Humanism (Why words are your friends)

This particular blog is dedicated to Liz and Alice (and maybe even messy church), without whom, I would not have been in a conversation about beliefs and religion. It was Liz who asked me if I was a humanist, and I had to admit my ignorance on the subject; this sparked my curiosity into researching further. One needs to give credit where it’s due!

I used to be scared of labels. Words can be scary when you are attempting to assert your ideas on something. I did not understand the parameters of some of the words I was using, until I realised I could set these boundaries myself. I researched more words, and educated myself so I could finally situate my ideas. The more I research, the more ideas I am changing – and that’s okay! Sometimes I find new words that better describe what I meant before.

So in my previous blog Speak Up?, I talk about my ideas on religion and atheism. Since then, I have been introduced to the world of humanism. That doesn’t mean I’ve changed my views, but I was a humanist without even realising it! Which begs the question, what is humanism? Well in my research, I found out that many of my atheist references from my previous references are also spokespersons for humanism!

How can I be happy? features Stephen Fry explaining the basics of humanism in a lovely animated video. Humanism Intro Part 1, and Part 2 are two more videos that use advocates of humanism (including some familiar faces) to describe what it’s all about. These three videos are all from the British Humanist Association. There is a quiz on their webpage to see if you are a humanist too! Of course, there is also the American Humanist Association, GALHA (aimed at the LGBT community), and many more!

I also like the fact that the recognised symbol for humanism, known as the ‘Happy Human’; is a little figure looking liberated and ecstatic. (I may have added his little speech bubble for dramatic emphasis).

humanism logo

BUT I DIGRESS

The real point of this little blog was to urge you to never stop learning. There’s no real excuse to stop your education now the internet exists, whether it takes you 5 minutes or an hour to read an article, you have the power to learn about anything you want with great ease and minimal effort! It’s not just reading either. Many of the links in this blog are videos, and in my experience, lots of people want to share their thoughts and opinions with others through video. It’s easy, and accessible! Whether or not you agree with those people is a completely different matter! You will always be entitled to your opinion and have the freedom to change it for whatever information you discover.

I want to know your opinions on this. So far my blogs have generated some really interesting conversations with friends, family and colleagues, and I really want that to continue.

Also, for the sake of self-development and learning I think it’s important to note that I make the distinction between being a feminist and being an egalitarian. Like this blog asserts, words are your friends!

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