Humanism: for inquiring minds (7th edition)


Barbara Smoker (1923-2020) was President of the National Secular Society from 1972-1996.  Humanism: for inquiring minds, her classic book about humanism for school children, was first published in 1973.  This edition, the seventh, was published for Kindle by G.W. Foote & Co. in 2017.

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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 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.