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May 04 2013

No more religious ceremonies!

I am going to give you a very good news. The news is, humanist weddings have become increasingly popular in Scotland, and they may outnumber Church of Scotland weddings if current trends continue. Bravo Scotland!

I have been to a few humanist wedding in Germany and Sweden in ’90s. If I were not against marriage, I would have chosen to have a humanist wedding for myself. I personally know some officiants in Europe who perform secular humanist celebrancy services for weddings, funerals, child naming, confirmation, coming of age ceremonies and other rituals. People in every country should have options to have humanist celebrations for social events.

Humanists want no religious celebrations. ‘Humanists believe that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of both knowledge and a moral code to live by. They reject the idea of knowledge ‘revealed’ to human beings by gods, or in special books. Most humanists think science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about the universe. And people can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs.’

The fundamentals of modern Humanism are:

1. Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.
2. Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.
3. Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.
4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognizes our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination.
5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world’s major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognizes that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process. of observation, evaluation and revision.
6. Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognizes the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfillment.
7. Humanism is a life stance aiming at the maximum possible fulfillment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.

Atheists, secularists, and humanists should reject religious ceremonies for their weddings, funerals, confirmations etc. Humanist ceremonies are much better, more rational, more meaningful and more beautiful than religious ceremonies.

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9 comments

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  1. 1
    Skeptic

    Humanist ceremonies could be more rational and meaningful…
    But religious ceremonies are more fun :)

    For example, you most likely won’t have a Ninja Shake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGnPhu4u3zk
    during a humanist wedding :D

    In some religious weddings, marriage is between a man and his father-in-law (nikkah). Isn’t that funny?
    or walking around the fire (N-times) and doing other meaningless maneuvers (N-times) as per the script…

    Rational actions are usually less entertaining :)

  2. 2
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    I would love like Humanist theme inspired weddings: so like everyone dresses up like ninjas, or pirates, or victorian dress, or middle ages nuns, and quotes goofy things from movie scripts like monty python randomly and on cue ;)

    Thaaat sounds exciting and a night to remember! Maybe everyone could wear gothic outfits or steampunk or something and the whole theme of the wedding could reflect it!

  3. 3
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    Omg, I just had a thought! I would absolutely love to design humanist wedding templates that people could then pick from like I described above, and then everyone would have to show up according to the theme, and act on cue from their script, with some planned spontaneity allowed (as long as it lines up with the theme) :+)

  4. 4
    Sarita Ahmed

    What Scotland & western ‘civilised’ countries have already done, Our beloved India and fellow sub-continental states are afraid to think about….
    Thus its proved: The more you keep distance from Scientific Education the more you become afraid of Progressive ideology !! No matter how many Ramanujan, Jagadish Ch.Bose, Satyendra Bose, Prafulla ch, C V Raman etc India breed, their influence is ZERO among common people. So This news has no value in our society ! very sorry.

  5. 5
    Agni_B

    Humanist weddings? Sounds dreadful to me.

    There is no requirement for the tokenism of humanist wedding
    Why marry? Custom originated from religious belief. State now provides ‘Civil registry’ for non religious wedding. Why this silly ’ISM’ to everything?
    .
    All phases come and goes and can also boomerang. Who cares what ceremony they follow- so long both happy and it last with lust. What name humanist would invent for their children? Smith -Khan- Kumar will identify them with a religious group.

    Like some celebrities I would definitely recommend Hindu traditional wedding which is interesting memorable, non religious and with life than politically correct/defunct Humanist wedding.

    Humanist reminds me of Indian useless Gurus- trying to teach NIRVANA while India burns-.Scott’s has more urgent issues (drink, junk food, social) to deal with; type of marriage they celebrate is NOT important or matters.

    These token ceremonies are more part of the Humanists self-publicising agenda. Some people desperately seek an identity to make it look as though they have something in their life.

    This is not a scientific issue, just individual perception, can be stored in cloud now

  6. 6
    Ysanne

    I’m Hungarian and German, and in both countries, the only legally recognised form of marriage is civil, i.e. you go to the civil register office and have a ceremony that can be as quick as the signing of a contract by the couple (and optional witnesses), or as long as a church wedding but obviously completely secular and usually focussing on responsibility and love for each other, or something in between.
    People can have a church ceremony, however this is completely optional, has no legal relevance whatsoever, and the churches only accept couples who are already legally married, i.e. after the civil ceremony. So there are _always_ at least as many civil “humanist” weddings as religious ones.

  7. 7
    Pen

    What’s a humanist wedding? Lot’s of European states such as France and I think Germany only recognise secular civil weddings. If you want a religious celebration it’s an optional extra after the civil ceremony. Britain, including Scotland does recognise religious marriage, but a purely civil marriage is quite common.

  8. 8
    Haridas Mandal

    I shared the ides with my daughters..two of them are marriageable..they loved the idea..and open to experiment..How do I get going in India?

  9. 9
    Smritilekha Chakraborty

    Every man/woman grows up watching the traditional ceremonies & dream of a future where the ceremonies happen around them. So, these ceremonies (wedding, birthday, naming ceremony etc) usually are a “DREAM come true” for them. They reflect the culture, traditions of thousands of years, memories of similar occasions in childhood & above all, emotions.
    Personally, I’d choose a Bengali Traditional Wedding any day than a so-called “Humanist” wedding.

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