17 March meeting: An Introduction to Humanism by Simon Nightingale

BHA logoThursday 17th March at 7.30 pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Humanists believe one can lead a good life and be a good person without religion.  The British Humanist Association with the “happy humanist” logo is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.

Dr Nightingale, a retired consultant neurologist from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, has been working for humanism for some years, conducting humanist funerals and weddings. He is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury SACRE – the Local Authority committee that oversees Religious Education and Collective Worship in our Shropshire state schools and is the humanist representative on the Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals Chaplaincy Committee and a member of Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum. Currently he is chair of the Shropshire Humanist Group.

Dr Nightingale says: “I am grateful for the opportunity to explain the basis of humanism and, in particular, to address some of the myths, for example that humanists are anti-religious; not at all, we are non-religious which is very different and indeed we support the rights of those with faith to live as they wish and we collaborate with other religions and interfaith groups, such as The Jubilee Debt Campaign to promote values we share with most moderate religions. Or that living without religion leaves a moral vacuum, or that we are moral relativists and believe that “anything goes”; on the contrary we have strong moral beliefs based on normative ethics and our innate moral instincts. Or that humanists are devoid of any spiritual sense and that their lives are without meaning – I will also show that is far from true”.

The talk is for anyone interested in humanism, whether or not they call themselves a humanist.  For example, those who believe that it is possible to lead a good life and be a good person without religion may find areas of common interest. Those with religious faith who are interested in learning more about a rapidly growing, influential non-religious world view are most welcome.  Teachers involved with Religious Education may find the talk helpful and informative.

In our Aprl meeting on Thursday 21 April we shall follow this up with a discussion.


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