Humanism is the view that we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values and that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. Humanists seek to make the best of the one life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves. We choose to take responsibility for our actions and work with others for the common good. (full text Humanism).
- Our Vision: A world without religious privilege or discrimination, where people are free to live good lives on the basis of reason, experience and shared human values.
- Our Mission: The British Humanist Association exists to promote Humanism and support and represent people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.
- Who we are: The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity supporting and representing non-religious people who seek to lead ethical lives without supernatural or superstitious beliefs. Committed to human rights, democracy, equality and mutual respect, the BHA works for an open and inclusive society with freedom of belief and speech, and for an end to the privileged position of religion – the “established” religion of Christianity in particular – in law, education, broadcasting and wherever else it occurs.
What we do: With a mixture of: high profile campaigns; submissions to Government, e.g. in proposed legislation; evidence to official enquiries, e.g. on the ethics of genetic research; liaison with humanists in Parliament; briefing and lobbying, the BHA campaigns for:
- freedom of belief and respect for the non-religious, including recognition of humanist views on a wide range of issue;
- an end to discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, whether in marriage law, the workplace, or the provision of public services;
- an end to religious privilege;
- inclusive schools where children with parents of all faiths and none learn to understand and respect each other, instead of being segregated in the growing number of faith and sectarian schools;
- impartial, fair and balanced education about religion and beliefs, with an emphasis on shared human values;
- school assemblies without religious worship.
The BHA is also renowned for its humanist funerals, weddings, namings and other non-religious ceremonies. These meet a very real need in the community, and the rapidly growing demand for high quality ceremonies keeps our network of trained and accredited celebrants extremely busy.
We help humanists and other non-religious people to gain confidence in their beliefs and build a foundation from which to live their lives with integrity, by promoting Humanism. The BHA supports networks for families, teachers and others to share ideas and experience and provide mutual support. Local and special interest Humanist Groups provide opportunities for humanists to meet like-minded people for lectures, discussions and social activities. We lobby for the inclusion of Humanism in the school curriculum so that all pupils have the opportunity to learn about it, and provide educational resources for schools and students of all ages. Our contribution to improvements in religious education is widely recognised.
BHA policies are based on humanist principles and informed by our members and supporters, who include eminent authorities in many fields. With the support of Humanist Philosophers, scientists and other experts, the BHA contributes to debate on a wide range of ethical issues from sex education to gene therapy, and acts as a unique watchdog and lobbying organisation.
The BHA’s work is wide-ranging – as you will see as you browse this site – and we offer a voice for the growing number of people who are non-religious and ethically concerned in a world where the privilege and influence of religion remains strong.