Thursday, July 7, 2016

Looking for a succinct definition of humanism?

Source: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta
Wikipedia defines "humanism" as "a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition." The American Humanist Association defines it as "a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." And the International Humanist and Ethical Union defines it as "a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism 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. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality." But I've always preferred Bertrand Russell's maxim that the "good life" is "one inspired by love and guided by knowledge" as the most succinct definition.

How would you define humanism?

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