Humanists say their message is being suppressed

Poster campaign aims to get public’s attention


British Humanist Association bha-poster
Note how the style of BHA posters features a question mark similar to the logo of the Alpha Course which introduces people to Christianity.
Published: 23 June 2015 (GMT+10)

Londoners have been exposed to a heavy dose of humanism through a ‘thought for the commute’ poster program which appeared throughout the public transport system.

Sponsored by the British Humanist Association, the ‘thought-provoking’ posters—with the heading ‘What’s it all for?’—included one from English writer Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) which read: “My notion is to think of the human beings first and let the abstract ideas take care of themselves.”

The rationale behind the campaign—according to BHA chief executive Andrew Copson—was to help redress an imbalance in humanists getting their message across to the public.

It is astounding to suggest that the ‘non-religious’ such as humanists are in some way being restricted from getting their message heard in the public sphere.

Even the most ardent humanist should blush at Mr Copson’s statement that “despite over half the population in the UK describing themselves as non-religious, humanist perspectives on life’s big questions are still far less available to the public than religious ones”.1

Secular domination

Why? Because to say that the humanist perspective on life does not get an adequate public airing is plain nonsense given the way secular thought dominates society, particularly in the classroom—and especially in the United Kingdom.

Mr Copson further asserts: “In our state schools, religions are taught about but non-religious world views like humanism are seldom given the same treatment. In our state media, the BBC, sermons and prayers are broadcast but rarely any content engaging with questions of value and meaning from a humanist point of view. As a result, many people whose beliefs are essentially humanist are unaware of the fact.”1 It is baffling that Mr Copson considers that particular situation somehow restricts humanists from having their message heard.

But it has to be remembered that one of the primary objectives of the BHA is to secularise society—that is, to make atheism the dominant worldview (religion). They have clearly indicated that one of the reasons for their existence is to promote atheism—in the guise of ‘humanism’ (actually secular humanism). They know that, if they can convince people that there is no rational basis for believing in a creator, they will have achieved a great victory for their cause.2

And they do so because it is their religion, as one of their own, Sir Julian Huxley famously pointed out last century: “A religion is essentially an attitude to the world as a whole. Thus evolution, for example, may prove as powerful a principle to co-ordinate men’s beliefs and hopes as God was in the past. Such ideas underlie the various forms of Rationalism, the Ethical movement and scientific Humanism.”3

And Huxley described humanism as “an outlook that places man and his concerns at the centre of interest. Modern Humanism, which does away with traditional Christianity, is characterised by its faith in the power of human beings to create their own future, collectively and personally”.4

Clearly, the BHA’s interpretation of the world is naturalism—things made themselves; no divine intervention has happened; and God, if He even exists, has not revealed to us knowledge about the past. This is precisely what the apostle Peter prophesied about—that “scoffers” could come in “the last days”, who would claim that “everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). Peter reveals the huge flaw of the uniformitarian scoffers: they are “willingly ignorant” of special creation by God, and of a cataclysmic globe-covering (and fossil-forming) Flood.5

References and notes

  1. Bingham, J., Where is my train and where are we all going? Humanists urge commuters to ponder meaning of life, telegraph.co.uk, 22 September 2014. Return to text.
  2. Statham, D., Strawmen and censorship: the British Humanist Association and creation in schools, 9 August 2014, creation.com/humanist-censorship. Return to text.
  3. Growth of Ideas. The evolution of thought and knowledge, Ed. Sir Julian Huxley, 1965, London, p. 99. Return to text.
  4. Ref 3., p.365. Return to text.
  5. Sarfati, J.D., in In Six Days, edited by Ashton, J.F, New Holland Publishers (Australia), 1999, pp 64–65; creation.com/science-and-biasReturn to text.

Helpful Resources

Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Refuting Evolution
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $12.00
Soft Cover
Evolution's Achilles' Heels
by Nine Ph.D. scientists
US $17.00
Soft Cover
In Six Days
by John F Ashton
US $17.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Keith S.
The humanist message is simple: "You are not responsible to a Creator, so make up your own moral code." How long does it take to get that message out? How many university courses?
And if the humanist message is not embodied in philosophy classes, then what are they?
Why do humanists feel they cannot simply use their tongues and their pens like everyone else does? Does humanism stunt the tongue and perhaps the brain?
Humanist 'solutions' are not accepted by many people because they just do not ring true. They see humans are purely material and cannot explain spirit, soul, mind or creative thought.
Robert B.
Perhaps if the UK implemented something akin to the "fairness doctrine" where theistic content had to be matched with an equivalent amount of Humanistic content and vice/versa. Similarly, creationist content would have to be matched by a equal amount for Naturalism.
If such a 50/50 split were proposed, I'd get on the bandwagon with them; of course they would never advocate this because they know that parity would be a net loss for them.
Therefore, since they doubtless are aware of the dominance of their viewpoint now, I believe all this is must be a move to somehow eliminate theism from the marketplace of ideas altogether.
Chuck J.
It seems to me that he and other like-thinking humanists don't realize that it is not equal time that they seek but the only view that is available. Note their unwillingness to share time in schools and in government, for example. God bless your work.
Hans G.
Humanism is human made to please humans, creationism is creator made to protect humans from themselves.
michael S.
Evolutionists/humanists/atheists/agnosts/secularists, call them what you will, but I have noticed they PRETEND to themselves that they OWN two subjects. Those two subjects are 1. rationalism, and 2. science. It is a case of making it seem to the public that these terms are synonymous with humanism/secularism.
The problem is that "science and reason" are used as question-begging-epithets. They are also used to create a limited-choice-fallacy or imply one; and that is that you are either humanist and rational and scientific, or you are not, and are religious and do not employ rationalism or science.
But have you noticed that this takes the focus away from their own claims, and it seems that it is taken for granted that humanists are rational, scientific people.
My actual experience of evolutionists, secularists, humanists, call them what you will, is that they in actual fact employ SOPHISTRY, not, "rationalism", and when it comes to science, they merely appeal to it ipse dixit, without having an in-depth understanding of it.
We have to counter their position by showing that they use this type of terminology so they can effectively give a propaganda that makes it look like they are reasonable, scientific people, and religious people are NOT. But they can't be allowed to STATE baldly that they are people of, "rationalism", without showing that they are, and showing that we are not. It is an easy way to win the game, by using epithetical terminology instead of providing a sound syllogistic case for humanism, which is what they need to do to qualify as, "rationalists".
Phillip B.
Certainly a counterintuitive move by the BHA. The humanists' hold in academia and in the media comes from dishonestly portraying humanism and naturalism as merely good science and modern, common sense. ("Surely you can't argue against that!") Openly discussing humanism as a philosophical or religious position, even as the "ostracized majority" that it never was, is to open themselves to all the criticism that philosophies and religions are due -- generally something they have been careful to avoid. It's almost as if they're ready to abandon their "science vs. religion" anthem in favor of a more honest "religion vs. religion" one... We'll see how long this campaign lasts.
Terry H.
Ardent humanists deny the creationist evidence against evolution/old earth, yet I believe they must recognize tiny bits of scientific truth amongst it. It is this evidence that scrapes their intellect and causes them to feel uncomfortable to the point of not wanting to be subjected to hearing more. Hence the cry of their "not being heard"! Less truth, more lies.
Tomislav O.
I would say that the *authoritarian* message of the meaning of life (serve the government so that we'll build the New Jerusalem by ourselves) is displayed everywhere, but the idea that individual humans can choose their own meaning for the universe is very unpopular and unlikely to be broadcasted because it is against the rational self-interest of the government to encourage people to be self-reliant.
Stephon L.
I am born and bred in the UK, and after reading this I am wondering if Andrew Copson lives in another UK I am not familiar with!
The UK I live in is swamped by humanist propaganda. There are many towns and cities where you may be arrested for preaching biblical teachings; I've never heard of this happening to a humanist!
The BBC is more or less one big humanist interactive billboard, actively promoting atheism. We watch the pre-school channel CBEEBIES and the subtle inferences start there and reach to the heights of the intellectual programming - often including the so-called religious programs!
Errol B.
Perhaps the BHA would like to be included as an option within ‘Religious Education’?
If I were an ardent BHA advocate, I would certainly appreciate the motive for this tactic. Imagine the benefit, they already have a monopoly on the scientific [origins], historical, political & philosophical reigns in academia, but to then demand space for defining & openly promoting secular humanism, then they can claim; “See, Secular humanism matches our scientific, historical, political & philosophical ‘observations’. That would be circular reasoning, but to set yourself up as the victim like this is genius.
Grahame G.
"... humanist perspectives on life’s big questions are still far less available to the public than religious ones"
This is laughable. He complains about a very small segment of programming and classroom time that's available to "religion", when the rest of the time it is assumed God doesn't exist.
The balance is very, very much in his favour and the humanist perspective is heard all day every day in almost every area of life.
rodney A.
May I quote - “A religion is essentially an attitude to the world as a whole. Thus evolution, for example, may prove as powerful a principle to co-ordinate men’s beliefs and hopes as God was in the past. Such ideas underlie the various forms of Rationalism, the Ethical movement and scientific Humanism". - if this is not a declaration of the humanist manifesto, the evolutionists, and atheists dogma AS A RELIGION, want is, the constant attacks against religious institutions by these self same peoples is tantamount to attacking their own RELIGIOUS BELIEF SYSTEMS. This makes them hypocrites to the greatest degree.

Comments are automatically closed 14 days after publication.