What is Humanism?
Humanism is the contemporary expression of a long tradition of free thought. It is a worldview that has inspired many of the world’s great thinkers and creative artists. Humanists believe we can build a better world if we:
- seek human, rather than divine, solutions to the world’s problems through the application of critical reason, free inquiry and the scientific method.
- continually weigh and test dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, against observation, rather than accepting them on faith.
- support democratic forms of government and affirm the worth, dignity and right to self-determination of every human being.
- maintain the separation of church and state and the freedom of and from religion.
- combine personal liberty with social responsibility, and recognize our dependence on, and responsibility for, the natural world.
- Humanists believe we can achieve personal fulfillment through:
- a constant search for truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
- a concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
- a search for viable individual, social, and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well being and individual responsibility.
- a conviction that with reason, an open market-place of ideas, good will and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.
What is Secular Humanism?
Secular Humanists are further distinguished by a commitment to the pursuit of humanist goals outside of a religious framework. Although most Secular Humanists are atheist or agnostic we do not define ourselves exclusively by these terms. We prefer an emphasis on what we value: reason, free inquiry, critical thinking, the scientific method, freedom, compassion, moral excellence, and a high regard for our fellow human beings.
If you are curious about Secular Humanism, we invite you to attend one or more of our chapter meetings, all of which are free and open to the general public.