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 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.
I do my best, when the opportunity arises, to present the Christian gospel in a way which is appropriate to the person and the situation, and which is faithful to the Biblical message. I believe it is more Biblical and more complete than most of the gospel presentations you are likely…
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Identity and Perspective
"Richard: sadly, no.  I think there was some initial desire to engage with each other at the worldview level, but it never got very far, and it rapidly turned into a pragmatic exercise: we had to work together in order to bid for a council grant, because the council changed the rules for funding such groups.  We didn't have any time for the sort of discussion.  I suspect one or two of the others would have been interested, but the opportunity never arose.
I do think that Christianity (when it…"
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Identity and Perspective
""No cause is so good that the struggle to achieve it justifies harming people." Okay, this is a first approximation, rather than a complete policy. But I think it is a good first approximation: we should seek to avoid harming people, but this is not the same as avoiding anything which people can claim hurts them in some way.
And harm goes both ways: I think it is reasonable to suggest that allowing people to engage in foxhunting or cock-fights or bear-baiting harms people by densitising them to…"
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Identity and Perspective
"Mark, I think your example of Peter Tatchell is a good one. He has actively supported an astonishing range of progressive causes, at significant personal cost. But I think it's difficult to argue for a principle on the basis of one astonishing person: if we had to appoint a dictator to run the UK, I suspect he would do an excellent job -there are probably few people who could do better - but that doesn't mean appointing a dictator would be a good thing to do.
All reform groups are fighting…"
Richard Morris commented on Paul Hazelden's article Identity and Perspective
"Sorry that I will not be around for tonight's discussion. I don't have time to do proper justice to Paul's excellent article, and Mark's excellent response.
I found Paul's description of attitiudes of various equality groups to each other very interesting though sobering. Hats off to Paul for sticking with several such groups.
As a fellow Christian with Paul, I agree that loving your enemy must be the way forward. I do agree with Mark that tribes who have proposed such a notion have fallen far…"
Apr 18
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Human Identity]
Personality analysis and testing is now a significant business.  The various models can be seen as a modern secular equivalent to traditional religions: many people claim that personality (the thing these models tell you about) does not exist, but clearly the world does not operate on the basis of such scepticism.  Each model has its own group of fervent believers, but there is no objeective way to choose between them - not even any agreed way to compare…
Apr 13
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Computing
"Good question!  Do you want to try answering it?
For me, it is precisely considerations of power which lead me to commit, as far as I am able, to supporting the Open Source movement in computing.  Apple are very willing to sell me a computer, but then they have complete control over what programs I can run on it - their products are easy to use and convenient, and most of the time they are fairly reliable, but this level of control over what I can do is an unacceptable trade-off for me.…"
Apr 12
Paul Hazelden commented on Paul Hazelden's article Real Life
"Fair point - a poor choice of words.  I think that, in my head, it was said with a semi-ironic tone of voice..."
Apr 12
Mark Collins commented on Paul Hazelden's article Computing
"Does computing give power to the people or power to the owners of the IT systems?"
Apr 12
Mark Collins commented on Paul Hazelden's article Real Life
"I am amused by the thought of a single celled organism being 'content'."
Apr 12
Mark Collins commented on Paul Hazelden's article Identity and Perspective
"I should have elaborated about the 'hard to kick' comment - wider society and our own tribes excert a very strong influence on us - it is extremely difficult to rebel against that pressure and try and steer a lone furrow, as those campaigning for change often have to do.  I'm thinking of people like Peter Tatchell, someone I've had the pleasure of meeting. He has suffered enormous personal harm fighting for change (and I would say justice).  It is right we acknowledge brave people like him who…"
Apr 12
Mark Collins commented on Paul Hazelden's article Identity and Perspective
"Tribalism is so core to human nature - a result of thousands of years of evolution, competing for food, competing for mates, competing for places to live, competing for the attention of those we admire.  We have become very good at tribalism because of natural selection.I have been dabbling with dialogue on Facebook for years with people that I disagree with, and it seems to me that there are some 'tribes' that are almost impossible to create meaningful conversation between.  Perhaps this is…"
Apr 12
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Human Identity]
Our identity is tied up with the tribes we belong to, the tribes we feel a part of.  Of course, 'tribe' in this context is something of a technical term: it refers to the significant social groupings we belong to.  Our tribe affects some obvious things, such as the social pressures we face and the expectations placed upon us; it affects who we see as enemies, and what we perceive as threats.  We are social creatures, so the opinion of other people matters…
Apr 11
Paul Hazelden posted an event

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


Apr 1
Paul Hazelden published an article
[Back to Social Challenges]
Computing, along with all other aspects of Information Technology, is frequently considered to be one of the major challenges we face - but the power it gives to people means that it must also be one of the answers.  Clearly, a great deal needs to be said here...
Here are a  few quick links.

New Scientist: Analogue chips can slash the energy used to run AI models (23 August 2023)
New Scientist: Memcomputer chips could solve tasks that defeat…
Mar 25
Mark Collins commented on Mark Collins's article Identity - who are we?
"Thanks Brian for this thoughtful response.  Lots to discuss tonight!"
Mar 21