Ethical Issues

Humanists base their responses on the humanist principles that individuals should have the right to live by own personal values and the freedom to make decisions about their own lives, as long as these do not result in harm to others.

Humanists consider the often conflicting ideas and unpredictable consequences arising from, for example, new developments in medical science, using reason, evidence, compassion and shared human values, as far as possible.

Humanists do recognise, however, that there are values that are not shared by everyone. Humanists do not share the attitudes to “interfering with nature” or “playing God” or the same definitions of personhood held by some religious believers.

Humanists respect the rights of those holding religious beliefs about the sanctity of life and the limits of medical intervention not to participate in some procedures, but they do not believe that the beliefs of the religious, when they are based on supernatural arguments, should be imposed on others.

The British Humanist Association (BHS) comments on a wide range of ehtical issues, takes part in government consultations and other current events. Visit the BHA website to learn more about Humanist positions on issues such as:

Assisted Dying

Forced Marriage


Human Tissues

Prolonging life in fetuses and the newborn

Ritual Slaughter


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Remembrance Sunday Campaign

The Chichester Observer made a video and wrote an article covering the laying of a Humanist wreath after the main religious ceremony. A transcript of the speech can be downloaded here.

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