Secular humanism

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* [http://www.human.no/templates/Page____2067.aspx The Norwegian Humanist Association]
 
* [http://www.human.no/templates/Page____2067.aspx The Norwegian Humanist Association]
  
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[[Category:Philosophy]]
 
[[Category:Philosophy]]

Revision as of 21:55, 19 December 2009

Secular humanism is a philosophical belief that states that humans are to be valued above all else. The inclusion of the word "secular" indicates that the philosophy includes atheism. The term was created in the 20th century as the opposite to religious humanism. Some humanists prefer the term "Humanism" (capitalized) without the word "secular", since adding this word emphasizes the philosophy's lack of religion. The Norwegian Humanist Association, Human-Etisk Forbund (HEF), is currently the largest secular humanist organization in the world.

Contents

Tenets

Secular humanism usually contains the following tenets:

  • Beliefs need to be tested instead of being accepted solely on faith.
  • Reason, evidence, and the scientific method are the best methods of finding solutions to problems and answers to questions.
  • Fulfillment, growth, and creativity are emphasized for both the individual and mankind in general.
  • A constant search for objective truth, with an understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our perceptions of it, and that scientific ideas should constantly change to better describe the real world.
  • An emphasis on making this life the best it can be for everyone, since humanists (especially those who include the word "secular") tend to believe that this life is the only one a person gets.
  • A search for a good system of individual, social, and political ethics.
  • An ultimate goal of building a better world for ourselves and our descendents by working together.

Criticism

Some people criticize secular humanism on the grounds that it offers no eternal truths nor a relationship with the divine. It is the belief of these critics that the lack of these things leaves humanity without a good anchor and that it makes secular humanism itself cynical and pessimistic. Humanists respond that these criticisms reflect a lack of knowledge of the fundamental beliefs of humanism, which is not cynical and pessimistic, but idealistic and optimistic.

Secular Humanism "Religion"?

Some Christians maintain that secular humanism is a religion. Humanists deny this (humanism has no gods, churches, etc), but do acknowledge that some varieties of humanism may be religious in certain senses of the word.

Manifestos

There are several humanist manifestos:

External links


v · d Philosophy
History of philosophy   Ancient Greek philosophy · Rationalism · Post Modernism · Utilitarianism · Existentialism · Objectivism · Metaphysics of quality · Secular humanism · Transhumanism
Famous philosophers   Ned Block · Daniel Dennett · René Descartes · Paul Draper · Epicurus · David Hume · Immanuel Kant · Karl Marx · Thomas Nagel · Friedrich Nietzsche · Bertrand Russell · John Searle · Baruch Spinoza · W.V.O. Quine
Existence   Reality · Mind-body dualism · Purpose of existence · Value of life · Solipsism
Morality and ethics   Ethics of Aristotle · Relative morality · Objective morality · Golden rule
Epistemology   Belief · Truth · Justification · A priori · A posteriori · Observation · Analysis · Synthesis · Absolute certainty · Information theory · Plato's Apology of Socrates · Atheists cannot know anything
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