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Africa’s First Humanist Wedding?

Humanist, Leo Igwe, writes how he was asked to officiate at the Ghanaian humanist wedding of Becca and Charles who met through the Humanist Association of Ghana.
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Humanism in Ghana

Leo Igwe writes in Modern Ghana:

“Ghana is one of the most religious nations on earth, it is also a beacon of hope for humanism and freethought in the region. The image of a deeply religious Ghana is not as entrenched as pollsters project. A humanist and freethinking Ghana exists and is slowly and solidly emerging. A skeptical and rational Ghana is a social fact.”

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Why do Humanists Value Reason?

Humanists put great value on how we treat others, our ability to care for others, make ethical judgements (decisions which assess the consequences of our actions), and the freedom to decide our own purpose and meaning in life. All these rely on our ability to reason.

Reason is the ability to think clearly and logically, to verify facts, and then to change or modify ourselves, our attitudes, traditions or institutions, based on that information. Reason is a form of freedom that prevents us being chained to beliefs or habits by prompting us to continually ask questions and examine our lives. Read More…

African Communalism versus Western Individualism: A false dichotomy

This post is the personal opinion of the author and may not reflect the views of the Humanist Association of Ghana.

Professor Osei’s presentation at the International Humanist Conference in Accra, 2012 entitled The Relevance of Secular Humanism to the Contemporary African Society asserted that the Western construct of Humanism is bringing excessive individualism to Africa in opposition to its traditional values of communalism. Professor Osei also said we need to think about the issue of LGBT rights within this context.

To find a distinctly African expression of humanism sounds like an attractive project, yet the assertion has also been bothering me. I have been pondering on these issues since that presentation and hope I may have found a resolution to the apparent conflict. Read More…

Report from the International Humanist Conference, Accra, 2012

Over 55 people attended Ghana’s first ever international humanist conference at the SNITT Guesthouse, Accra, including participants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Netherlands.

It was organised by the Humanist Association of Ghana (HAG) and the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation (IHEYO), who sponsored the event.

After opening addresses from Gea Meijers (IHEYO) and Daniel Addae (HAG), Leo Igwe delivered his presentation on The Necessity of Humanism in Africa – Leo drawing on his experience as ex-President of the Nigerian Humanist Movement and his anti-witchcraft campaigns. He noted that it is not the socio-economic conditions in Africa that make humanism impossible, but it is those conditions that make it necessary. Read More…

Why I Am A Rationalist

This is an article by one of our Nigerian humanist friends Dr Jide Akeredolu

A RATIONALIST is someone whose worldview is guided by reason. He refuses to swallow any idea or dogma that does not make sense. He critically examines any idea presented to him and takes what can stand scrutiny and discards the rest. Or he just suspends judgment until more information is available to make a judgment. There are seven major reasons why I am grateful I am a rationalist rather than a religious believer. Read More…

Overcoming the Limits of Fundamentalism

In Ghana there are two broad categories of Christianity. The first are the orthodox denominations (mainstream Catholicism, Anglicanism, etc.) and the second are the Charismatics (or evangelicals).

The charismatics are the new churches which preach a version of Christianity that sees every word in the bible as literally true. They are also fundamentalists in that they do not see truth as mind expanding but as a set of beliefs that everyone must subscribe to. Read More…

Guidelines for Ethical Living

This beautiful text was sent to me by its author, Arthur Dobrin, who has allowed me to republish it here. He has a blog.

Do no harm to the earth, for she is your mother.

Being is more important than having.

Never promote yourself at another’s expense.

Hold life sacred; treat it with Read More…

Freethinkers Ghana Meeting 9 June 2012

Saturday, June 09, 2012

The Ghana Freethinkers met — a small group of young smart individuals questioning that which has been fed them since childhood.

The group comprised downright atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers. Seriously, until very recently, I found it hard imagining that there were Ghanaians residents in Ghana who expressed such world views as myself. Read More…

Morality and Humanism

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

How are we Moral?

The belief that religion is essential for morality is a point that seems so obvious it is never questioned. We believe that religious schools teach good moral values and we ensure our children attend church and Sunday school for the same reason. To be “God fearing” is seen as a positive attribute that we instill into children. Religious texts seem to contain so many moral teachings that no one would dispute this.

Religion is highly important to Ghanaians and Ghana is a very religious country; yet why do people complain that morality is on the decline? Read More…