The Sofia Society was delighted to welcome Andrew Copson. Mr Copson provided a broad overview of the central beliefs and the history of humanism, both as a system of thought and as a political movement. Starting with the historical origins of humanism, as found in Greek philosophy and classical Indian materialism, he moved on to the five defining tenets of humanism: materialism (the idea that our plane of reality is the only one); death as an ultimate end; morality as something inherent in humanity; the purpose of morality being to improve human welfare; and the human capacity to give one's own life meaning. He argued that whilst many of these facets are seen in myriad philosophies, only when all five are combined can we define it as 'humanism'. He also expounded on the British Humanist Association's policy of promoting secularism and the application of reason in the political sphere. Charles Long (RPDF)