Secular Humanism Definition
What is Humanism? In this article we look at the definition of Humanism and explain the humanist world view and what humanists don't believe.
What is Secular Humanism?
I tend to say I'm a Humanist when describing my world-view. Humanism with a capital H is often used to mean secular humanism. (There are other meanings of the word humanism.)
Secular humanism or Humanism is a life stance or world view based on rational thought and a rejection of superstition and the supernatural, including religion. Humanism is not a religion.
I think most humanists find it a little odd to need to define ourselves in terms of not believing in gods. This is a reflection of current society where religion is prevalent.
Basically we just think it's up to the human race to work out the best way to live and keep improving.
Advancement of Humanity by Its Own Efforts
There are lots of definitions of humanism, but here's one of my favorites:
"Rejection of religion in favour of the advancement of humanity by its own efforts."
- Collins Concise Dictionary
This is a great definition and one I subscribe too. The advancement of humanity.
Advancement includes advancement of science and ethics. We need to keep improving.
Secular Humanism on Wikipedia
A more formal definition
How I came to be a Humanist
I went to a Church of England school where we were taken to church every Friday and received daily religious education. I didn't realize we were supposed to believe it! I thought it was just parables like Aesop's fables. So no big realization or anything. I've just never believed in gods.
My Dad is an atheist though he didn't discuss his views until I was old enough to have formed by own opinion. My Mum is what I call a 'default Christian'. She'll tick the box on the census form and likes the nice bits. But she doesn't have much idea what's in the bible.
As I got older I realized that some people actually believed in God. I remember quite clearly the time when I actively rejected the idea of religion (rather than just never having believed). I was in a religious education lesson at middle school and we covered world religions. Well that settled it, if they didn't all even believe the same thing, how could I possibly accept a religion as true?
As a teenager I had a friend whose father was a Humanist. Ah, so that was what I was called. I've identified as a Humanist ever since.
The Good Book: A Humanist Bible
|The Good Book: A Humanist Bible|
Walker & Company
Are you a humanist?
Are you a Humanist?
Do you think you might be a Humanist? Most people who identify as Humanists have thought deeply about philosophy, ethics and science. Humanism tends to be a considered position. Philosopher A C Grayling's The Good Book: A Humanist Bible brings together a lots of Humanist thought and demonstrates that life is full of meaning without need for the supernatural.
There are humanist associations in many countries where views can be shared and where you can participate in campaigns to improve awareness of Humanism and help to progress society inline with Humanist values.
I'm a Happy Humanist