SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 by Stephen McLaren
Intro to Humanism


This is the humanist entry for awareness of people in the Scotttish public sector (NHS etc) – sits  in alpha' order with many other life views/main religions -  in alpha sequence between Hinduism & Islam. 'Values in Harmony' outlines the core ethical and moral values held in common across 11 mainstream faith and belief communities and 'Reflections on Life' - is the spiritual care reference booklet, both available to download at ... 

Humanism is a belief system, based on empirical evidence, which offers a moral framework for a life free from superstition and the supernatural, whilst rejecting any notions of a life after death.  Believing that a person has only one life, humanists try to make it as worthwhile and happy as possible for everyone.  Humanists include free thinkers, rationalists, atheists, agnostics or sceptics, who either reject or at least, robustly question the idea of any god or other power beyond the physical world.  However, humanism is more than just a simple denial of religious belief.  Humanists base their moral principles on a rational approach to life, under-pinned by shared human values and respect for others, with the aim of improving the quality of life, making it more equitable for all.

Humanism focuses on human beings and offers an ethical approach to life, a belief in people’s ability to solve problems, recognising that much of what happens in our world is what people cause to happen. To this end, humanists try to co-operate with people of all faiths and beliefs, to achieve the shared aims of a caring free society, although they condemn religious adherence that harms or disadvantages others.  Humanists assert that morality comes from our ability to see that there is general benefit when we behave well towards each other; an ability that is enhanced by personal and collective responsibility, a caring and principled upbringing and education that always insists that we treat others with consideration and unselfishness.

Human rights law is important to all humanist organisations throughout the world and they endorse the principles of humanitarian ideals that are enshrined in all such declarations, covenants and conventions, as well as the universal initiatives promoted by the United Nations for the peaceful co-habitation of all the world’s populations.

With headquarters in London, UK,  IHEU is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with representation on various United Nations committees and other international bodies. We seek to influence international policy through representation and information, to build the humanist network and let the world know about the worldview of Humanism.  

The International Humanist and Ethical Union is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organisation incorporated in New York, USA.  Also registered in England, number FC020642.

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