Resources

Books

Recommended books can be found on the Book Reviews page.

To be reviewed.

  • Greg Epstein, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe (HarperCollins, 2009).  From the inside flap: Questions about the role of God and religion in today's world have never been more relevant or felt more powerfully. Many of us are searching for a place where we can find not only facts and scientific reason but also hope and moral courage. For some, answers are found in the divine. For others, including the New Atheists, religion is an enemy.  But in Good Without God, Greg Epstein presents another, more balanced and inclusive response: Humanism. He highlights humanity's potential for goodness and the ways in which Humanists lead lives of purpose and compassion. Humanism can offer the sense of community we want and often need in good times and bad--and it teaches us that we can lead good and moral lives without the supernatural, without higher powers . . . without God.
  • Sharron Davies, Unfair Play: The Battle For Women's Sport (Forum, 2023). "On the face of it, women's sport is on the rise, garnering more attention and grassroots involvement than ever before. However, the truth is that in many respects progress is stalling, or even falling back... A strong fightback is required to root out the lingering misogyny that plagues sporting governance, media coverage and popular perceptions. This book provides the facts, science and arguments that will help women in sport get the justice they deserve."  We assume that people will object to the content of this book, but at the time of posting there are no obvious articles to offer a 'balancing' perspective.
  • William MacAskill, What We Owe The Future: A Million-Year View (Oneworld Publications, 2022).  I have read the Blink of this book; while I question some of the details (such as the concern about Artificial General Intelligence) but the general argument that we have a moral duty towards future generations seems unarguable - as is the recognition that we are not currently doing all we could or should for them.

Plays

  • C P Taylor, Good.  This is a play about a fictional character, but set in the very real setting of Germany between 1933 and 1941.  It describes how a 'good' person can persuade himself to accept and then promote inhuman activity.  The issues and choices are still ones we wrestle with today.  The gripping production starring David Tennant was broadcast in April 2023 and again in April 2024.

Videos

Science.

Websites

  • 80,000 Hours (80000hours.org/problem-profiles/) They helpfully list the most pressing world problems.  Oddly, they are ranked in order of the impact one individual can make to addressing them.  Even more oddly, they rank "risks from artificial intelligence" as the number one risk we can do something about as individuals. But it is an interesting and worthwhile list. 
  • Big Think (bigthink.com) "Explore the world’s biggest questions".  For example, see Great minds don’t think alike: bringing sciences and the humanities together. "We live in times when civil discourse is seriously threatened by bigotry and tribal entrenchment. My hope with the different activities related to the institute and with the conversations registered in this book was to show how people can engage in a fruitful exchange of ideas, even when there is disagreement. Our motivation was the essential realization that certain big questions are too complex to be addressed one-dimensionally. Neither the sciences nor the humanities can answer these questions alone. As with many of the matters that define our time, they call for a pluralistic approach that combines different ways of knowing."
  • Britain's Choice (britainschoice.uk) "Common Ground and Division in 2020s Britain."
  • DataShine (datashine.org.uk) is a brilliant graphical tool which provides access to the 2011 census data.
  • Gapminder (gapminder.org) is an independent educational non-profit fighting global misconceptions.  It is an excellent source of well presented accurate information about many important aspects of the world.
  • Greater Good Magazine (greatergood.berkeley.edu/) "Science-based insights for a meaningful life"  Many useful articles, just don't ask how science can determine what a menaningful life is...
  • More in Common (moreincommon.org.uk) More in Common’s mission is to understand the forces driving us apart, to find common ground and help to bring people together to tackle our shared challenges. Our vision is to build a more united, inclusive, and resilient society where people believe that what they have in common is stronger than what divides them.
  • openDemocracy (opendemocracy.net) "openDemocracy is an independent international media platform. We produce high-quality journalism which challenges power, inspires change and builds leadership among groups underrepresented in the media. Headquartered in London, we have team members across four continents."
  • Politics (politics.co.uk) is a free-to-access digital magazine for UK politics, with both news and comment, aiming to be politically impartial and with no editorial agenda.
  • Positive News (positive.news) is the magazine for good journalism about good things.  When much of the media is full of doom and gloom, instead Positive News is (at least, it claims to be) the first media organisation in the world that is dedicated to quality, independent reporting about what’s going right.
  • ProCon (procon.org) is an excellent resource for considering controversial subjects, offering the perspective of both those for and those against the proposition.  It is owned by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and works hard to be unbiased.  Unsurprisingly, it seems in places to be biased towards the concerns and perspectives of the USA, but it aims for a global perspective.
  • Westar Institute (westarinstitute.org) is dedicated to fostering and communicating the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, thereby raising the level of public discourse about questions that matter in society and culture.

Articles

 


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