Name: John Waddington
Birthplace: Manchester, England
What type of work have you done?
I grew up on a dairy farm in England. My parents recommended that I stay in school if possible to avoid becoming a dairy farmer. I took their advice and ended up with a doctorate in plant science. Spent my career as a researcher for the Federal Department of Agriculture on forage establishment, weed control, seed production, and plant introduction, at first on farmland, later on, rangeland in Saskatchewan.
How would you identify yourself in terms of religion/spirituality?
No formal religion other than a year or so at Sunday School when I was 6. Of course, growing up in England in the ’40s and ’50s meant that the Church of England environment soaked into my cultural development. I am willing to attend church services at Christmas and Easter if invited, although I find them boring. I also go to christenings, weddings, and funerals when invited. For myself, I have attended the first two, and intend to avoid the third as long as possible.
What are some of your reasons for joining KASHA?
From time to time, I have bursts of enthusiasm for such matters as religion, philosophy, history, politics, etc. About a year ago (2016) I was searching the internet along those lines, and came across the local group.
Are there any books or movies that have had a big impact on you?
A long time ago, must have been in my late teens – early 20s: Albert Schweitzer; The Philosophy of Civilization, part II: Civilization and Ethics.
At least 30 years ago: Erich Fromm; To have or To Be, The Art of Loving, The Revolution of Hope, Escape from Freedom. Bertrand Russell; A History of Western Philosophy
Within the last 10 years, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, etc., books and youtube. I wouldn’t say these have had much influence. My mind was already made up along the lines they promote.
What were some of the defining moments that led you to the point where you are now, in a religious/spiritual sense?
I can’t think of any specific defining moments that led me to my opinions and beliefs. Since my birth my background has been the environment and the creatures (mostly plants) living in it, first on a small dairy farm in England, later with training and experience in western Canada. I suppose that without any regular or frequent church attendance, there has been no explicit religious training to divert me away from the direction my mind has taken.