President's Welcome 2019

Theinternational 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.”

Beyond these core values, modern individual humanists have varying concerns. Some prioritise science, reason and confronting destructive superstitions while others pursue human rights and humanitarianism. Yet the heart of humanism is a living ethos of values and practices, deepening our humanity, expanding our potential, and giving our lives meaning.

Some faces of the history of secular moral values

Put mouse pointer in this box to stop scrolling.
You should see over twenty images.
Only Firefox displays this scrolling banner properly (Jan 2014).
If you can't see any or all, click manual scroll to see all pictures.

Protagoras
Protagoras
490 BCE
Hypatia
Hypatia
350
Erasmus
Erasmus
1466
Copernicus
Copernicus
1473
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
1561
Galileo
Galileo
1564
John Locke
John Locke
1632
Voltaire
Voltaire
1694
David Hume
David Hume
1711
Adam Smith
Adam Smith
1723
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
1724
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
1745
Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham
1748
Mary Wollstonecraft, the title of her book back in the 1780s is still current today!
Mary Wollstonecraft
1759
Sophie Condorcet, wife of French philosophe Marquis de Condorcet, a leading Parisian lady who hosted salons for the philosophes hammering out what we know as Enlightenment values today
Sophie Condorcet
1764
Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
1809
Thomas Huxley
Thomas Huxley
1825
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
1872
Karl Popper
Karl Popper
1902
Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
1941
AC Grayling
AC Grayling
1949
Defending the tolerant secular state
Promote the free open society
Promote the values of the Enlightenment
Promote the scientific world view
Promote general and scientific literacy
Support evidence based policies
Promote social equity

The Humanist Society promotes a non-religious non-supernatural world view and supports a number of issues which certain (fundamentalist) religious interests and prominent pro-active individuals with deep religious convictions oppose including abortion law, drug law, euthanasia law reforms and unaccountable allocation of public monies to religious organisations. These religious interests illegitimately want to compel certain values in the public space when society as a whole wishes to be rid of those restrictions. It is part of the movement which argues that the state and religion should remain separate. More...

 

Despite or even within a religious culture, humanism was always there in ancient Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Indian and even some Judeo-Christian ideas. Ancestral and indigenous hunter-gatherers have also approached humanism when they attune their minds to their environment, their bodies, their companions and their human needs.

Humanism arises whenever humans make humanity central in their values, but the modern movement is rooted in the new consciousness of the Renaissance, which saw intelligence and compassion arise as values to displace medieval piety and obedience. Human art and science flourished again. Then a brief new dark age of religious warfare was followed by the humanistic Enlightenment, which gave us rights, liberty, equality, science, progress, and accountable government.

As humanists, humanity describes both our limits and our potential. We accept there are no magical solutions or supernatural beings coming to help us. But we have a sense of optimism in the power of human curiosity and ingenuity under the spirit of goodwill. All judgments must be based in honest examination of shared human experience. Our icon is the free individual, accountable to society, dependent on the natural world, but also responsible for it. We strive to be tough-minded but warm-hearted people, in a democratic, secular society.   More... (updated article Jan 2019)

Printer iconPrintable version

News

Vale
Our patron Dorothy Buckland Fuller AM MBE passed away on Friday 5 July 2019. Condolences to her family and friends.

oooo0000oooo

You can see quickly and get to what's new by holding the mouse pointer over the New item in the LH column whereupon the update date will show. Click the link if newer than you saw last. The page which presents shows the recent updates with links to those spots.

 

Copyleft with copyright components. If you copy please acknowledge this source.