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.



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
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
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
Paul Hazelden commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
"Mark, I'm not clear what you mean by 'there is absolutely no evidence', but it seems that the way you are using the phrase is not what I would mean, and the phrase itself could be misleading in this context.
When I say that all faith is based on evidence, I don't mean that it is all based on evidence that you know, or evidence that you would regard as valid: I mean evidence that the person concerned knows and regards as valid.  If I have a friend who regularly takes homeopathic remedies, and…"
Nov 29
Paul Hazelden commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
"Mark, I have offered catching a bus as an example of ordinary, everyday faith being exercised.  Clearly, many other examples could be chosen.
But if you want to say that faith in the real world - in the lives of people - often has no evidence, please can you give us a few examples to support the claim?
Nov 28
Adrian Roberts commented on Brian Monahan's article Book Review: Humankind
"I am particularly dubious about the idea that most people in battle try to avoid killing other human beings? Its there any evidence for this other than the occassional anecdote? We could probably play tennis with anecdotes that support or do not support the view, but if it was generally true, why is the world in such a mess? No King or General or Ayatollah would ever have won any battles if their soldiers didn't shoot to kill. 
In the middle east at present, Hamas are fighting because they want…"
Nov 26
Mark Collins commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
"Why don't you suggest some edits to the Wikipedia article and see what happens! :)"
Nov 22
Mark Collins commented on Brian Monahan's article The real problem ...
"Hi Richard - first of all welcome to Just Human!Thanks for sharing a more positive response from the Home Office to counter my negative experience and impression from the public proclamations by politicians.It would seem the goverment is determined to change the law in order to side step the supreme court's ruling on Rwanda, but let's hope they fail. However, it would seem looking for a more ethical stance from the Labour leadership could also be disappointed. 
Nov 19
Richard Morris commented on Brian Monahan's article The real problem ...
"Hi Mark, I have only just joined "Just Human" and so this is a late response. I admired Brian's summary of the catch 22 faced by asylum seekers and chimes with my hearing the experience of people caught in this impossible situation. 
Recently a young man from West Africa who had lived for over 2 years in a hotel in my city was moved suddenly to a multiple occupancy house in a town some distance away. He knew no one in this town and all the contacts he had made over 2 years became inaccessible.…"
Nov 19
Mark Collins commented on Brian Monahan's article Leaping into Faith?
"The problem with the bus analogy is that often faith doesn't even have the bus or the unknown driver as evidence.  There is nothing whatsoever to tangibly justify the faith in a satisfactory journey.
Nov 17
Brian Monahan published an article
[Back to Reason, Science and Faith]
1. Introduction
The idea of a "leap of faith" is unfairly defined by Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_of_faith) as:
In philosophy, a leap of faith is the act of believing in or accepting something not on the basis of reason. The phrase is commonly associated with Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.
What an almighty put-down - and entirely simplistic!   The entry continues by saying this:
As an idiom, leap of faith can refer to the act of…
Nov 16
Brian Monahan commented on Paul Hazelden's article Faith
"I'm probably quibbling here - but I wouldn't call the idea of the bus driver acting to deliver us to our destination an act of faith, as such.  For me, this excellent example has much more to do with "trust" - which for me is a weak form of (rational) belief - based on weak evidence such as past experience of bus journeys, the existence of timetables, and the fact that I recognise the driver!    As you clearly put it - this trust in the bus driver and the delivery at our destination is not a…"
Nov 16
Mark Collins commented on Paul Hazelden's article Politics: Some Underlying Issues
"I think perhaps one of the biggest issue that does, and probably always has, diminished political discourse is that so very many people opt out of it, either by refusing to seek engagement and understanding and simply reacting to events that are in the news ('oh I don't trust any politicians, they're all in it for themselves"), or by putting their heads down and simply living their lives, either ignoring the big issues or simply hoping others will sort it all out."
Nov 16
Mark Collins commented on Paul Hazelden's article Wonder, Mystery and Awe
"I've just re-read my comment and I should first apologise for the grammar. Dreadful!  I think you are saying exactly the same thing in different words - the woodland walk is a good illustration.  How we feel is often massively influenced by our engagement with our surroundings, and how they affect us. Rather like the appreciation of art, some will love, like me, a Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece and be enticed and intrigued by it, others will be left cold, even if they force themselves to try to…"
Nov 15
Mark Collins published an article
[Back to Reason, Science and Faith]
I’ve looked up the word ‘faith’ in a few dictionaries, here are a couple of examples. Oxford language: 1. complete trust of confidence in someone or something.
2. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. Merriam Webster
1. a: allegiance to duty or a person (e.g. lost faith in company’s president)
b: fidelity to one’s promises, sincerity of intentions (e.g. acted in good faith)
2. a: (i)…
Nov 14
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Wonder, Mystery and Awe
"Mark,  that is fair enough as a personal reaction.  I'm not claiming everyone - or even that most people - feel this way.  But I keep on having conversations with people, both inside organised religion and outside it, who tell me that this is their experience.  I had another such conversation last Friday, which is what prompted this piece.
I sympathise with your reaction to the words, 'deeper reality', and I'm not 100% comfortable with them, but that is language I sometimes hear.  And I do…"
Nov 14