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Thought For The Day
Mandy Evans Ewing
Thought For The Day
The Thought For The World 2009 series of Thought For The Day podcasts offers a secular alternative to the BBC Today programme’s Thought for the Day. This year, the podcasts will also be available on The Guardian’s Comment is Free web site. Thought For The World enjoys the support of the Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS), the British Humanist Association (BHA) and this year’s contributors include the author, broadcaster and columnist Muriel Gray, the distinguished philosopher Professor AC Grayling, Agony Aunt to the nation Claire Rayner, Jonathan Bartley of the religious think tank Ekklesia, Guardian Columnist and BHA president Polly Toynbee, the comedian and activist Mark Thomas and the former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway.
Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist and president of the Social Policy Association. She was formerly BBC social affairs editor, columnist and associate editor of the Independent, co-editor of the Washington Monthly and a reporter and feature writer for the Observer.
Read the transcript of this Thought For Today
Download this podcast by Polly Toynbee
If you liked this podcast, you may like to hear the podcasts from previous days.
Two years ago a Humanist Society of Scotland Celebrant, Juliet Wilson decided to stop complaining about the BBC’s refusal to allow secular thinkers to contribute to Thought For The Day on their flagship Radio 4 news programme, Today, and set up Thought For The World as a secular alternative in podcast form.
In her article in Comment is Free, Juliet Wilson says, “If, the UN Special Rapporteur on Religion and Belief is to be believed the 2001 census can no longer be regarded as accurate and two thirds of the UK population have no religious belief. Why should they look to religious leaders for moral guidance? If the Daily Mail is to be believed, there’s a huge moral vacuum in our society. For once, I agree, but let’s fill it with philosophers, thinkers and comedians whose conclusions are reached by reason and compassion rather than divine revelation.”
The Humanist Society of Scotland hopes that Thought For The World will catch the public’s imagination as did the Atheist Bus campaign. Listeners will be asked to make up their own minds, and if they like what they hear, they can sign a petition asking the BBC to open up Thought for the Day to secular thinkers or donate a small sum so Thought for the World can run all year round.
The Petition can be signed here
Donations to the Thought For The World campaign can be made here
“I was always told that extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof;
religions make the most utterly extraordinary claims while offering no
real proof whatsoever, and yet are allowed to go unchallenged even by
those who ought to know better. It is this unthinking acceptance of
religion′s absurd pampering that ideas like the Darwin day podcasts
seek to challenge. Such ideas have rarely been more timely.”
“It is wrong that ‘Thought for the Day’ refuses to have any but religious voices on it. The
far richer and longer-standing humanist tradition, stemming from Socrates to our own day,
is a treasure-house of insights and perspectives that our world is tragically lacking,
oppressed as it is by mainly religion-fuelled divisions and atrocities. The Humanist
Society of Scotland has done us a service in offering a real alternative to predictable
pieties that now speak to minorities only in our society.”
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