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HAT Forum – Are Christian Values the Basis of Western Civilization?

The Humanist Association of Toronto

Every Saturday we meet to discuss a topic decided upon the previous week. These are topics of humanist interest, from a humanist perspective.

The topic of the discussion will be decided in a prior meeting, usually two weeks in advance. This week’s topic is: “Is it True to Say that Christian Values are the Basis of Western Civilization?”

This will be an ONLINE MEETING via Zoom. Please see the Getting ONLINE with Zoom instructions for how to join the discussion.

The following is the topic description from one of our members:

I recently watched the documentary Marketing the Messiah. I hadn’t intended to as I wasn’t very interested. But then I read Cameron Reilly’s comments on why atheists should watch it: “Christian history is the history of Western Civilization from around 400CE onwards.” That got me interested.

And it got me thinking: does it therefore follow that Christian values are the basis of Western Civilization? I believe that many would say they are. Other questions followed:
1) what do we mean by Christian values?
2) how have these values been inculcated into the populations of western countries?
3) how good have these populations been at actually living out these values?
4) is the rise of globalism, movement of populations, multiculturalism changing the basic values of our society?
5) looking at Canada in particular, how would we define our basic values? To what extent can these be considered Christian values?

For two opposing points of view on this subject, and

Meet our diverse group, trade perspectives in a free and open forum and learn from others as they learn from you!

BTW: don’t be concerned if there are not many RSVP’s. Many HAT members attend regularly but don’t sign up on Meetup. Our online meetings have been very popular with 20-30 attendees.

NOTE: The HAT Forum adheres strictly to the City of Toronto Policy on Non-Discrimination (

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N.B. Members of the group often continue in a more social vein at a local lunch place until 2:30 or so. Feel free to join the discussion late and come to lunch if that suits your availability better The lunches are suspended during COVID-19.

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