Humanism is about tolerance, kindness, knowledge and friendship, and although Humanistically Speaking is for Humanists, it is there for everyone to read, enjoy, and contribute, regardless of faith or belief.

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How concerned should we be about lying in politics? According
to Machiavelli, politics has always been about deception.
Should a leader be selective with the truth to soften bad news
so as to avoid panic? Should we care about an otherwise
effective politician if she cheats on her husband, or should we
reject someone because of something said in confidence?
There are, perhaps, few straightforward answers and I, for one,
would be very interested to know what our readers think.

 

Is deception peculiarly human in nature, or do other animals
deceive one another? The answer to the second question
seems to be a resounding 'Yes'. Indeed, it is discomforting to
realise that the more intelligent the animal, the greater the
capacity it has to deceive. Penny Morgan explores this issue in
her contribution this month.

 

Also this month, we are delighted to feature an article on
critical thinking by Even Gran who is the critical thinking
campaign manager at Human-Etisk Forbund (Norwegian
Humanist Association) and we report on a talk by Mike Flood
about the concerns of the newly formed Future of Humanism
Group.

 

My interview with Jim Al-Khalili is not, at first sight, related to
the question of lies, but as a physicist Jim is, in a way, dealing
with the pursuit of ultimate truth in a scientific sense. Lies may
be constructs of the mind but scientific truth seems to be
natural and on solid ground or is it?


It’s rare for me to mention a reader’s email but the message
about the stabbing of Salman Rushdie is disturbing. It draws
attention to extremist elements within the Islamic community
which should concern us all.

 

I was delighted to read about the first humanist child naming ceremony in Nigeria. We offer our congratulations to proud parents Ingye and Joy and to baby Doose, and to Leo Igwe for performing the ceremony.
 

I would also like to formally welcome Taunton and Somerset
Humanist group into the fold as group subscribers. We would
love to receive comments and news from our new colleagues
in Somerset. So, until the next issue, read on ...

 

 

​​​​​​​​David Brittain

Executive Editor

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