Welcome to DASH: Derbyshire Atheists, Secularists and Humanists

"Last year you visited our school to discuss Humanism with our year 9 cohort. Due to the response from students and enjoyment from staff, we would be very grateful if you could return this year. If you could get back to me with some suggestions of times when it would suit, that would be great!"

Please contact us if you would like a speaker for your school.

Humanist meeting in Derby 24/06/2016

A meeting has been organised on Friday 24th June at 7.00pm at The Friends Meeting House, St Helen's Street, Derby, DE1 3GY.

Pavan Dhaliwal from the British Humanist Association will speak about the work the BHA has been doing in the EU to promote a fairer and more secular society.

Everyone is welcome.

Children's rights

All children, with or without religious parents, have the right to make a free and informed choice about what to believe as they get older.

"Free" means without pressure from family, peers and community.

"Informed" means with the widest possible understanding of different religious and non-religious beliefs.

 

Children have a right to understand that millions of people lead good, happy and responsible lives without gods or religions.

Telling children about a single belief system, to the virtual exclusion of all others, is indoctrination - brain washing. Religious Education is about providing knowledge - not claiming that one belief system is right and all others are wrong.


"As a Catholic I was 24 before I had a serious discussion with an atheist humanist and realised that there are alternative world views that allow millions of people to lead happy and responsible lives without believing in god. Before then I thought the only way to lead a moral life was to follow the teachings of the church. I talked to more people, read a lot and now, at 25, I am proud to call myself an atheist."

How did a young person in Derbyshire go through 14 years of taxpayer-funded education without the opportunity to listen to the views of someone with a non-theist view of life? Is this acceptable?

We can help to put that right. Please see our Education pages from the menu at the top of the page.


Click for "Walking on eggshells"
Millions of people lead happy, fulfilled and responsible lives with no need for god or religion.

Who are we?

  • As atheists we don't believe in god(s) or religion(s).
  • As secularists we campaign for a state free of religious privileges.
  • As humanists we try to lead happy, fulfilled and responsible lives.

Our ideas are encapsulated in their simplest form here.

For full details of our aims and beliefs please click here.

The "a" in atheist

The "a" in "atheist" is important to us because it means "not" or "without".

We are "not theists", we are defined by what we are not, not by what we are, and, obviously, there would be no atheists if there were no theists.

We are equally "a" anything for which there is no need and no evidence.

 

So, we are "a-fairyists", "a-unicornists", "a-santa-clausists", "a-fire-eating-dragonists", "a-supernaturalists" and "a-hippoists".

Obviously there is no such thing as "atheism" (though religious people insist there is!) because we atheists don't share any belief system - though some of us are humanists. The only thing we have in common, as atheists, is that we are "not theists" - we don't believe in god(s) - however they are defined..

Looking for a celebrant?

We celebrate the big events of life: birth, marriage and death; with family, friends and a party.

Most non-believers don't bother with a celebrant for such occasions.

However, if you would like a non-religious celebrant, particularly for funerals, please check the British Humanist Association web site.


Good with god

As atheist humanists we do our best to enjoy happy and responsible lives while helping others to do the same - we can be "good without god".

We accept that it is also possible for theists to be "good with god" though we sometime wonder when we watch the News each evening.


Free book: "No Need for God"

As atheist humanists we develop a strong sense of personal morality and have no intellectual, psychological or emotional need for the idea of god to enjoy happy and responsible lives.

We like to keep things simple ("Occam's Razor") so we have no need for the complexity associated with religion: gods, prophets, heaven, hell, devils, angels, jinn, miracles, holy men, martyrs, saints, holy books, holy places, temples, palaces, churches, rituals, external authority, priestly hierarchies, rule giving etc. However, we recognise that theists do feel such a need.

The book "No Need For God" was written by one of our local supporters and we are pleased to say that its print run sold out within weeks of publication.

The 92 page book is illustrated in full colour and is aimed at top primary, lower secondary level - but is also of interest to adults!

With the agreement of the author we can now offer the book for free.

  • Please click here to download the cover in PDF format (4.4MB)
  • Please click here to download the contents in PDF format (26.2MB)

We welcome comments about the book - please contact us to let us know what you think.

Permission to copy and distribute

Permission is granted for anyone to download and distribute the book, unchanged and free of charge, in electronic or print form.

Please contact us if you wish to distribute the book commercially - i.e. if you wish to charge for it.


Making a free and informed choice about what to believe

Education should enable young people to make a free and informed choice about what to believe.

  • A free choice means one without pressure from outside and one which can be changed at any time.
  • An informed choice is one that results from intellectual investigation of the religious and non-religious alternatives.
  • A harmonious society is one in which people from different backgrounds mix with one another and find out about one another. "Apartheid" in South Africa meant living apart, separate development, people not mixing with one another and not understanding one another.

    Self segregation is the worst form of apartheid and is deeply insulting because it says "we don't want our children to mix with your children."

That's why:

  • we support the right of people to believe what they wish - as long as:
    • they cause no harm.
    • they don't attempt to limit the freedoms of others.
    • they don't discriminate as a result of their beliefs.
    • they don't expect us to change our lives to meet their religious needs.
    • they play a positive role in society.
 
    • they don't try to impose their beliefs onto others, particularly children.
    • they allow children to make a free and informed choice about what to believe.
    • they accept that free speech means their beliefs may be criticised or even laughed at.
    • they are not funded by tax payers.
  • we support good Religious Education which provides pupils with information about a wide range of religious and non-religious beliefs.
  • we oppose any form of worship, with its inherent god assumption, in taxpayer-funded schools.
  • we oppose the apartheid of religiously and ethnically segregated schools where pupils are exposed to a single world view and remain ignorant of others.
  • we provide speakers, free of charge, to talk to young people in schools, colleges and universities. We challenge established ideas, raise questions and promote intelligent discussion.

There is no gene for religion - you are not born Christian, Muslim, Judaist, Hindu etc. You are born with no religious beliefs - religion is imposed from outside. There are no religious children, only religious parents.

Many (most?) religious people have not made a free and informed choice - they have accepted the first god/religion that comes along, the one of their parents and community.


Finding out more

You can find out more by:   Fancy a book? Try these:

Fancy a DVD? Try these:


Interesting

With all the fuss about what Muslim women wear it is interesting to look back 50 years to the visit of John Kennedy to Galway in 1963.

The girls from a local Catholic school were dressed in a very similar way to many Muslim women today. Catholic churches still request that women cover themselves when entering a church - particularly in Southern Europe. Flesh is not seemly in the sight of god.

Progress has been made - girls in Catholic schools in Ireland no longer wear this sort of uniform - but they are still indoctrinated into Catholic beliefs.


Click for a larger image
 

 
Our aims and beliefs

Theist and atheist

Occam's Razor

Walking on eggshells

Atheist/Humanist concerns

Religious beliefs and needs

Classic arguments about god

The psychology, sociology and psychopathology of religion

Historicity of Jesus

Challenge the Atheist

The Pink Hippo

Humanist speakers for schools

Advice for parents

Briefing paper on education

Volunteers wanted

Testimonials

We support DCIE

Can you help as a speaker?

Questions about speaking

Practical speaking advice

Using PowerPoint

Working with groups

Topics for consideration

Educational background

Resources for speakers

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