SIR – Your recent article on humanism is not reflective of any experience I have of being a humanist for many years. It is rather a pity to print so much negative opinion without balance.
I would never see the need to attack other who differ from me in belief but acknowledge their right to do so. As humanists we try to live a life of decency and treat our fellow man, in how we wish to be treated ourselves. Our belief is that when you die you cease to exist except in the memory of those who we leave behind.
The emphasis in some schools on religious ‘indoctrination’ is of course a concern for parents who ‘do not believe’ and wish to raise their children without religion. The State cannot provide a special school for every denomination in a multicultural society but must still treat all its citizens fairly and hopefully equally.
Adjusting the educational system to accommodate the prevailing society would seem a reasonable response. The Humanist Association of Ireland is a body of people who share these principles and values.
We celebrate the birth of a new baby with a naming ceremony that welcomes the person into their family. Our celebrants provide solemnisation on behalf of the state for couples who wish to have a civil ceremony at their wedding
Humanist funeral dervices involve the family and friends in remembering and celebrating the life of their loved one in a dignified ceremony. We train our volunteer pastoral care workers to participate in chaplaincy teams in hospitals and other institutions
Volunteers participate in altruistic work throughout the country that is part of our philosophy. I am somewhat saddened by the article written by a person who hides their identity, but you as editor decided it has some value!
Director Pastoral Care & Ceremonies,
Humanist Association of Ireland.