Humanism merges a confidence in the effectiveness of freethinking and free inquiry with a profound appreciation for the needs of human beings and the importance of human experiences.

Council for Secular Humanism

The Council for Secular Humanism explains that this worldview "centers upon human concerns and employs rational and scientific methods," is "dedicated to the fulfillment of the individual and humankind in general," and promotes "the development of tolerance and compassion and an understanding of the methods of science, critical analysis, and philosophical reflection." [1]

Humanist ethics

Main article: Humanist morality

Humanists recognize that the decisive factor in making an ethical decision must be its predicted effect on the good of humanity, and they identify humans as the only source of support and salvation for the human race. Although humanism has a strong element of atheism within it and realizes the necessity for separation of church and state, it should be noted that it is non-religious rather than anti-religious.

Religious humanism

Religious humanism is similar to secular humanism and differs primarily in the characterization of its role as a substitute for religion, including fulfilling personal and social needs. The Humanist Manifesto of 1933, which is associated mainly with religious humanism, avows the rejection of doctrine, affirms that the goal of religion is to improve societal health, and acknowledges that all human experience is religious. [2]


  1. Stevens, Fritz; et. al. "What is Secular Humanism?" Council for Secular Humanism. 2011.
  2. "About Humanism: Humanist Manifesto I." American Humanist Association. 2008-2011.
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