Focus on Faith: Humanism will never tell you what to believeBy David McKnight
August 06, 2012
David McKnight, a retired science teacher of 32 years, including 19 years at Highdown, is general and educational secretary of Berkshire Humanists and vice chair at Reading Interfaith
Humanism is the ability to think for oneself yet co-operatively to solve life’s problems without recourse to supernatural interventions.
Like the Olympics it is not new. Both have ideals of making the most of human potential.
Both are world-wide movements with many components.
Humanism’s strong ‘events’ are logic, reason, scepticism, science, critical thinking, human rights, values, equality, inclusiveness, compassion and positivity.
We naturally wish for level playing fields with the religions.
Berkshire Humanists have been trying to take back words and ideas previously exclusive to religions, eg ‘faith’ means something we believe without evidence. Saying “no to faith” however forgets that statements about the future can provide no evidence.
Always we need future trust in other humans. Our strapline, which identifies us as a faith, is “Faith in humanity”.
Faith is a human need, but we still ask for evidence where possible.
We visit schools and help parents with RE difficulties.
We adopt a patient and reasoned approach to working with both the Reading Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education (SACRE)and the Reading Interfaith Group, working slowly towards a more balanced, unprivileged look at all the big questions.
All activities include questioning in the pursuit and protection of science, thinking and face-to-face discussion.
You will never be told what to believe in humanism. Please question us.
Berkshire Humanists are appealing to anyone who could help, even by just speaking out about humanism, or in many other ways. Offers or suggestions of a meeting room near but not necessarily in Reading centre would be fantastic. Contact email@example.com.