What is Humanism?
Humanism is defined as "a rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters" (Source: Google). This definition can be simplified to the idea that humans should treat each other well without the need for religion. Because of the definition, 'atheism' and 'agnosticism' are sometimes considered synonyms of humanisms, however while atheism and agnosticism indicate positions of belief and knowledge respectively, humanism is more about the application of this belief/knowledge on the world and people around us. It is also not uncommon for individuals who do follow a particular religion or who have some sort of faith to identify with humanist outlooks, though generally humanism is a nonreligious philosophy and correlated strongly with atheism/agnosticism/skepticism/nonbelief.
What are the aims of the Humanist Society?
The Humanist Society aims to establish a positive social environment for University of Edinburgh students who are rationalists, non-theists (agnostics or atheists), humanists, or sceptics; to enrich University of Edinburgh campus life by sponsoring educational events and fostering student dialogue on matters of faith, science, and reason; as well as to engage students in issues of national and international import surrounding freedom of conscience and secular education.
What does the Humanist Society do?
The Humanist Society hosts weekly social meetings throughout the academic year at one of the University of Edinburgh student unions (usually Teviot or Pleasance) where members can discuss common interests and current events. The Humanist Society also hosts a few educational events throughout the academic year, these events are often speaker-led and their topics are usually rooted in matters that relate to humanism. Details on socials and educational events can be found on the Humanist Society facebook group or facebook page. The facebook group is updated more frequently than the page, particularly in the case of weekly socials, so joining the facebook group is recommended if you are interested in the society.
More information on Humanism:
Humanists UK campaigns to promote secularism, for example by campaigning against faith schools and promoting the inclusion of Humanism and non-religious viewpoints into the religion education syllabus of schools. They also provide a helpful quiz if there is doubt about whether or not you are a humanist. Humanist Society Scotland similarly work to promote secularism.