Sunday, March 2, 2008

Humanism -- The alternative to supernatualism and dogma

Humanism is:

A lifestance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality." -Minimum Statement of Humanism, International Humanist and Ethical Union

Humanism is an approach to life based on reason and our common humanity, recognizing that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone." -British Humanist Association

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. The framework of Humanism -- guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience -- encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance. -The Humanist magazine, published by the American Humanist Association

Humanism is a philosophy, world view, or framework of that helps us understand the world and find meaning and value in life. It is a lifestance based on naturalism -- the conviction that the universe or nature is all that exists or is real. Humanism serves, for many humanists, some of the emotional and social functions of a religion, but without belief in deities, transcendental beings, miracles, immortality, and the supernatural. Humanists seek to understand the universe by using science and its methods of critical inquiry -- logical reasoning, empirical evidence, and skeptical evaluation of conjectures and conclusions -- to obtain reliable knowledge. Humanists affirm that humans have the freedom to give meaning, value, and purpose to their lives by their own independent thought, free inquiry, and responsible, creative activity. Humanists stand for the building of a more humane, just, compassionate, and democratic society using a pragmatic ethics based on human reason, experience, and reliable knowledge -- an ethics that judges the consequences of human actions by the well-being of all life on Earth. -The Virtual Community of Humanists

From the Continum of Humanist Education web site:

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