Robbie is one of our Honorary Chaplains, a role that he says gives him much pleasure and satisfaction. He is a registered Humanist Celebrant with Humanist Society Scotland. He wears many hats, being one of two volunteer Humanist ward visitors at Ninewells hospital. He also volunteers for RAFA (the Royal Air Force Association charity), visiting ex RAF members offering guidance and applying on behalf of clients for financial assistance from the charity.
World Humanist Day
World Humanist Day is celebrated every year on June 21. It is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organisations to publicise the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement, and we’ve been celebrating the day since the 1980s.
June 21 usually marks the date of the June solstice around the world (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and winter solstice in the southern). The solstice event has echoes of ancient communal gatherings, as well as reflecting humanity’s deepening scientific understanding of our world, and being an event that, by its nature, is shared globally at the same moment in the calendar.
So, what is Humanism?
“Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.”
That is the ‘official’ definition. From a personal perspective, I believe in being ‘good without god’, holding my own secular views, whilst respecting the many differing views of others.
Humanist Society Scotland is the charity behind our organisation. It leads on many campaigns, and has a varied policy agenda, including –
- Ending blasphemy around the world
- Female and reproductive rights – My body, My Decision
- Ecohumanism – Ecohumanists recognise the impact of human activities on the Earth’s resources and champion a responsible approach for the present and future generations that have no voice.
- LGBTI equality, Humanists believe that individuals should be free to live their lives and strive to find happiness and fulfilment. That’s why we support LGBTI equality, and as part of that, conduct same-sex marriages.
- My Beliefs, My Choice, children and young people should have the right to opt out of Religious Observance in Scottish schools.
- Human Rights – Humanist Society Scotland is committed to the defence and promotion of Human Rights and non-discrimination. Humanist thinking and the Enlightenment movements had a profound impact on the formation of the first declarations of Human Rights in the 18th Century.
From the above, we can see the Society is active in many and varied areas of public life. To me Humanism is all of the above, but also for me we must recognise the individuals behind any stance. I hope that by doing so we can live life as one human family, no matter race, religion etc etc.
Finally to end on an upbeat note
This is an image from a Naming Ceremony I performed, as you can see it is filled with happiness, we tailor our ceremonies to be personal and meaningful to the family. Just one of the many ways that we reach out to people who wish life’s events to be recognised, without religious input.