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Colours to the Mast... 

Each year Chester humanists think about the future and where a humanist focus should be. These thoughts and predictions will be reviewed and considered each year to see whether any have become evident or have changed ... 

Assisted dying   Following on from the work done by a variety of organisations (e.g. Dignity in Dying, Humanists UK, etc,) as well as individual advocates, the Suicide Act (1961) will be repealed during the next Parliament. 

 

Secularism in Society (in education, and in celebrations and memorial events)  There will be an increasing rise in the number of Humanist (and other) non-religious ‘life event’ celebrations and memorials. The role of Humanism in everyday life will become part of the standard Secondary School curriculum.

Critical Thinking Skills  Although these are currently being taught in many educational establishments, a wider integration into all by way of curricular specifications will increase (or plan to be increased) with the next round of educational changes. The understanding of Logical Fallacies would be an integral part of this development.

Restriction of organised religion’s involvement in all aspects of politics A series of changes will need to be implemented to remove all religious input in local and national law-making. This will include the reading or displaying of any religious texts during local or national government official meetings. This should also include the act of prayer in such situations

 

TT      31/12/2023

Child Circumcision
Hopefully, concern for child circumcision will grow with the decline of religious control. However, if the current law is enforced and the practice stops history seems to show that instead of being praised for ending an atrocity we’ll be condemned because we once tolerated it. In general, predicting future trends appears very difficult.

Humanist & Religious ideas
It seems that issues gain traction when they chime with religious ideas, particularly concerning catastrophes. Within Environmentalism, for example, they seem to echo apocalyptic claims that the end is nigh, predictions of catastrophic floods, wickedness leading to the loss of an innocent garden existence and pure teenagers showing the way. Perhaps Biblical stories have evolutionary roots linked to survival, representing warnings communicated through symbolic tales that led to the development of allegorical fiction. There may be little difference between many Biblical and contemporary secular issues beyond reframing ancient rhetoric as modern metaphor.

Peter Doran
January 2024

"Humanists could support an improved understanding of how our democracy works and how people may get involved. Together with strong support for a change to proportional representation. Maybe there is also scope for humanist involvement in a sort of “coming of age” program aimed at sharing opportunities and responsibilities for people to engage in society. Humanists should also push for more inclusive decision making so that the interests of disadvantaged groups and environmental impact are always properly taken into account.

Discrimination against Humanist Marriage end and these weddings become legal.     

The vast majority of the British public are in favour of a change in the law on Assisted Dying - there must be pressure on politicians to allow a free vote.

Compassion in World Farming would be a good humanist campaign to improve the welfare of animals and also encourage environmentally friendly farming.

Greater awareness and progression on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Sharing positive news would be a useful thing for humanism to contribute to – we all need hope!

Supporting critical thinking in education and encouraging public awareness of science/technology with a view to helping promote understanding of how things work that we all rely upon and scepticism."  Peter Gaskin   January 2024

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