Increasing numbers of people are abandoning religion – around half the population, according to recent surveys, rising to two thirds amongst young people. But without religion to guide us, how can society have a sure foundation for its morality, and how will people find meaning and purpose in life?
Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, is giving a talk in Plymouth about how Humanism provides a basis for a ‘worthwhile and ethical life, without the need for any sort of divine guidance’. The talk is being held at 19:30 on Tuesday 24th January in the B-Bar on the Barbican. It’s free to attend, but voluntary contributions to help meet travel and accommodation costs are welcome.
Some people believe that without religion we will lapse into a meaningless, amoral lifestyle, thinking of no-one but ourselves and leading hopeless lives without any point to our existence. But Andrew will explain how Humanist thought shows that this is not the case. Instead he will argue that morality arises out of human nature and culture, and that, even without the promise of an afterlife, non-religious people have no problem finding hope in the world, and living meaningful and worthwhile lives.
Despite claims by some religious people that Humanism has its root in Christianity, Andrew will go on to show how the origins of Humanist thought predate Christianity. He will also discuss why Humanists so value science as the only way to understand the workings of the world around us.
Andrew will finish by covering the work of the British Humanist Association (BHA). The BHA works to promote Humanism, stands up for the rights of the non-religious and provides services, such as weddings, funerals and pastoral care in hospitals and jails, that have up until recently have always assumed a religious dimension. It has also recently announced its integration with Faith to Faithless, a community support network for ‘apostates’ and the ex-religious, as a way of providing greater support for those struggling to leave their religion.