Wednesday, March 15, 2017

American Humanist Association

I've been writing, presenting, and meeting frequently with people interested in learning more about the philosophy of humanism, including details about the American Humanist Association, and the Humanists of Utah.

Speaking about and promoting humanist thought and philosophy is a cause near and dear to my heart, since I co-founded a chapter of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Utah in May, 2009, called SHIFT - Secular Humanism, Inquiry, and Freethought.

I've also been a Certified Humanist Minister, through The Humanist Society in Washington, D.C., since 2011. You can see my work at Secular Weddings Utah.

In a nutshell, humanists believe in the power of people to do and be good, without supernatural inspiration. To me, atheism is a description of what I don't believe, while humanism describes what I do believe. In a bit more detail -- inspired by the Humanist Manifesto III -- here's what humanists believe:

  • We have the ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment, aspiring to the greater good of humanity
  • Guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience, we believe life should be lived well, and fully
  • Values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance
  • Science is the best method for determining knowledge of our world, which knowledge is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis
  • Human life is part of all nature, and is enough -- we are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known, and we welcome future challenges
  • Our values are grounded in human need and welfare, which extend to the global ecosystem and beyond
  • Every human being has inherent worth and dignity, and we are committed to treating all human beings accordingly
  • We rely on the rich heritage of human culture to provide comfort in times of want, and generosity in times of plenty
  • We find wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence and its challenges and tragedies, including the inevitability and finality of death
  • We strive for an interconnected world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively, and without violence
  • We work to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival, to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community

Please, peruse the website of the American Humanist Association in detail, to learn more about the many causes they work on, and to become involved in a local chapter if you are interested in meeting with other humanists in your area!