British Humanists mourn the death of Sir Ludovic Kennedy

  • post Type / General news
  • Date / 19 October 2009

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed its sadness at the death of Sir Ludovic Kennedy (1919-2009), author, campaigner, Humanist and distinguished supporter of the BHA.

In 1984, Sir Ludovic gave the BHA’s prestigious Voltaire Lecture which was published as a pamphlet, An End to Belief. It was a subject to which he returned in 1999 when he published his highly personal musings on the harm Christianity has done to civilization, All in the Mind: a Farewell to God, detailing his philosophical objections to religion. Like all Humanists, Kennedy characterised God as a creation of human beings, rather than the reverse.

In July 2001 he was one of the signatories to a letter published in The Independent newspaper which urged the Government to reconsider its support for the expansion of state funded ‘faith schools’ and in 2003 was a signatory of the BHA petition calling for a public holiday on the anniversary of Darwin’s birth.

He was a co-founder and former Chair of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (VES), but parted company with the VES in 2004 over his support of more active assistance to terminally ill patients than the VES was prepared to advocate. One of his many books is Euthanasia – the Good Death (1990).

Kennedy campaigned vigorously against various miscarriages of justice, and several of his books question the convictions in a number of notable cases in British criminal history; his work contributed to the abolition of the death penalty in Britain in 1965.

Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive, said ‘Sir Ludovic was a stalwart supporter of the BHA and a progressive campaigner on many fronts. He will be sorely missed.’

For further comment or information, please contact Hanne Stinson on 020 7079 3583 or .

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