Humanism > Relevance to Society

Humanism is the only non-religious life stance which offers a written moral and ethical code. Titled ‘The IHEU Declaration’ of 2002, which remains current in 2016 and beyond, it is elegantly presented on a single side of an A4 sheet, containing several decrees which  engage with a rational approach to life across many key aspects of sustainable life and well being. The decrees of its code are subject to regular scrutiny via the tri-annual International Humanist & Ethical Union congress which requires its review and updating as appropriate to current/new experience/evidence.   That is what sets it apart from faith based life stances which are invariably steeped in pre-documented history of  some 1500+ > 2000+ years.

There is a large gulf between a priority emphasis on provision of humanist ceremonies and the big picture that is humanism.  The basis in 2005 for  humanist accreditation to conduct legal marriage in Scotland was/is the philosophical imperative of the IHEU Declaration’s ethical & moral code. Its offered central message of the Golden Rule predates religion via Greek and Chinese philosophy and stands as a global philosophical life view, both as an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with representation on various United Nations committees and other international bodies, besides its formal presence via its ‘Humanism’ teaching module in the Scottish Qualifications Authority guidance, as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.

We are concerned that any prevailing policy perception of  humanism in general that has no place in positive/negative/critical comment or persuasion to adopt any form of life view other than that of being non-religious,  shows a complete  lack of understanding as to what humanism and its paradigm is all about. That elementary mis-understanding seriously diminishes its global impact. The widely held view of ‘Live & let Live’ is not unconditional !

This new organisation, with its network of  people who either engaged with humanism through its ceremonies, found meaning in its code, through research or otherwise, and who are also keenly interested in everyday aspects of life and the issues which affect us all, are encouraged to engage with campaigning or supporting activity in furtherance of the betterment of humankind and our planet.

The banner of ‘Humanism in Scotland’ does that as the basis for our representation in all aspects of society and life which proliferate our news media and are therefore readily listed as current and future hot topics in which humanism has something to say.


Ron McLaren - (Chair - Humanism in Scotland)