Humanism is defined as an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) defines Humanism as a nontheistic world view that rejects all forms of supernaturalism and is in accord with the spirit and discoveries of science. It recognizes the ability of humans to solve their problems through the use of free inquiry, reason, and imagination, and to advance human welfare through fellowship, study, and service. It encourages a respect for, and a desire to secure the survival of all forms of life which inhabit planet Earth.
Humanism can have different meanings often indicated by a word preceding the word Humanism. Fred Edwords, National Director of the United Coalition of Reason, has an excellent article on this entitled “What is Humanism” on the American Humanist Association website. His article, along with numerous others on the AHA website provide not only definitions of Humanism but also explore the historical, philosophical and practical aspects of Humanism.
The British Humanist Association recently produced the following four animated video shorts as part of their “that’s Humanism” campaign, narrated by Stephen Fry. It will take you under 12 minutes to watch all four videos and you have a much better understanding of humanism. Enjoy!
You’re on a roll… don’t stop now!
We encourage you to continue to explore the various aspects of Humanism and discover what it means to you, but probably the best way to understand Humanism is by getting to know some Humanists. Join our Meetup site and look through the various meetings, activites and events to find one that peaks your interest and schedule. Then RSVP for one and come on out and make some new friends! We’re looking forward to meeting you.