Saturday, 8 January 2011

Resolutions and Revolutions

Made your New Year`s Resolution yet ? It`s not to late to make a resolution with a difference this year.

The British Humanist Association is promoting something they call the `social resolution`. Instead of the usual (and usually unsuccessful) vows to lose weight/swear less/give up smoking or whatever, they suggest undertaking to do something  to help others. This might be something as simple as  helping out an elderly neighbour in some way, or  something slightly more involved such as  giving blood.

Find out more by visiting their web sites ;

BHA advocates "a world without religious privilege or discrimination where people are free to live good lives on the basis of reason, experience and shared human values." Although it is clearly an organisation that promotes a non-religious world view, this initiative is open to all and not restricted to the non-religious.

They explain their decision to run a project of this sort by explaining that individual responsibility, social co-operation and mutual respect are central tenets of humanism, and that this project is clearly in keeping with that.

Allowing/encouraging participation by people of faith is not necessarily as much of a departure as you may think. An entry on the BHA web site states "we campaign on the basis of human rights, including the rights of people with religious beliefs."

There have, inevitably, been complaints that the project could be seen as corresponding with the Tory `Big Society` project.  By the same token, another person might argue that the project is implicitly socialistic, though as far as I know no-one has. In point of fact, humanism is not the sole prerogative of socialists.  There`s certainly a Parliamentary Humanists Group which brings together non-religious MPs from all three major parties, and I for one am glad that it is run on cross-party lines. In any case, principles such as `individual respnsibility, social co-operation and mutual respect` are not the exclusive property of any political group, and are in any case open to interpretation.  As you may have gathered, I`m not a lover of sectarianism !

However, I digress. as you may know, Reggie the Hedgehog was a devoutly non-religious hedgehog and an advocate of  dialectical materialism. Here`s his picture once again !

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