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Almost every Sunday, HGP members gather in Portland, Oregon, for a program which is free and open to the public. With the invited presenters' permissions, we record those talks for our members, and with further permission, make them available here. Hovering over a thumbnail below shows its full title and [date] of that program, and clicking it brings it to the top window to view its "Description" and/or video. Most programs start with a very short reading chosen by a member. See for more info about HGP and our programs. Members also get access to videos not authorized for public release, as well as the HGP library and member-oriented events. Video credits: For most videos, camera is done by Mike Birtchet, audio is done by Bill Maiden, and final editing was done by Dave DiNucci and is currently done by Laurent Beauregard. None of these videos would be possible without the excellent work of the HGP Program Committee to schedule speakers and to carry out the programs, or without the contributed time and effort of the speakers themselves.
Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Crossing Party Lines [2017/04-30]

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 12:58pm

Presentation by Joyce Lackie. One expects disagreement in a democracy. Many feel, however, that the 2016 election has polarized the nation to an alarming degree. We see fledgling movements, some here in Portland, to counteract this polarization. Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind, explains how people make political and religious decisions based on widely varying moral values. Searching for common ground, we look at the moral bases for how Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians form many of their policies. Joyce has been a member of HGP since 2004 and serves on the program and scholarship committees. A Ph.D. from the University of Alabama, she has taught at three universities. She has been retired for twenty years and is now traveling and volunteering.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Death With Dignity [2017/05-07]

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 12:58pm

Sarah Blanchette presents an overview of what the Death with Dignity National Center does. She provides a brief outline of the Death with Dignity laws in Oregon, Washington, and other states, and then leaves time for questions and discussion. Ms. Blanchette is a social worker. In Oregon she has connected with a new organization: End of Life Choices Oregon. She believes that having true choice and autonomy at the end of one’s life is a human right.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Is Christianity Coherent? [2017/05-21]

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 12:54pm

Presentation by Stephen B. Gray. His answer to “Is Christianity Coherent?” is NO. His reasons include various rejections and criticisms of God, Jesus, faith, sin, punishment, guilt, and evil. For example, Mr. Gray says that “the God idea explains nothing,” “faith is defective thinking,” “original sin is an idiotic idea,” and that Jesus’s sacrifice for us makes no sense. Mr. Gray studied STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and has worked as a computer hardware and software designer. He is now a writer.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: religion, atheism and Christianity

Drug Addiction Research [2017/04-23]

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 2:56pm

Presentation by Barbara Sorg. Starting from a very young age, humans are driven to seek out novel sensations and rewarding experiences. During adolescence, some seek out drugs because they create novel sensations. Repeated exposure creates new experiences and powerful persistent memories. Professor Sorg discusses what happens in the brain with rewarding experiences and how drugs can alter the brain’s structure and function to make addiction a chronic disease. Sorg is a professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience and co-director of the Washington State University Translational Addiction Research Center.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: brain science and addiction

Breaking Down Limits Imposed by Assumptions [2017/04-09]

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 2:06pm

We walk through this world with assumptions about how others view us. We don’t intend to have those filters, but we do because of how we were raised and because of what we have been exposed to in our lives. What does it look like to confront all of our preconceptions? What does it look like to reimagine how we interact with others? Jo H Victoria is a teacher, a youth advocate, and Unitarian Universalist lay leader. She lives in Eugene. Jo is passionate about creating safe spaces to confront our own bias and celebrate our diversity, and is an enthusiastic gardener.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: diversity and personal identity

The Mind of Theodore Roszak [2017/03-05]

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 9:18pm

Presentation by Dave Collamer about Theodore Roszak who was a history professor at California State University and a social critic for over 40 years. Roszak’s view is that people in developed countries have bought into the techno-industrial scheme of life so much that they have lost contact with their inner sources of transcendent vision, and thus are out of balance. Roszak is the author of The Making of a Counter Culture. Dave Collamer is a member of HGP. He retired from teaching high school science and moved from to Portland in 2010. Dave has always been interested in philosophy and history.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Theodore Roszak and Counter Culture

Notable Women [2017/03-26]

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 10:39am


Date of presentation: March 26, 2017

Coordinated by Helen Christians. Members share their research on influential women of science, politics, exploration and entertainment. Presentations include women who have changed the world but are not well known. Presenters were Anne Henderson, Joyce Lackie, Marsha Abelman, Lenora Warren, Arnie Panitch, Laurent Beauregard, and Carolyn Tomei.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: women's history

The Future [2017/02-26]

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 10:38am

Donald Trump has promised to return jobs to the U.S. workforce. Del Allen discusses how the job market is changing. Many of the jobs Trump talks about have been, or will be, replaced with no humans or with humans from outside the U.S. How is the job market affected as a result of "the cloud"? How should we advise our grandchildren about going to college and obtaining employment? Del Allen is chair of HGP’s program committee.

Cast: Portland Humanists