World Humanist Day is fast approaching! On Sunday 21 June, humanists from around the world will come together to celebrate human freedom, responsibility, and creativity. But what does it all mean?
Why is it celebrated on the 21 June?
World Humanist Day is celebrated on the Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere and winter solstice in the southern). This is a date partly chosen to reflect humanity’s deepening scientific understanding of our world, marking an event that, by its nature, is shared globally at the same moment in the calendar.
Science is a hugely important part of the humanist approach, enabling us to understand the world around us. Though it does not give us certainty – there are scientific questions that we still cannot answer – it has proved incredibly reliable and gives us the best chance of answering these questions.
What are we celebrating?
World Humanist Day provides an opportunity for humanists across the globe to publicise the positive values of the humanist approach to life and to share the global concerns of the humanist movement.
Humanists care greatly about human welfare and happiness, working towards the creation of a world where everyone can live a flourishing life. They make ethical decisions based on science, reason and empathy, rejecting the supernatural and the concept of an afterlife. In doing so, humanists focus on living ethical and fulfilling lives in the here and now.
How can I celebrate?
Owing to the current coronavirus epidemic, Humanists UK is not able to celebrate in the usual fashion (last year we marked the day with live entertainment and a performance from the London Humanist Choir at The Battersea Bridge in London). That is not to say however that it cannot be celebrated! We encourage humanists and those interested in humanism to reflect on or discuss issues relating to its philosophy. We also have a number of online courses and YouTube videos you may wish to check out!
Some questions you might ask yourself:
What can we celebrate about being human?
Which human accomplishments represent progress?
What dangers do human beings pose to the world and to each other?
How has science improved our understanding of the world and what are its limits?
What would a humanist vision for the world look like?
What would you like to do to bring about a better world?