President's Welcome 2018
Our international Humanist movement carries a minimum statement of core principles: "Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality."
Individual Humanists vary their focus. Some are concerned with science, reason and confronting destructive superstitions and some pursue human rights and humanitarianism. Others focus on the Heart of Humanism - a living ethos of values and practices, which can deepen humanity, fulfil needs sustainably, furnish us with meaning, and expand our human potential.
Humanism is there in ancient Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese and Indian ideas. Ancestral & indigenous hunter-gatherers approach Humanism by tuning to their environment, their bodies, their companions and their human needs. Humanists welcome all communities and cultures which make humanity central in their values. Yet Modern Humanism takes root in the conscious individualism of the Renaissance, and the freedom, civility and enterprise of the modern Enlightenment.
'Humanity' got lost while Dark Age savagery mellowed to Medieval superstition. Renaissance 'Humanitas' valued modern human qualities like understanding and compassion, as well as traditional virtues like fortitude, prudence, eloquence, and honour. Human art and science flourished again. Then, after the bloody wars of religions, Enlightenment Humanism gave us human rights, rule of law, equality, scientific inquiry, aesthetics, cosmopolitanism, transparency, civility, optimism, and inclusion.
Humanists accept our Humanity - both as limit and as potential. No gods come to help us - just our own ingenuity, curiosity, and goodwill. Judgement is based in honest examination of shared human experience. We respect the free individual, accountable to society, dependent on the natural world, but also responsible for it. More... (updated article Nov 2017)
The recently released Census figures showing mass repudiation of religions by Australians brings to the fore an old fear that people who have been taught right and wrong is based on a religion are at risk of becoming unhinged if the basis of their belief collapses or is repudiated. Human values are not based on religion but on basic human impulses. This what the Humanist Society stands for. Read this article by our president.
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