Humanists UK has teamed up with its patron Stephen Fry to explore humanist ideas about some of life’s big questions with a new educational campaign entitled That’s humanism!
The four videos, entitled ‘How can I be happy?’, ‘What should we think about death?’, ‘How do we know what’s true?’ and ‘What makes something right or wrong?’ are a revival of Humanists UK’s popular campaign of the same name in 2014, which reached over 2 million people.
Over four weeks, Humanists UK’s social media will be dedicated to That’s humanism!, releasing one video in the series per week alongside fresh stories, graphics, and insights from patrons and members of Humanists UK into the humanist approach to life. The campaign aims to connect with the many millions of non-religious people who already hold humanist beliefs and values, but don’t yet know there’s a name for them – humanist! – as well as a community of like-minded people.
A satisfying approach to life
In the first video, ‘How can I be happy?’ Stephen Fry explains that the humanist approach to life places responsibility for finding and creating meaning on human beings, rather than looking outside of humanity for some grand cosmic plan or ‘meaning of life’. Each of us has to decide for ourselves what gives us fulfilment and what makes us who we are.
‘How can I be happy?’ will be followed by three further videos each week on a Tuesday. Across the four videos, Stephen examines life’s biggest questions and brings to light how a humanist perspective grounded in rational thinking and kindness can be empowering, motivating, humbling, or even liberating.
Humanists are people who shape their own lives in the here and now, because we believe it’s the one life we have. In the first video, Stephen goes on to explain:
‘Humanists do not see that there is any obvious purpose to the universe, but that it is a natural phenomenon with no design behind it. Meaning is not something out there waiting to be discovered, but something that we create in our own lives…’
‘We may find meaning through our family, our career, making a commitment to an artistic project or a political reform, in simple pleasures such as gardening, in hobbies, or in a thousand other ways giving rein to our creativity or our curiosity, our intellectual capacities or our emotional life. The time to be happy is now and the way to find meaning in life is to get on and live it – as fully and as well as we can.’
Launching the campaign, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said:
‘In 2014, our That’s humanism campaign was a big hit – rapidly reaching over 2 million people around the world soon and drawing hundreds upon hundreds of new members to Humanists UK.
‘Seven years on, over half the UK population now says they have no religion and a quarter live by humanist beliefs and values, but maybe haven’t heard of the term ‘humanism’. It’s this last group we’re trying to reach today. We know from our experience that humanism strikes a chord with many people when they hear of it – many suddenly realise that they have been humanists all their lives, connected to a rich history and a vast international community with the same approach to life and a similar vision for a fairer society. We hope that many thousands more people will come to that realisation once again as a result of the revived campaign.’
For more information, head to humanists.uk/thatshumanism
Notes: Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.
Humanists UK’s latest That’s humanism! videos were animated by Liangliang Luo of xMx Design, and Raj2016 in 2021. The videos were narrated by Stephen Fry and scripted by Andrew Copson in 2014 as part of the original That’s humanism! campaign.