What is Humanism?
"Humanism is the belief that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. Humanists make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values. We seek to make the best of the one life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves. We take responsibility for our actions and work with others for the common good."
What do Humanists believe
- Humanism is an approach to life based on humanity and reason - humanists recognise that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone. Our decisions are based on the available evidence and our assessment of the outcomes of our actions, not on any dogma or sacred text.
- Humanism encompasses atheism and agnosticism - but is an active and ethical philosophy far greater than these negative responses to religion.
- Humanists believe in individual rights and freedoms - but believe that individual responsibility, social cooperation and mutual respect are just as important.
- Humanists believe that people can and will continue to find solutions to the world's problems - so that quality of life can be improved for everyone.
- Humanists are positive - gaining inspiration from our lives, art and culture, and a rich natural world.
- Humanists believe that we have only one life - it is our responsibility to make it a good life, and to live it to the full.
- At least 15.5% of the population is non-religious according to the 2001 census, making this the second largest "belief" group in the UK.
- Ipsos MORI poll of November 2006 revealed that 36% of the population share humanist beliefs on morality and the nature of the universe. More statistics on religion and belief here & here.