Liverpool Humanist Group presents:-
The Mythology of Islam
a talk by Guy Otten
Date: Thursday 14th March 2013
Venue: The Crown Hotel (upstairs room), 43 Lime Street, Liverpool L1 1JQ
Cost: Suggested contribution of £3 (£1 students and unwaged)
Liverpool Humanist Group are pleased to be able to announce the first in our new 2013 season of monthly lectures and discussions with an invited speaker.
Thursday, 14th March 2013 at 7:45pm in The Crown Hotel, 43 Lime Street, Liverpool L1 1JQ
As usual, we will meet in the upstairs room.
Whereas research into the historical origins of Christianity began in Germany in the nineteenth century, and revealed the Roman political origins of much of Christianity and the Bible, serious historical research into the origins of Islam is of much more recent date.
Guy Otten will present a talk outlining what recent scientific and scholarly research has to say about how Islam came about, and what reliable evidence there is for what was happening in the Middle east around the time of Islam’s foundations. He will summarise the evidence from the fields of history, linguistics, archaeology, textual analysis, numismatics, etc.
Whilst rejecting Islamophobia, the irrational fear of and prejudice against Islam and Muslims, he will explore the rational basis for criticism of Islam.
Guy Otten is Chair of Greater Manchester Humanists; he is a Member of the Board of Trustee of the British Humanist Association; he is a BHA accredited Humanist Celebrant; he is currently writing a book on the origins of Islam.
It will be good to see new and old friends at what promises to be an interesting evening.
“We all remember how many religious wars were fought for a religion of love and gentleness; how many bodies were burned alive with the genuinely kind intention of saving souls from the eternal fire of hell. Only if we give up our authoritarian attitude in the realm of opinion, only if we establish the attitude of give and take, of readiness to learn from other people, can we hope to control acts of violence inspired by piety and duty.”
– Karl Popper in “Utopia and Violence” (1947)
What we should do, I suggest, is to give up the idea of ultimate sources of knowledge, and admit that all knowledge is human; that it is mixed with our errors, our prejudices, our dreams, and our hopes; that all we can do is to grope for truth even though it be beyond our reach. We may admit that our groping is often inspired, but we must be on our guard against the belief, however deeply felt, that our inspiration carries any authority, divine or otherwise. If we thus admit that there is no authority beyond the reach of criticism to be found within the whole province of our knowledge, however far it may have penetrated into the unknown, then we can retain, without danger, the idea that truth is beyond human authority. And we must retain it. For without this idea there can be no objective standards of inquiry; no criticism of our conjectures; no groping for the unknown; no quest for knowledge.”
– Karl Popper in “Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge” (1963)