What is Humanism?

The Ethics Video Library is by no means only for Humanists, but its volunteers do come from a Humanist worldview and our videos do promote Humanist values.  So what do we mean by a Humanist “worldview” and “values”?

Here’s a quick definitions of Humanism:

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.

That’s it.  Humanism is naturalistic, compassionate, secular, community oriented, and (at least aims to be) rational.

Darwin: Endless BeautyHumanist values prize compassion – and not just for humans, but all sentient creatures. Ethics therefore comes from our common and individual needs, capacity to cooperate, and ability to decide how we would like to live together.  We also value reason and experience as ways of investigating our world, and therefore science and secular philosophy play a huge part in determining what we believe.

Specific values that almost all Humanists fight for are human rights, inter-religious dialogue, pro-LGBT values, a woman’s right to choose, animal welfare, environmentalism, separation of church and state, and dozens of others.  Humanists are often described as “secular progressives.”


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