this ethical stance? This talk is an enlightening overview of ethical theory and social behaviour, looking at ethical theories developed by philosophers, including means-based (deontic) vs ends-based (teleological) systems, selfish vs altruistic ethics, and individualistic vs consensus ethics. We'll look at major mechanisms of social behaviour as revealed by biologists, including tit-for-tat behaviour, inclusive fitness, and the genetic basis of reciprocal altruism. We will examine the determinants of ethical behaviour revealed by psychologists, including concepts of fairness, empathy, retribution, and tribalism. How do these contribute to the actual ethical decisions we make? Can we resolve the trolley car paradox? If time permits, we will look at some attempts to live an ethically positive life. Come and explore this key to effective living for human beings. There will be an extensive Q&A session. The speaker will be David Killingly PhD.

HuVAT time slot
Humanist Viewpoints Afternoon Talk (general format now more varying)

Open Forum     Open Forum logo

(Note while this meeting series is sponsored by us its program is often not representative of the views of the Humanist Society at all. In fact it may run topics contrary to our interests! David Duffy's interest is to provide a regular venue to air matters of contemporary interest. If you are interested in what the Society as a body is concerned about click the HuVAT tab above).

3 Apr "Is technology becoming more human"

(or is humanity becoming more 'techno'??

Mr Peter Xing

Specialist in innovation through technology and member of the Science Party of Australia.

10 Apr "Iceland"

A tour of this island nation, famed in Viking Legend - its history, folklore, landscape and people.

Mr Peter Sage

Seasoned world traveller.

24 Apr "Don't cry for me Argentina"

A grand outdoor travelogue, the Andes and Tierra Del Fuego

Mr Peter Sage

World traveller.

1 May "Who's afraid of the internet?"

Mr Andrew Constantine

Advisor to executives of public and private companies and government departments.

  Where no program is listed a group discussion takes place, topic resolved by those present.


  Ring 9212 2122 for details for dates not covered here  

The Open Forum has been running for 48 years.

They are held

  • Every Wednesday
  • Starting at 8pm
  • at Humanist House 10 Shepherd St Chippendale.
  • Public Welcome.
  • Phone a recorded message service for last minute updates to the program.
    (+61 2) 9212 2122
  • Note: if there is no guest speaker a discussion evening on a topical issue occurs.
  • Supper available for a small donation.


The Wednesday Open Forum meetings are sponsored by the Humanist of Society of NSW to promote lively debate about topical issues. It has been held every Wednesday since 1971. You are welcome to come along and bring some friends. With a wide range of speakers and audience participants, views expressed by speakers and audience cannot be taken as a reflection of Humanist views .

Humanism fosters constructive intellectual exchange which can become impassioned at time. This requires a commitment from you to appropriate behaviour at all times. Unruly or offensive behaviour will not and cannot be tolerated.

Picture of David Duffy
David Duffy the long-time convener!
Tel: 4782 1130 AM only

The Society also runs the HuVAT (Humanist Viewpoints Afternoon talk) series usually on the second Sunday of each month 4 pm. These meetings are more orientated to the Humanist position as such. Click the HuVAT tab above.

NSW Humanist Meetup

Meeting 3-6PM Sunday 28 April 2019 -
a discussion titled


What does community mean in 21st century Australia? What forms community boundaries? - street, village, tribe, nation, club, movement, humanity, crowd, mob, lifeboat, planet. We used to talk a lot about society but now the word community seems to come up more often. What are the differences? Margaret Thatcher said there was no such thing as society! She didn't seem to understand community either. When 'aspirationals' have achieved their McMansion with its own pool, bar, snooker room, and gadgets for every conceivable foodstuff, they don't need to go out. Community can shrink to just family and a few mates. The French Revolutionary value of Fraternité suffers from a masculine bias. Siblinghood sounds correct, but does it move us? The word seems mostly used by academics and christians. What can we say to replace the humanistic phrase "The Brotherhood of Man?" Are online communities real communities? How many different 'communities' can one person belong to? Who wants to be part of the NSW Humanists community? What makes anyone part of any community?

All details here in printable form are copied from our journal Viewpoints downloadable from Members page.

No information at present

Humanist House with logo overlaid


HuVAT Sunday 12 May 2019 3.00 for 3.15 p.m. is Murray Love giving a


We'll preview what we'll be doing, what we won't be doing, how to help, how not to hinder, what it's all for, and what it all depends on. This has to be a convention that rolls up its sleeves and gets on with the job of revitalising the humanist movement in Australia. A new wave of humanism is urgently needed for the 21 century, responding to contemporary needs, while also continuing essential traditions. We need the whole Australian Humanist Movement to get involved, whether you can manage to get to the convention or not. This convention will not, must not, be where it all ends, but where it all begins. There will be panels of speakers and lots of Q&A. Speakers won't be the usual celebrities, but ordinary humanists with optimism for the future. Over the two days we will have a number of themed sessions. Details are in the programme issued with the Australian Humanist and with the PDF version of Viewpoints. Tickets will be available at the preview and other Sunday events leading up to the convention. If you can't be there, get them online
The convention in June will be in the hall at Humanist House. There aren't a lot of tickets, and you'll need a ticket to get in. Murray Love, President


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