Humanism wishes for man to freely and joyfully accept the myriad tremendous blessings of life. It underlines the fact that human existence, in and of itself, may be as magnificent and lovely as any concept of immortality. Humanists believe that humanity should use its reason to search for truth and follow it wherever it might lead.
They also believe that science and philosophy are important tools for understanding and appreciating reality and our place within it, therefore they strive to apply their knowledge and learn new things every day. Finally, humanists believe that morality is essential for happiness and peace of mind, thus they act according to their best judgments without fearing punishment or reward.
In short, humanism is a belief system that functions with the principle that man has value independent of anything else in the universe. It tries to understand and appreciate mankind's place in the world while striving to make it better for everyone.
Modern humanism started in Europe around the 17th century with thinkers such as Descartes, Newton, and Voltaire. It was then taken up by American intellectuals such as Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. In more recent years, humanism has become popular again among young people all over the world who want to have a meaningful life without religion or dogma.
Humanism is a non-religious perspective on the worth of life. Its origins may be traced back to the ethical theory of classical antiquity's thinkers, most notably Socrates and Aristotle. Modern interpretations of humanism include those of such people as Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
For Jefferson, human dignity was innate; for Mill, universal; for Thoreau, individual; for Gandhi, civil; and for King, social.
In today's world, humanists believe that every person has value and deserves equal treatment under the law. Humanists also seek to live their lives according to moral principles because they feel it is the right thing to do. Finally, humanists work to improve society by engaging in meaningful activity while striving to achieve personal fulfillment through the practice of compassion and gratitude.
Modern humanism began in Europe with the philosophical movement known as rationalism. Rationalists believed that only reason could lead us toward truth and happiness. They rejected any form of faith or dogma as a barrier to understanding reality and improving one's life.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that supports our capacity and obligation to live ethical lives of personal fulfillment that strive to the greater good in the absence of theism or other supernatural beliefs. Humanism is a scientifically educated ideology that is inspired by art and driven by compassion. It's based on the belief that humanity is one community, not divided into nations and races. It assumes that every person has worth and dignity regardless of class, color, gender, religion, or political view. Humanists believe that everyone can reason freely and logically from evidence available to us all; therefore, no one should be controlled by others nor control them.
Living without a god to fear or respect allows us to be more creative, thoughtful, and responsible. There are two ways we can improve ourselves as individuals and as a society: by seeking knowledge or by using force. Living without a god to fear allows us to focus on learning and growing through experience, rather than hiding from danger by staying ignorant. This attitude leads to fewer wars over resources, because there's no need to be aggressive if another nation will do you harm. Instead, we learn about their culture and values, and try to make peace with each other.
Living without a god to fear can also be very dangerous.
Humanism is a way of life based on reason and our shared humanity, acknowledging that moral ideals should be based only on human nature and experience. Humanism is a joyful alternative to religions that believe in a supernatural god and afterlife. It teaches that we can understand the world and improve our lives by using our brains and observing what works and doesn't work in practice.
Humanists believe in science and evidence as the best ways to learn about the world and make decisions. We try to use our knowledge and understanding of the universe to benefit humans now and for future generations. Science and humanism are not conflicting philosophies; they work together because science enables us to develop technology and improve living standards.
Science has been a major force for good in history- helping us end poverty, disease, and violence over the past few centuries, while at the same time improving our lives greatly during that time. But science can also be used to justify discrimination, oppression, and cruelty, so it cannot be used as an excuse for denying rights to women, minorities, or animals. There are many examples of this conflict between science and ethics, so it is impossible to list them all here. But just to give one example: scientists have proven that abortion is safe and effective for patients with low income, no insurance, and/or poor health.