What is Humanism?

Humanism is a non-religious ethical philosophy, a way of life and a way of thinking, that involves adherence to strong ethics, an emphasis on human rights, and respect for the Earth and its creatures. A humanist works toward creating a more humane and responsible world, with a commitment to reason and compassion. We continue to nurture our organization because we recognize that our members enjoy the company of like-minded people, in a stimulating and social setting. We understand that the success of religion rests partially on its creating a sense of affiliation, belonging and community. We want our members to enjoy the same privileges.

Humanist Principles

Goal: Humanists seek a just and caring society that values well being, eases suffering, promotes human rights and protects the environment.


  • We value reason, ingenuity, imagination and creativity in all human activities.

  • The evolving methods of science are the surest path to knowledge of the empirical world.

  • We accept that our knowledge and beliefs are always subject to change.

  • Our species is part of an interdependent world.

  • Individuals have choices and are responsible for the choices they make.

  • There is no evidence of the existence of Gods and other supernatural powers.

  • The is no evidence in the existence of a life after physical death. We are remembered by how we behaved during our lifetime.

Grey Bruce Humanists - Operating Principles

  • Humanists encourage discussion and seek the understanding of different points of view.

  • Humanists welcome members from diverse backgrounds, who share our principles.

Our History

Terri and Bob Hope moved to Owen Sound in November of 2004. They had been active members of the Humanist Association of Toronto and missed the people, activities and stimulation of a humanist organization. “We really wanted to develop a group up here, but because we understood that OS was a religious town, we decided to wait until we felt the time was right.”

In November 2006, Terri and Bob hosted the first meeting. The initial group numbered about 12. For two years the group met in members’ homes discussing topics such as humanist principles, crime and punishment, economic sustainability vs. growth. They invited two guest speakers, Michael Schulman who spoke on The Origins of Superstitions, and Martin Frith, a staff member at Dying with Dignity in Toronto. Martin gave a public lecture at the library in Owen Sound.

On September 10th 2007 our group presented an alternative to The Lord’s Prayer at Owen Sound City Council.

As of September 2017 there are 110 people on the mailing list and 10- 20 attend each meeting. There is also this website, a travelling library and monthly discussion / potluck.

The work of maintaining the group is shared among all of the members.

Online Resources

Here are links to various Humanist websites (in no particular order) as well as other sites of interest. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) more out there, but huge lists of links tend to become tiresome and unmanageable. We encourage you to take these as a small sampling of what’s out there and start surfing…