New bookshop addition: Humanism For Inquiring Minds

New bookshop addition: Humanism For Inquiring Minds June 3, 2017

Veteran freethought activist, Barbara Smoker, celebrated her 94th birthday yesterday  – and to coincide with the occasion G W Foote and Co.Ltd, publishers of the Freethinker, added a Kindle edition of Humanism For Inquiring Minds  to our bookshop.
Except for “faith” schools, which have special privileges, any school that teaches religion is required to make that teaching objective, fair and balanced – which means covering a wide range of mainstream religious beliefs.

However, balance is impossible in the absence of the one positive moral alternative to all religions.
That alternative is secular scientific humanism – the subject of this book, written mostly from the perspective of European history.
The first edition of this book, intended mainly for teenagers, was published in 1973 as a textbook for secondary schools. This current edition (the seventh), again updated and expanded, makes a useful resource for Religious Education teachers in years 9 to 13, to present alongside information on the major world religions.
Since humanism is equal to any of them today in numerical importance and esteem, its inclusion in the syllabus helps to make RE objective, fair and balanced.

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  • barriejohn

    Congratulations and best wishes to the indomitable Barbara! I wish we’d had books like that when I was at school. Divinity was taught by a “Saath Efrican” woman called Mrs Skull, dressed in tweed suit and sensible shoes, whose subject was actually English. At the beginning of the lesson two boys were despatched to the school library to bring all the books on religion, and we chose one each to read. Fat chance! Every few minutes, Mrs Skull’s dulcet tones rang out: “Just look up one minute…”, and we were lectured about such grave errors as not wearing our caps, or, horror of horrors, being seen eating in the street (a mortal sin, evidently). Obviously, these were considered “moral matters”, and the responsibility of the divinity department, and she had been instructed to deal with them. Those were the “good old days” to which many would like to return – perish the thought!

  • 1859

    Congrats too!
    My exposure to humanism was from my physics teacher who would lock the class room door and begin to rail against the barbarity of religion then talk for five minutes about electrical resistance. Then there would be five mins of gentle humanism followed by capacitance calculations after which he would call the then pope a Nazi. I enjoyed those lessons so, so much!