Our aims and beliefs

A secular state would:

  1. Guarantee freedom of belief and freedom from belief.
  2. Separate church and state - at the moment Christianity, in the form of the CofE, is the state religion.
  3. Remove religion from law-making - at the moment CofE Bishops sit in the House of Lords and make our laws in their interests.
  4. Enable all young people to make a free and informed choice about what to believe. So we would:
    • put the rights of children first. If there is a conflict between the rights of the child and the rights of adults we come down in favour of the child.
    • remove worship from schools. Worship is based on "the god assumption" which has no place in schools.
    • promote the moral development of young people throughout the curriculum and not leave it to RE.
    • provide Philosophy and Ethics education which explores all beliefs, including religious beliefs.
    • provide Sex and Relationships Education outside the context of religious moralising.
    • end the apartheid of religiously segregated schools ("faith schools") by returning them to local authority control. This will cost nothing since taxpayers already fund them 100%.
    • legislate against private schools that promote religion.
  5. Require politicians to state their religious affiliations when speaking on topics where their religious beliefs may determine their views.
  6. Remove all tax payer funding for activities which promote religious ideas. Religions are big enough to stand on their own two feet - they can fund their own activities.
  7. Remove any requirement for employers to meet the needs of religious employees. There is no place for "chapels" and "prayer" rooms" at work - we got rid of smoking rooms - why introduce religious rooms?

    If religious people want time-off to pray, or to attend religious ceremonies, they should accept that they will not be paid for this time, and that such absences may make their employment impossible since one person's prayer time, or day off, is another person's extra work.

    Companies should not be expected to subsidise religion and religious symbols have no place at work.

  8. Remove religious symbols from taxpayer-funded buildings.
  9. Remove special time and space being given to religions to promote their ideas in publicly funded media. E.g."Thought for the day."
  10. Ensure that the views and beliefs of the non-religious are fairly represented on all local, regional and national bodies that previously consulted only religious organisations.
 

Our beliefs

"God is an unnecessary postulate for which there is no evidence."

  • There is no need to propose the existence of gods - there are simpler explanations for everything. (See below.)
  • There is no evidence for the existence of gods - holy books are not impartial and are not evidence!
  • There are no gods - other than in the minds of those who need them.

Atheists do not have to prove "not god" - that would be like asking religious people to prove that the Universe was not created by an invisible and intangible dancing pink hippopotamus.

Those who propose an idea are obliged to prove it. We can answer "the big questions of life" to our own satisfaction without need of gods and religions.

Faith does not require proof - it is blind in the face of logic or evidence - so religious people are rarely willing to argue with atheists.

Please click here for the classic arguments about god.

Where did everything come from?

Everything changes over time, the Universe is never the same from one nanosecond to the next. The atoms in the Universe are recycled for ever, forming one thing now and a different thing in the future.

Nothing "pops" into existence out of nothing, there was always something before and there will always be something afterwards.

The Universe has always existed, in one form or another, and will continue to exist, in one form or another. There is no need to propose a "beginning" or "end" - things just change over time.

What happens after death?

Death is the end of consciousness, the end of life, the end of you.

There is no life after death - look at the TV news to see the violence and damage done when people believe they will have a better life after death.

When you die your body will be buried or burnt and the atoms that were once part of you will become part of something else in the never ending recycling process that is the Universe. Someone romantically said "I am made of stars and I will return to the stars". That's awesome enough for us.

What is the meaning of life?

Humans are social animals - we enjoy life better in the company of others and our moral values develop to enable society to function harmoniously.

The purpose of life is to be fulfilled and happy and to do everything possible to help others be happy - the best way of doing that is to lead a good and responsible life.

A personal moral code is better than one dictated by ancient holy books.

We make no claims to being perfect, we are human and subject to all the usual human weaknesses - however, we try to do our best.


Secular values

"Moderate religion is a necessary precursor to extremism because all religions contain the seeds of fanaticism."
Anyone who doubts this only has to read the holy books of the world's major religions.

Politicians, the media and religious organisations talk about "the ethos of religious schools". Ethos means the guiding beliefs and ideals that define a community - such as a school.

This list of values was collected from teachers in non-religious schools in Derby:

  • Valuing the distinctiveness of the individual
  • Development of personal moral values
  • Mutual respect in relationships
  • Compassion
  • Charity
  • Caring for others
  • Tolerance
  • Inclusiveness and non-discrimination
  • Listening to others and exchanging views in a civilised way
  • Working co-operatively with others
  • Understanding
  • Empathy
  • Honesty
 
  • Fairness
  • Justice
  • Trustworthiness
  • An open-minded spirit of enquiry: questioning, challenging, finding out
  • Treating other people as you would like to be treated yourself
  • Respect for the environment
  • Respect for people as individuals - but not necessarily for their beliefs.

How do these secular values differ from those in religious schools? In what way are the values of religious schools "unique" - apart from god and worship?

Given recent scandals relating to religion (abuse by priests, homophobia, misogyny, Al Madinah, financial corruption, CofE problems with its African churches, etc.) are we sure that religion is setting a suitable moral tone?

Is it implied that non-religious schools do not promote personal responsibility and strong moral values? This would be deeply insulting to all schools. Try telling the head teachers of our outstanding Littleover, John Port and Ecclesbourne secondary schools that their schools lack a "strong moral ethos"!

 

 
Our aims and beliefs

Theist and atheist

Occam's Razor

Walking on eggshells

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Historicity of Jesus

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Challenge the Atheist

The Pink Hippo

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Briefing paper on education

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