why a page on humanism?
I suppose because it's important to me, and you'll find an explanation of how I became a humanist here.
is humanism anyway? A good definition is that humanism is the view that
we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared
human values, and that we can live good lives without religious or
superstitious beliefs. If you want to know more about it, the British Humanist Association (BHA) is a good place to start.
that this site is largely about making sense of science, and medical
science in particular, the inclusion of information about humanism is
not that odd, given that it is one manifestation of the rationalist
viewpoint. In the same way that evidence-based medicine requires us to
have proof of the efficacy of treatments before we use them, humanism
holds that we should adhere to similar principles in our personal
philosophy, and not fall back on religious or metaphysical cop-outs
when we encounter something we can't immediately explain. Humanism is
much more than atheism or agnosticism, although humanists are clearly
likely to be atheists, given the definition of humanism offered above.
But the BHA site will explain all this better than I can.
If you are religious, there's no way I will convince you that you are wrong, nor would I try to do so. The most I would suggest is that you might want to think about the sort of god you believe in. And the Pope's visit in 2010, and the outraged response of theists to anyone suggesting there were better ways of spending taxpayers' money than on protecting him and generally giving him a good time, stimulated this musing on the concept of 'aggressive atheism'.