What is Humanism?
While Humanism is non-religious it is not anti-religious and Humanists share many values with religious faiths as can be shown in the following information about Humanism. Humanism judges you not by your ethnicity, gender or sexual persuasion but by your actions. If you agree with the belief that there is no god and that each of us is responsible for our actions then a Humanist ceremony is one that you should seriously consider.
The reason no religious matter is contained within a Humanist ceremony is that Humanism is not a faith-based on stories contained in a book which are unchallengeable and used to empower one group over another. It is a belief system in which each individual is responsible for their own actions. Humanists believe that there are more things which unite all of us than divide us. As such, Humanism is a positive force in the world as it is based on human experience, thought and hope. Humanists believe that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of both knowledge and a moral code to live by as the following brief definitions summarise.
'Humanism is democratic and ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free enquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.'
International Humanist and Ethical Union.
'Humanism is an approach to life-based on reason and our common humanity, recognising that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone'”
From those, you would find that most humanists would agree that there are no supernatural beings, the material universe is the only thing that exists and science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about this universe. Human beings can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs. Human beings derive their moral code from the lessons of history, personal experience and thought. The downside to this logic based believe is that there is no comforting, religious-based afterlife and no such thing as reincarnation. We only live this life so let’s make it matter.
If you wish to delve further into what is Humanism, please visit the International Humanist and Ethical Union website www.iheu.org which collates information about the secular – humanist movement including the Amsterdam Declaration 2002 (updated from 1952 original – unlike religious doctrine) as well as our own Humanist Society Scotland website www.humanism.scot.