What is Humanism?

  • Humanism is a positive approach to life based on reason and our common humanity, recognising that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone.
  • While atheism is merely the absence of belief, humanism is a positive attitude to the world, centred on human experience, thought, and hopes.
  • The British Humanist Association and The International Humanist and Ethical Union use similar emblems showing a stylised human figure reaching out to achieve its full potential.
  • Humanists believe that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of both knowledge and a moral code to live by, they reject the idea of knowledge 'revealed' to human beings by gods, or in special books.
  • Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities.
  • It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

Most humanists would agree with the ideas below:

  • There are no supernatural beings.
  • The material universe is the only thing that exists.
  • Science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about this universe.
  • We only live this life - there is no after-life, and no such thing as reincarnation.
  • Human beings can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs.
  • Human beings derive their moral code from the lessons of history, personal experience, and thought.