Society

Inside a Camphill Community


Volume 20 Number 4, Winter 2007


Matthew Provonsha reports on his disillusionment with life in a religious commune

LAST YEAR I spent two months inside a Camphill Community along with other volunteers of various ages from around the world, eager to help others and better myself. I was drawn to communal life, but more importantly I was put off by the society in which I grew up. As a teenage atheist and leftist in the United States I was appalled by the vast increase of religious fervor in public life and by our startling move to the Far Right even during my lifetime. Like so many Americans I was laden with a painful sense of hopelessness. I could only watch television, drink or get high to distract myself. Retreat in one form or another seemed to be the only suitable option.
I was quite enamored with British culture, as well, and wanted nothing more than to see the land which had produced so many of my favorite authors, comedians, rock stars and TV shows. The UK almost seemed (to my naïve self ) to be a totally different, more civilized world. So it was that I decided to find someplace in Britain where I could work for food and lodging. In truth I only chose to ‘volunteer’ at the Mount Camphill Community, a school for young adults with special needs in the South-East of England, because it offered the best benefits. In addition to organic food and lovely surroundings it offers a weekly stipend of fifty pounds, weekend outings and ample time off.

Believe it or not

Sally Marlow interviews Mark Vernon about life, the universe and everything – but mainly agnosticism.

Sexual Ethics

Volume 20 Number 3, Autumn 2007


Philosopher’s Corner

Julian Baggini

SEXUAL ETHICS seems such a quaint old subject.
Such has been the success of the almost complete purge of sex from the arena of serious, secular ethical debate that when someone does raise the topic, we immediately suspect (usually correctly) that that person has some conservative or religious axe to grind.

Haunting the Bereaved: a skeptical analysis of Colin Fry’s “6ixth Sense” TV show

From the archives, Mark Williams reflects on the ‘psychic’ offerings of Colin Fry as presented in his TV show, 6ixth Sense

From Psychic to Sceptic

James Byrne in retrospect on being a psychic

Taste-testing psychics and tarot readers on eBay

From the archives, Emma-Louise Rhodes purchases a range of tarot readings on eBay, all in the name of skeptical journalism

Levity on the Web: how the internet facilitates pseudoscience – and skepticism

From the archives, Steve Donnelly reflects on the role of the internet in spreading and promoting pseudoscience - and allowing skeptics to expose it

RE-ality Check: An Alternative Approach to Religious Education

From the archives, Damien Morris shows us one way to encourage enthusiasm and critical thought in classrooms

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