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New FREE online course: Introducing humanism: non-religious approaches to life

Writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig is the face of our new introductory ‘massive open online course’ (MOOC) on humanismThis new course has been designed to meet growing demand from the vast segment of the population who are not religious but who are nonetheless hungry for answers to questions such as: How can I know what is true? What is the best way to live? What kind of world do I want? It features contributions from well-known humanists, academics, campaigners, humanist celebrants, and humanist pastoral carers, as well as members of the public.

Launched in February 2018, thousands of people are already learning from the course. Below you will find some reviews from learners.

‘I can’t recommend highly enough this free online course, from Humanists UK. It’s an exquisite example of how to teach Humanism – not just teach ABOUT Humanism, which our organizations and speakers love to do, but teach Humanism as a way of life and as a response to life’s great questions. This is the way forward for the Humanist movement: to make it clear that we have convincing and fulfilling answers to the same questions religions purport to answer, and to convey those answers in an accessible and engaging way. Well done, Humanists UK!’

James Croft, Ethical Society of St Louis

‘This course has been excellent in its structure and content. The material has been accessible but sometimes challenging, and the responses of other students have been thought-provoking. Use of sources from classical philosophers to young people today have enlivened the learning process. Of particular interest has been the discussion on how humanists approach the construction(s) of moral values. Thank you, course team – this is the best on-line course I have done so far. I have learned a lot and/or been able to name what I already knew. I can now very happily ascribe a positive name to my long-held beliefs. I am a humanist.’

Alexandra Carter

‘Like many others on this course, I was a Humanist but didn’t have a label for it in the past. Previously I would have described myself as an Atheist, but it seems such a negative term. Atheism describes what you don’t believe in rather than what you do believe in. For me, Humanism is a very positive ‘label’ and I am happy to apply it to myself. I think that when and where I face challenges in the future, I will be better placed to handle situations as I now have a better understanding of a Humanist approach to life that I can draw upon.’

Julie Doel

‘I took this course because it sounded interesting, but what I got out of it was so much more profound. I found a philosophy that aligns with my values, a new way to look at the meaning of my life, and a wonderful community of like minded people to engage with. Sincerely, thank you.’

Ruth Douglas

‘It has been a very instructive experience and has encouraged me to reflect on my own priorities. How I would love to see humanism becoming a dominant influence in the ways in which we all behave towards each other as I think it would result in a far more peaceful and rational world.’

Charlie Baumont

‘This course has confirmed for me that I am indeed a humanist and an atheist. I have been pleasantly surprised that humanism is not purely “humans” first, and hat there is a great scope to include the environment and other species in this as well. I will probably seek out opportunities to utilise my humanism more in my career and social life. I may even join the campaigns and greater movement to further improve society. I will also spend more time pondering the greater existential questions, to hopefully find a personal answer that leads me to greater sense of purpose, meaning and fulfilment in my life.’

Toby Payne

Want to run a course on Humanism?

These pages are intended to help local humanist groups and others to run courses on Exploring HumanismApplied EthicsDeath, Dying, and Meaning, and Aspects of Humanism.

Each page contains the course material as well as information and guidance on how local humanist groups can plan to deliver the courses.

Exploring Humanism Course
Six week basic introduction to what Humanism is and what humanists believe and do

Aspects of Humanism
Eight session, 16 hour in-depth course on the history and philosophy behind humanist beliefs

Applied Ethics
A five part look at differing approaches to moral thinking and action throughout history

Death, Dying, and Meaning
Four sessions exploring the significance of death, from murder and suicide to terminal illness, the meaning of life and immortality

Want to attend a course on Humanism?

Check to see if your local humanist group is running courses on Humanism.

Alternatively, if you are in London, Conway Hall often runs lectures and courses about matters relating to Humanism.

Find details on the courses here

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