Humanism is a worldview that encourages compassion and ethical action while staying rooted in human reason, without belief in the supernatural or otherworldly. Some Humanists refer to Humanism as a religion because it fulfills many of the important functions of a religion: it provides rituals and ceremonies, a historical context for a system of thought, and a community of like-minded people.
Other Humanists prefer not to call it a religion, as Humanism has often stood in contrast to religious traditions. However, all Humanists believe that we ought to live our lives fully, meaningfully, and compassionately, and that humans alone have the responsibility to make our world a good place to live for all.
The Natural World
We know that humanity is an integral part of nature, formed by the same natural process that formed the rest of the world around us. The best way for us to gain knowledge of this world is through observation, experimentation, and rational inquiry.
Whether through science, the arts, or reasoned thought, we rely on human intelligence to understand the world and face the unknown future. Science tells us that we are now facing a global climate crisis, and it is our responsibility to respond to this challenge. We must rely on human ingenuity to face the challenges of the future.
Human needs and well-being drive our ethics. Our values come from experience and reach to all aspects of the human experience and the global ecosystem. Each person has dignity and worth, and respecting each person as well as humanity as a whole is what guides our choices. We advocate for the protection of our environment and our climate in the name of a deep and broad understanding of human needs.
Humanists seek fulfillment in the pursuit of humane ideals. Human life itself is a source of awe and reverence. We lead lives of profound purpose as we work for a more just and peaceful world and see human relationships as integral to leading a good life. We work to help all of humankind move beyond mere survival and allow everyone to live a life free of poverty with minimal suffering. Striving to protect our environment for future generations is one of the many causes that can provide meaning and direction in our lives.
Ultimately, Humanism is a human-centered worldview. As we face the challenges of climate change and pollution, we rely only on humanity itself to find solutions. And yet Humanism also believes in the power of humanity to progress toward our ideals and improve upon ourselves. It is with the firm and informed belief in human capabilities and the human spirit that we approach the world and the future.