Secular Humanism

Secular Humanism refers to an ideology that bases its morality and decision-making on the humanist values of reason, justice, and ethics instead of the spiritual and supernatural claims of most religious traditions. Secular Humanism does not reject the existence of God or the supernatural (preferring the label "nontheistic" as opposed to atheistic), but it does not believe these should be sources of social, ethical, or moral reflection and organization. As a philosophical approach, Secular Humanism looks to human beings to solve human problems instead of looking to a god. Secular Humanism is a 20th century development but its roots may be traced back to ancient Greek philosophy and Chinese Confucianism. Secular Humanism was distinguished by its desire to separate it from other forms of humanism including realism, philosophical humanism, scientific humanism, and particularly religious humanism and Christian humanism. Secular Humanism is committed to the growth and fulfillment of individuals and humanity through the use of critical reason and scientific methods. It aims to search for ethical principles that guide individuals and communities in social and political engagement. Secular Humanism is grounded in the conviction that by employing reason, tolerance, and good will, humanity is capable of creating a better world. Secular Humanists are typically nonreligious, but others claim that Secular Humanism is itself a religion because it has a "governing body" (the Council for Secular Humanism) and recognized "texts" (such as the various Secular Humanist Manifestos).

Quick Facts

Formed Antiquity
Adherents N/A
Deity None
Sacred Text Humanist Manifestos (1933, 1973, 2003)
Origin Europe
Headquarters None (American Humanist Association, Washington, D.C.)
Back to Religion Library