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Humanist Lives, with Alice Roberts

Humanists UK via FutureLearn


Explore what it means to live as a humanist

Today an increasing number of people around the world describe themselves as humanist. They believe that this is the only life we have, that the world is a natural place with no supernatural side, and that we have the freedom to shape our own lives.

On this course you’ll meet individual humanists from around the world. From their stories, you’ll learn what motivates them, and how they express their humanism. You’ll learn about the questions, choices, challenges, and joys found in a humanist approach to life and have the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate it.

This course is for anyone with an interest in how different people choose to live out their lives and for those who wants to develop an understanding of what it means to be a humanist in the 21st century.

It is ideal for teachers and other educators wanting to support their subject knowledge about humanism, and young adults looking to prepare themselves for a degree in the humanities.

If you are interested in life’s big questions, you might also be interested in our other online course Introducing Humanism, in which you’ll have the opportunity to engage in a deeper exploration of the humanist approach to questions around knowledge, ethics, and happiness.


  • Life stories
    • Introduction to the course
    • Humanist ceremonies
    • Naming ceremonies
    • Weddings
    • Funerals
    • Emerging rituals
    • Conclusions
  • Freedom
    • Introduction
    • Education campaigns
    • Ethical campaigns and human rights
    • Politics and the state
    • Conclusions
  • Global goals
    • Introduction
    • Humanists in danger
    • Humanists around the world
    • Humanists International
    • Conclusions
  • Hard times
    • Introduction
    • Ill health
    • Loss of freedom
    • Ethical considerations
    • Leaving religion, losing community
    • Conflict
    • Conclusions
  • More to life
    • Introduction
    • The natural world
    • Telling stories
    • The arts
    • Connections and community
    • Conclusions
  • Making things better
    • Introduction
    • Practical action
    • Finding common ground
    • Sharing ideas
    • The future
    • Conclusions

Taught by

Claire Lipscomb


4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 66 ratings

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