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Caledonian Humanist Association

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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kbell
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 11:27 pm

Caledonian Humanist Association

#1 Postby kbell » February 11th, 2017, 6:45 pm

I've just come across this. Is it part of the Humanist Society of Scotland or something different?

http://www.cha.scot/
Kathryn

Zeff
Posts: 128
Joined: August 6th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#2 Postby Zeff » February 11th, 2017, 8:54 pm

My understanding (which may be defective in some respects) is that the Humanist Society Scotland (about 15,000 members and nearly 200 celebrants) dwarfs all the other Scottish humanist groups in terms of membership, number of celebrants and ceremonies completed, such as namings, funerals and weddings.

An early splinter group was the Scottish Humanists...
http://scottishhumanists.org.uk/ (Right click on link and choose 'open in new window')
They require to be a separate group as their celebrants charge only their costs (more or less). The HSS is arguably a more professional service with celebrants who are highly trained and reviewed. The SH philosophy is that anyone may conduct a humanist ceremony and it is the relationship between celebrant and (celebrator?) which is important, not the level of professionalism. The HSS had some concerns that such a vague philosophy was likely to lead to poorly conducted ceremonies, dissatisfied celebrators or even scandals. Therefore the HSS likes to emphasise they are different from the SH.

There are now a number of groups providing celebrant services as well as unaffiliated individuals.

Other examples are:
(I suggest 'open in new window')
http://www.humanisminscotland.org/

https://www.humanist-ceremonies.org/

http://hfofs.co.uk/faq/

I think that outlines the broad picture but some may take issue with details.
Hope that helps :-)

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#3 Postby Alan H » February 11th, 2017, 10:30 pm

Good grief! More splinter groups than, well....

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

kbell
Posts: 1146
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 11:27 pm

Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#4 Postby kbell » February 11th, 2017, 10:44 pm

Thank you, Zeff. I'm saddened there are so many groups instead of uniting under one banner. It's not a good look for such a wee country when nothing like this seems to have happened to the BHA.15,000 members is hard to believe - what is the source for this figure? In my day there were about 4,000 mind you that's getting on for ten years now. On their website they have 115 celebrants, btw. I'm also very surprised to see some of the names associated with these groups: Tim Maguire - wtf? And Ron McLaren?? As for Norrie Flowers - didn't Athena blog about him once? (I had a look on her blog but can't find it.) Do all these groups have the right to conduct legal weddings?

ETA: Just seen Alan's post. Exactly! :hilarity:
Kathryn

Maria Mac
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Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#5 Postby Maria Mac » February 11th, 2017, 10:59 pm

kbell wrote:Thank you, Zeff. I'm saddened there are so many groups instead of uniting under one banner.

Ditto but not surprised given the size of some of the bloody egos involved. I knew about the first group to split (under Hugh somebody or other's leadership) but not the others.
As for Norrie Flowers - didn't Athena blog about him once? (I had a look on her blog but can't find it.) Do all these groups have the right to conduct legal weddings?


Only five years ago this month - seems much longer. I didn't use his real name in the blog, if that's what you searched for.

http://www.skepticat.org/2011/02/humani ... -they-sow/

Zeff
Posts: 128
Joined: August 6th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#6 Postby Zeff » February 12th, 2017, 2:41 pm

kbell wrote:Thank you, Zeff. I'm saddened there are so many groups instead of uniting under one banner. It's not a good look for such a wee country when nothing like this seems to have happened to the BHA.
It really doesn't have to be viewed like that. As I tried to explain, the basis of each group is the celebrant activities and that is crucial to what makes these humanist groups successful. It isn't possible to have a policy of 'highly trained, supervised and reviewed' celebrants trying to do the work for an economically viable price and have a policy of comparatively easy-going voluntary celebrants. So, it makes some sense to have separate, cooperating groups.

kbell wrote:15,000 members is hard to believe - what is the source for this figure?
When I was Glasgow Group Secretary, HSS in 2011-2012 there were about 8,000 members, according to a member in quite a senior position, I cannot remember who. I heard the 15,000 figure & "190 celebrants" at a meeting a few weeks ago and it wouldn't surprise me if those figures are correct.

kbell wrote: I'm also very surprised to see some of the names associated with these groups: Tim Maguire - wtf? And Ron McLaren?? As for Norrie Flowers ... Do all these groups have the right to conduct legal weddings?
There have been a number of differences among celebrants and some people prefer the independence from a large organization. I think most of them can get a licence to conduct legal weddings, I suppose.

I take a less negative view of the situation than some. I agree that it would be better to keep one Humanist Society in Scotland but it hasn't proved very practical in any country. Northern Ireland's experience seems to be similar and there may be independent celebrants in England and Wales....
http://www.communitycelebrant.co.uk/independent-or-humanist
https://www.finalfling.com/58496a2c6f6dc/posts/
http://independentcelebrants.com/
http://www.woodsidecelebrants.co.uk/

Maria Mac
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Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#7 Postby Maria Mac » February 12th, 2017, 5:08 pm

Zeff wrote: there may be independent celebrants in England and Wales....

Indeed, there's an abundance of them but they don't band together under titles like 'English humanists', 'humanism in England' etc, thereby giving the impression of rival organisations, which is what I find saddening.
I always thought the situation in Northern Ireland was ridiculous and again a matter of fragile egos, the possessors of which should've had their heads knocked together years ago.

Zeff
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Joined: August 6th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#8 Postby Zeff » February 12th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Athena wrote:
Zeff wrote: there may be independent celebrants in England and Wales....

Indeed, there's an abundance of them but they don't band together under titles like 'English humanists', 'humanism in England' etc, thereby giving the impression of rival organisations, which is what I find saddening.....
Good point, but that seems to be due to the feeling that the HSS hasn't got the humanist philosophy "right" and so shouldn't be the only voice of Humanism (capital H) in Scotland.

My feeling is that the differences are between celebrants, not members in general. I feel celebrants could do more to keep it that way. Sadder than the choices of group titles might be harsh judgements, uncompromising words, unduly fierce criticisms and sometimes lack of coordination. It isn't that the differences (or the egos) are so great. My feeling is that people get too agitated and confrontational, as if someone is going to "win" an argument.

What saddens me is that there is something wrong with our society that makes people feel unduly antagonistic and unable to agree or reconcile. Humanists don't seem to exhibit especially good standards of debate, analysis, empathetic listening or manners. Frequently individuals are addressed instead of the issue or topic.

Maria Mac
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Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#9 Postby Maria Mac » February 12th, 2017, 6:26 pm

Zeff wrote:Humanists don't seem to exhibit especially good standards of debate, analysis, empathetic listening or manners.

Absolutely! I used to work full time for the BHA, as head of ceremonies, and amongst the celebrants I came across some of the most unpleasant and irrational people I'd ever encountered in my life.

Zeff
Posts: 128
Joined: August 6th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#10 Postby Zeff » February 14th, 2017, 6:08 pm

But let us not let that small minority obscure, as Athena describes on her blog: "..I want to say that I have the utmost respect for the good people in the Humanist Society of Scotland [I think applies to BHA and others] and for the excellent work they do, especially in providing ceremonies. Having some 25 years experience of involvement in charities and other non-profit organisations, I know they are full of unsung heroes who are passionate about what they do and who do it brilliantly..." Unquote.

I can see why celebrants may need different associations but I would like to see an umbrella society for the UK and Ireland. (Just my humble opinion). Humanism has nothing to do with nationalism/separatism.

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Alan H
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Re: Caledonian Humanist Association

#11 Postby Alan H » February 14th, 2017, 6:22 pm

Zeff wrote:But that small minority shouldn't obscure, as Athena describes on her blog: "..I want to say that I have the utmost respect for the good people in the Humanist Society of Scotland and for the excellent work they do, especially in providing ceremonies. Having some 25 years experience of involvement in charities and other non-profit organisations, I know they are full of unsung heroes who are passionate about what they do and who do it brilliantly..." Unquote.

I can see why celebrants may need different associations but I would like to see an umbrella society for the UK and Ireland. (Just my humble opinion).
The reasons for the separate organisations still exist and those reasons have increased over the years: Scotland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales have different legal systems, different education systems, different churches, different herath systems, different charity rules... it really is a lot to ask for one organisation to try to cover all of these and no great advantage in doing so that I can see.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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