Understanding Humanism


What is Humanism?

Humanism is a non-religious approach to life shared by millions of people in the UK. Humanists rely on evidence and reason to discover truths about the universe, and put human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethics. Humanists see no persuasive evidence for an afterlife or any discernible purpose to the universe, but believe human beings can act to make their own lives meaningful, find happiness in the one life they they have, and support others to do the same. For more information about humanism click here, where you will also find advice on further reading.


Where can I find information about how to make the best use of the resources on Understanding Humanism?

Our How to use… guide is the best place to start.


Where can I find a teaching resource on ‘………’?

All our resources can be found here. They are organised into a number of different themes that correspond to core features of a humanist approach to life.


What do humanists think about ‘………’?

You can find humanist perspectives on wide range of topics here, including many of the ethical debates studied in the Religious Studies GCSE and A level exam specifications.


How do I request someone to visit my school to talk about humanism and answer my students’ questions?

You can find information about booking one of our free, trained school speakers here.


Can I get support with teacher training about humanism to develop my subject knowledge or get practical ideas for the classroom?

Yes. We can offer teacher training to fit you or your school’s needs. Click here for more information.


How can I go about designing an age-appropriate unit, syllabus, or scheme of work to teach students about humanism?

Our core knowledge guide has been designed to support just that.


Why should I include humanism in religious education?

There are many good reasons to include humanism in your RE curriculum. Click here to read about some of them.


Where can I learn more about humanism?

Our free online courses are a great way to deepen your knowledge. You’ll also find our recommended books and other resources here.


How can I make sure I am being kept up-to-date with future news and resources?

You will find information about how to sign up to our mailing list here. You can also follow us on Twitter on @HumanismEdu.


Are you on Twitter and Facebook?

Twitter, yes – here. Facebook, no, sorry.


Do humanists celebrate any special days?

As a rule, humanists don’t have special holidays, although humanist organisations will often organise activities to coincide with days like World Humanist Day or Darwin Day. Many humanists will also happily take part in popular festivals where they live, such as Christmas, as an occasion to gather together with friends and family.

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Understanding Humanism

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Illustrations by Hyebin Lee