“Humanists look to science instead of religion as the best way to discover and understand
the world. Humanists believe empathy and compassion can make the world a better place
A key phrase here is ‘without religion.’ The Oxford Dictionary defines religion as
“the belief in the existence in a god or gods and the activities connected with the
worship.” I believe that everyone has the choice whether to live with or without
religion and a Humanist by definition has made the choice not to.
Mr Morrison has made the choice to follow religion and this letter is a condemnation
on those who do not follow the same religion as he does by quoting all the biblical
texts. A Christian funeral is conducted with prayers, psalms, bible readings and
within a framework that Mr Morrison would recognise.
A Humanist funeral is “a personal and fitting way to say goodbye to those who have
lived without religion. Humanist funerals bring people together to express sadness
at the loss but also to celebrate the life lived. They focus sincerely and affectionately
on the person who has died, paying tribute to thee way they lived their life, and
to the connections they made and left behind.”
With this in mind why should the Bible be read, why should there be prayers, psalms
sung and references be made to any word of divine truth? These would be against Humanist
beliefs and the Humanist ethos.
It would be interesting to hear the views of the deceased’s family and close friends
as they presumably would have acted in accordance with the wishes and beliefs of
There is much more that I could raise about my reactions to Mr Morrison’s judgement
and seeming intolerance of his fellow man who chose not to follow the same path as
him. I will save this for another time. I will add however that I believe in God
and profess to be a Christian.
46 North Galson
Isle of Lewis
I write in response to Donald Morrison’s recent letter about Humanist funerals. This
letter really made me see red in several ways.
The main issue being that a funeral, whatever a person’s belief, religion or faith
should be a ceremony that is conducted in such a way which reflects the wishes and
beliefs of the deceased.
The British Humanist Association gives the following definition of humanism on their
website: “Humanists think for themselves about what is right and wrong, based on
reason and respect for others. Humanists find meaning, beauty and joy in the one
life we have without the need for an afterlife.