According to the American Humanist Association,
Humanism is a rational worldview,
informed by science,
inspired by art,
motivated by compassion.
Humanism is a naturalistic philosophy that affirms the value of humanity without the need for supernatural explanations or dogma.
The British Columbia Humanist Association outlines humanism as:
- Humanism aims at the fullest development of every human being.
- It strives towards the broadest application of democratic principles in all human relationships.
- It advocates the use of the scientific method as a guide to distinguish between fact and fiction, and wishes to see technology used creatively not destructively.
- Humanism affirms the dignity of human beings and the right of the individual to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.
- It acknowledges interdependence, the need for mutual respect, and believes in the worldwide community of all people.
- It calls for continuous improvement of society so that no person be deprived of the basic necessities of life and for institutions and conditions which will provide every person with opportunities to develop full human potential.
- It calls for the development, support and refinement of fundamental human freedoms such as freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion and non-religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of electing representative governments, equality of opportunity and justice regardless of colour, creed, ethnic origin, language, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- It calls for peaceful resolutions of conflicts between individuals, communities, nations, or blocs.
- Humanist ethics accept no outside absolute standards; encourage development of the positive potentialities in human nature; and approve conduct based on a sense of responsibility to ones-self and others.
- Humanism rejects the concept of the supernatural and considers that human problems have to be solved by human means.
Click here for a list of books, developed in cooperation between the Surrey Public Library and the Surrey Neighbouring Faiths Program, that have been specially selected for families to share with young children to teach about atheism and humanism.