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Welcome!

We want to make the world a better place: by talking with, listening to - and potentially working with - people who see the world differently.

We - the people on this site (and, we trust, you) - want to make the world a better place. The question is: how?  An important part of the answer is: with help from one another - we can't do this on our own.  If we want to make this happen, we will need to learn how to cooperate, really cooperate, with one another.

Right now, the challenges the world faces, but also the possibilities for real change, are greater than they have been in our lifetime.  So we want to do everything we can to understand the challenges and come up with the best possible responses, to enable us to work together and make the best changes happen.

What the human race does today, and in the next few years - how we live, the choices we make - will shape the world, and decide our future.

We need to understand the practical challenges we face.  But we also need to explore ideas and beliefs, hopes and fears, because these are the things which drive our choices and affect the way we live.  And we need to explore them with people who do not already agree with us, because we will need to cooperate with as many people as possible if we are going to beat these challenges.

We will not learn enough if we only talk to those who agree with us, and we will not be strong enough if we only cooperate with those we like.

So we want to attract a wide range of people with different ideas and opinions.  With a range of differing perspectives, we can test the evidence for our ideas and explore the alternatives, so that we have good reason to believe the actions we take are the best we are capable of.  And we always need to be open to the possibility of understanding more, and changing our strategy.

Alongside the challenges, we also want to share some good news about things which give us hope end encouragement: if we are to overcome these challenges, we will need joy and strength just as much as we need clear thinking and accurate information.

We need to act, and interact, as people, with all the benefits and struggles this brings; we cannot pretend to be impersonal dispensors of objective truth.

The problems of this world are caused by people, and they must be solved by people.  Facts really matter, but they rarely persuade people to make the changes which are needed: alongside the facts, we need the personal stories.  Issues need to be grounded in human experience, so we can relate to the story and be moved emotionally as well as intellectually.

We will aim to be as truthful and honest as possible, but nobody is entirely objective.  The best we can do is be open and honest about our preferences and prejudices, do our best to make allowances for them, and be open to other people questioning and challenging our assumptions.

What Next?

Fee free to browse.  All the content on the site is available for anyone to read.  If you wish to contribute in some way, or simply support our vision of people cooperating despite disagreement, you are very welcome to join us, but please read the material in the Introduction first, to understand how we try to do things and why we have a small monthly membership fee.

This site is currently under development - we are still copying content across from the original site.  But there is enough to give you an idea of what we are aiming to build.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

 

Activity

Mark Collins commented on Mark Collins's article Identity - who are we?
"I am sure shared activity and experience is a hugely important mechanism to enable us to be at ease with people who are different to ourselves. It's hard to be focussing on difference when you're emerged in wonderful music or a enjoying a splendid meal together!"
5 hours ago
Richard Morris commented on Mark Collins's article Identity - who are we?
"Thank you Mark for such a thoughtful post. As I began to read, the first thoughts about my own identity were: white, British, middle class. Oh and male. None of these markers of identity made me proud, indeed rather the reverse: a sense of guilt and shame at the advantages these markers have given me in life. Acknowledging my identity has helped me realise that I cannot expect to *fully* understand those whose identity differs from mine. I find this humbling, yet also exciting because it makes…"
11 hours ago
Paul Hazelden posted an event

Mar 21, 2024 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Online

16 hours ago
Mark Collins published an article
There is so much talk these days about identity, arguments about whether people should be able to identify in ways that feel natural to themselves, even when it challenges the norms that the majority of society has evolved to accept. I’m thinking here of gender identity. However, perhaps our reactions, positive, negative or ambivalent are merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of how we are as human beings.What is our identity? Is how we see ourselves the same as how others see us? Or something…
Wednesday
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Christianity]
When talking about a religion or belief system, please be particularly careful to ensure that any comments are fair and helpful.
This article is part of the 'Ground Up' project.
Summary
In the early Church, a Christian was not someone who believed in certain doctrines - a Christian was someone who put Jesus first.  The first statement of faith was very simple: 'Jesus is Lord': the early Church consisted of those who acknowledged Jesus as Lord - that is, as their Lord and…
Feb 2
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Social Theory]
Introduction
Many people argue today that there is no alternative to capitalism: much of the last century can be seen as a conflict between capitalism and communism, and capitalism won.  History is no longer going anywhere (or seen to be going anywhere) because we have arrived at the end point - as Fukuyama's famously misleading title ('The End of History') indicates.  In any case, very few people today would argue that communism is a viable alternative.
But questions…
Jan 30
Paul Hazelden posted an event

Feb 15, 2024 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Online

Jan 25
Mark Collins commented on Brian Monahan's article 12 Lessons - Fixing Britain with Louise Casey
"I have read your comments - all good stuff.  My question though is, with all governments, but particularly the last few, do they really want to fix the problems?  Best case they don't really care, worst cast they are deliberately creating a climate of failure to achieve idealogical ends, ends that suit the very wealthiest.  I'm almost through with James O'Brien's book 'How they broke Britain', which is a very thorough, evidence based and well argued narrative explaining how our current state is…"
Jan 16
Brian Monahan published an article
12 Lessons - Fixing Britain - with Louise Casey.pdf
Jan 11
Paul Hazelden posted an event

Jan 18, 2024 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm

Online

Jan 7
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Climate Change]
The 'Paris Agreement' in 2015 is when the nations of the world agreed that their target was to keep the average surface temperature no more than 1.5 degrees C above the pre-industrial figure. There are a number of problems with this target.

It is an arbitrary figure: there is no scientific reason why the target could not be 1.4 or 1.6 degrees.  But, for many reasons, we need a target to aim for, so 1.5 degrees was chosen.
It is the result of educated guesswork.  We…
Jan 7
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Politics]
Introduction
You can stop worrying about the danger of Artificial Intelligence taking over the world: it has already happened.  The world is run by organizations - businesses, multinational corporations - which operate according to their own systems and logic.  Many of them are legally people but, despite the many people working within them, they are - quite literally - not human.  They are inhuman creatures, entities which we have created but cannot control, and they run the…
Dec 28, 2023
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Climate Change]
Introduction
Why are the nations of the world not doing more to address the challenge of climate change?  There are probably many reasons.  But it's a reasonable assumption that one major barrier preventing faster and more effective response to climate change is this: the elite believe that they will be able to hide from the worst effects.  They think they will be able to retreat to a gated community, or retire to their private island.
No doubt, many other people in the…
Dec 18, 2023
Paul Hazelden commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
""we need to differentiate evidence from explanation" - very good point!  I think we need to take this thought away from the comments and address it as a topic in its own article.
 "
Nov 30, 2023
Mark Collins commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
"Something else that springs to mind - we need to differentiate evidence from explanation.  There are lots of credible reasons and explanations concerning why people believe things, but I would suggest that many of those things have nothing to do with the belief itself. i.e. they explain why someone might believe things (your clutching at straws with minimal risk of harm to do with homeopathy is an example) but it doesn't provide any evidence towards the belief (freestanding) in the efficacy of…"
Nov 29, 2023
Mark Collins commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
"'The person concerned knows and regards as valid'.  This is a major divergence between what I regard as evidence, namely things that can be demonstrated shared and verified by e.g. the scientific method and opinion, which may be real to the person that holds it but can be discredited by the mechanisms I mention.  Homeopathy fails the latter absolutely.  So people may believe they know things, but the things they 'know' can only really be evidence, at least in my understanding, if they pass the…"
Nov 29, 2023
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