Isn’t Humanism just another religion?
No. Just because we offer a way of viewing the world doesn’t mean we are a religion. Unlike a religion Humanism has no belief that there is a god or gods, or an afterlife, or a separate invisible layer of reality, or an invisible being responsible for our creation. Our views are informed by evidence rather than faith.
Can you be spiritual and a Humanist?
‘Spirituality’ does not have one meaningful definition. Thus it can be used by people who believe in the healing power of crystals, or who feel connection with a supernatural being, or just to describe the feeling we get when we listen to beautiful music. Humanists can, just like those with religious faith, be profoundly moved by a beautiful sunset, or wonderful art or by our extraordinary universe. Whether its helpful to describe these feelings as spiritual is open to debate.
Do Humanists have any equivalent to holy books?
Humanists have no equivalent to the Bible, the Koran, the Gita or the Talmud. Humanist ideas have been expressed in writing in cultures around the globe and over thousands of years. Ancient examples include Confucius in China and Greek philosophers such as Democritus, Protagoras, Aristotle and Socrates. India also has a long tradition, one example being the Charvaka school of philosophy. However, Humanists can draw on all literature to seek understanding of the world and our part in it.
Do Humanists Celebrate Christmas?
Yes. Many of us do. Why get hung up about the name of this mid-winter festival? Most cultures in the Northern Hemisphere have marked this bleak time of year with events which celebrate life and fellowship, for example the ancient Romans (Saturnalia), native American Indians and Zoroastrians in Persia (Iran). Not to mention of course the Nordic countries from which we get our tradition of Christmas trees and Yule logs.
Where do Humanists meet?
Humanists do not have any ‘special’ buildings such as a church or mosque. Local groups might meet in a hired hall or room, or a pub, or someone’s house, or just go for a walk or a picnic.
What is the point of a Humanist group?
The thought of identifying ourselves as Humanists does not always sit comfortably with the Humanist belief in individuality and our aversion to ‘labelling’ people and putting them in boxes. However, for many belonging to a group is an important way of connecting with other thinking people, particularly if they are deprived of this opportunity in their home or workplace. And if we want to help make the world a better more rational place then it is far easier to do this in an organised group than as individuals.
Am I a Humanist?
Many people are without knowing it. You can try this fun and quick quiz devised by Humanists UK to find out.