What is Humanism?
Humanism is a general term for a world view distinguished by the following characteristics:
- Use of critical reason and scientific methods of inquiry in seeking solutions to human problems.
- A conviction that dogmas, ideologies, and traditions, whether religious, political, or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.
- A constant search for truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.
- A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
- A search for viable individual, social, and political principles of ethical conduct judging them on their ability to enhance human well being and individual responsibility.
- A conviction that progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, goodwill, and tolerance.
Secular humanists are distinguished by an emphasis on scientific methods of knowing, separation of church and state, and a commitment to the pursuit of humanist goals outside of a religious framework.