Secular humanism in turbulent times

Secular humanism in turbulent times

On the occasion of World Humanist Day on 21 June, VUB historian Niels De Nutte discusses the role of secular humanism in our challenging times. De Nutte studies the history of euthanasia in Belgium and in an interview gives valuable insights into how secular humanism can be a beacon of rationality and compassion in a complex and changing world.

De Nutte describes the roots and evolution of humanism. He explains how this philosophical sphere, with its emphasis on reason, science and ethics, not only counterbalances dogmatic and irrational tendencies but can also be a positive force in promoting social justice and individual freedom.

“Secular humanism offers a framework in which human values and autonomy are central,” says De Nutte. “In an era in which populism and disinformation are rising, it remains essential that we commit to critical thinking and human solidarity.”

In contemporary society, with its undertones of social and political tensions, secular humanism absolutely remains relevant. De Nutte underlines the importance of open dialogue and education in maintaining and strengthening the core values of humanism.


Read the full interview (in Dutch):

Contact :

Niels De Nutte :

tel. nr. available on demand

Koen Stein
Koen Stein Perscontact wetenschap & innovatie





About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel