Friday 3 August
|6:00pm – 10:30pm||Registration opens,
Welcome event, quiz and entertainment
Saturday 4 August – conference
Tea and coffee available
|8:45am||There’s no Māori word for ‘atheist’
– Te Henare (Community of Māori Atheists and Freethinkers) & Eru Hiko-Tahuri (Heretical Hori)
|9:30am||How Humanism can help us counter violent extremism
– Gulalai Ismail
|11:00am||Non-religious arguments against Secularism
– Andrew Copson
|12:00pm||In conversation with Aunty Jackie
– Jackie Clark, The Aunties
|1:45pm||Introduction to the afternoon|
– Catherine Low, Effective Altruism
|3:30pm||Leaving conservative religions
– Imtiaz Shams, Faith to Faithless
|4:30pm||Lucky Not So Lucky: Humanist Activism in a World Threatened by Religious Extremism
– Leo Igwe, Nigerian Human Rights Advocate
|5:30pm||Is Virtue Worth the Effort?
– Joseph Bulbulia, School of Humanities, University of Auckland
Saturday 4 August – Gala Dinner
|7:30pm||Cash bar opens|
|8:00pm – 10:30pm||Dinner and awards ceremony|
How Humanism can help us counter violent extremism
Chair: Sara Passmore
President, Humanist Society of New Zealand
Human Rights Activist and 2014 International Humanist of the Year Award
Māori atheists Te Henare & Eru Hiko-Tahuri
In the 2013 census 46% of Māori said they had no religion. However, Eru Hiko-Tahuri, who blogs and writes under the name The Heretical Hori states that ‘there are very few Māori who would admit to being atheists”.
Along with founder of Maori Atheists and Freethinkers, Te Henare, we’ll hear unique insights into the tension between culture and religion in a post-colonial New Zealand. And will discuss the anger, fear, and daily micro-aggression experience by Māori atheists for their beliefs.
Founder of the Community of Māori Atheists and Freethinkers
The Heretical Hori
Non-religious arguments against Secularism
Secularism – separation of church and state and the elimination of legal religious discrimination – has many opponents. Some of these opponents are theocrats, making explicitly religious arguments against secularism. But others are not and make non-religious arguments against this way of ordering politics and the state. Even in majority non-religious societies, can we therefore be confident that secularism will follow? Andrew Copson, President of IHEU and author of Secularism: politics, religion, and freedom (OUP, 2017), will explore some of the secular arguments against secularism and try to answer this question.
Chair: Peter Harrison
President, New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists
IHEU President and Chief Executive of Humanists UK
In conversation with Auntie Jackie
Auntie in Charge
In this interactive session Catherine will introduce the fundamental principles of Effective Altruism, and put the audience to the test.
Catherine LowEffective Altruism
Leaving conservative religions
Imtiaz Shams has been using his experience founding ‘tech for good’ start-ups to help apostates who leave conservative religions.
Chair: Safwan Mason,
Council of Ex-Muslims of New Zealand
Founder, Faith to Faithless
Lucky Not So Lucky: Humanist Activism in a World Threatened by Religious Extremism
Chair: Ngaire McCarthy,
Nigerian human rights advocate and humanist
Is Virtue Worth the Effort? Evidence from a National Longitudinal Study of New Zealanders
Philosophers have long held that:
(1) virtues hold the key to the greatest human happiness;
(2) virtues must be actively cultivated for civic societies to endure.
However, testing these enduring claims has proved challenging. Nearly all relevant data sets, such as national censuses, do not track individuals over time, or ask the right questions. Using responses from on ongoing longitudinal study of attitudes and values among a diverse group of 30,000 New Zealanders, we investigate the life-long effects of generosity and systematically test whether volunteering and charitable giving are linked to a greater satisfaction with life and a greater acceptance of social differences.
Chair: Jolene Phipps,
Freethinking Parents – NZ
School of Humanities, University of Auckland