Humanism is about tolerance, kindness, knowledge and friendship, and although Humanistically Speaking is for Humanists, it is there for everyone to read, enjoy, and contribute, regardless of faith or belief.
Sadly, I was unable to attend Humanists UK’s Convention in Belfast. But three members of our team –David Warden, Anthony Lewis, and Alan Montgomery –did attend. David and Anthony enthusiastically promoted our grassroots humanists magazine by wearing specially produced Humanistically Speakingt-shirts and handing out promotional cards to anyone who would take one!
We hope we’ve gained many more readers – especially in Northern Ireland, where so many encouraging humanist initiatives are taking place under the excellent leadership of Boyd Sleator. We may even have gained one or two new contributors so do look out for them in future editions.
We are also grateful to Mike Flood and Susan Guiver for their report of the Humanists International Conference in Glasgow. Whilst less comprehensive than the Belfast reports, it’s very helpful to have at least a flavour of the proceedings.
Most of our reports are upbeat and complimentary about the excellence of these events organised by Humanists UK and Humanists international. They are an invaluable way for humanists from across the UK and from other countries to meet and make friends and to celebrate the many achievements of humanism, as well as to highlight ongoing challenges. But Humanistically Speaking does not shy away from constructive criticism. Guy Otten detects “a widespread feeling that there is a democratic deficit in Humanists UK”, David Warden writes about a lack of viewpoint diversity, while Anthony Lewis calls for greater optimism. Mike Flood thinks that Humanists UK and Humanists International are missing some of the really big existential threats to humanity such as Artificial Intelligence, although this topic was covered to some extent at the Belfast Convention in the talks by A. C. Grayling and Kate Devlin.
Humanistically Speaking aims to provide an independent platform for humanist views, some of which may be under-represented or even marginalised in organised humanism. We strive to do this in a friendly and supportive way. If the humanist movement is really serious about equality, diversity and inclusion, then we need to hear everyone’s voices.
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