I like watching the BBC’s The Big Question, not simply because I wish to learn something, but because it can be quite entertaining to see ideas openly tested in public. Additionally, you can also depend upon the BBC to seed the audience with a few nuts who will quite happily commune with the mother ship live on air.
A couple of weeks ago they discussed Humanist Weddings. The context is that in the UK you can get married in the church of your choice, and that any church can be officially licensed to conduct a legal wedding. However, this concept does not (yet) extend to Humanists, and so if you would like a non-religious wedding, then you need to also go to a registry office, or pop across the border into Scotland where they do endorse and enable Humanist weddings which have proven to be extremely popular.
Why no Humanist weddings, especially in the context of every political party supporting the idea?
Well basically because David Cameron made a specific decision to not support this because it would not win them votes … yes the same Mr Cameron who declared that he wanted to support strong families is opposed to people getting married unless they embrace a religious belief.
So anyway, on the BBCTBQ a few weeks ago when they were discussing Humanist weddings, this guy popped up …
Andrew Copson, the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association, gives a very measured, reasoned and calm reply to a chap who is striving to be truly obnoxious and intolerant, and as he does so keeps getting quips from Taiwo Adewuyi, that he very masterfully bats away.
“Well, if you are going to go to wantonness and deabauchery, I suppose you might as well travel first class, and I think that Humanism is, in a genuine sense, more of a first class world view than has been depicted. Humanism is the non-religious worldview that instead of looking to revelation and authority, we look to reason and evidence to understand the universe, instead of looking to moral rules that come from outside human beings, we look to other human beings to generate values in the here and now, and also to generate meaning in our life, instead of looking externally for some meaning to give value and sanction to the existence that we are having, a humanist view is that men and women in the course of our lives create and sustain meaning together by giving our lives purpose and a sense of fulfilment.” – Andrew Copson
Tolerance vs Intolerance
It is amusing and perhaps quaint that there are people who are seriously crazy enough to consider themselves to be in possession of the ultimate truth and that everybody else is wrong, but it also has a rather sad side effect – intolerance.
You know that from his viewpoint the only view tolerated will be his, and that nothing else should or could be tolerated. Rather ironically it is the humanist secular stance, a passionate belief in freedom of thought that is embraced by the vast majority of the population regardless of their specific belief or non-belief, that enables Mr Adewuyi to have the freedom to be vocal and open about his complete lack of tolerance for Humanism.
This however is not unique, it is quite common for those that seek to undermine and destroy the freedom we have, to end up discovering that this same freedom is what keeps them safe.