Humanism is a worldview that rejects the supernatural and understands human efforts toward goodness and knowledge as holding the highest potential for humanity. It emphasizes rational thought, scientific inquiry, and subjective moral reasoning as some of the best tools at humanity’s disposal for making a better world.
While some view humanism as a “religion” in the way that it provides humans with a worldview and ethical tools, most humanists understand humanism instead as a progressive lifestance. Subjectivity and changefulness are key qualities of humanism, which dismisses the existence of fixed creeds or rituals. Many humanists apply the scientific method of observation, hypothesis, experiment, and analysis to all spheres of life. As such, many humanists understand ethics as being inherently situational and knowledge as being inherently subject to change.
Humanism posits that the fullness of human life can only be achieved when all humans embrace their responsibility toward their fellow citizens and seek to live in peace under ethical values informed by human need. For many humanists, the belief that this world is the only world informs their sense of gratitude, engagement, and urgency for social betterment.
Although humanist ideologies have existed for thousands of years, contemporary humanists have been unparalleled in their work to create organizations for non-theists to gather inspiration, share in community, and work toward common goals.
Humanism profile (PDF)
Image Source: José María Mateos, "Darwin Fish," Flickr Creative Commons: http://bit.ly/1sxLQZ6