"The humanist enterprise (small h) is an individual one, about accepting full responsibility
for one's existence and behavior as a part of the natural world — a position that involves
liberating oneself from dependence upon others for finding a positive purpose in life.
The Humanist enterprise (capital H) is to encourage and assist as many folks
as possible to make this transition to maturity in their lives." Don Page
We are preparing a range of articles and other information about Humanism and hope to have this available shortly, so do please come back! And do let us know if you have material that you think will enhance our website.
ATHEISM, AGNOSTICISM & HUMANISM - What's the Difference?
HUMANIST MANIFESTOS & DECLARATIONS
FAMOUS ATHEISTS, AGNOSTICS & HUMANISTS
ATHEISM, AGNOSTICISM & HUMANISM - What's the Difference?
Atheism Atheists are people who do not believe in a god or gods (or other immaterial beings), or who believe that these concepts are not meaningful. Some atheists put it more firmly and believe that god or gods do not exist. Many people are atheists because they think there is no evidence for god's existence - or at least no reliable evidence. They argue that a person should only believe in things for which they have good evidence.
Agnosticism Agnosticism (without knowledge) is the view that the truth of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of god, deities, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or inherently unknowable. Agnosticism is therefore distinct in being the only religious belief system that does not, in fact, involve belief in anything. Agnostics are skeptical of anyone who claims to have all the answers regarding why humans exist, where the universe came from, and whether or not a higher power is responsible for it all. They view hardcore atheists and religious fanatics with equal scorn, and often attribute to them the harm that's done to others as a result of their 'fanatical' attempts to propagate their often extreme views. Most agnostics consider that the comprehension of god is beyond man's capabilities and that there are far better things to do in a brief life span than sit around trying to figure everything out. [There isn't really an accepted symbol for agnosticism.]
Ignosticism Ignosticism is the theological position that every other theological position assumes too much about the concept of God. Ignosticism holds two interrelated views about God. They are as follows: 1) The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed. 2) If the definition provided is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological non-cognitivist position that the question of the existence of God is meaningless. In other words, a) a definition which is incoherent can’t be about anything, and b) a definition which isn’t about anything cannot be said to be meaningful.
Humanism Humanism is a positive attitude to the world, centred on human experience, thought, and hopes. It is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality. Most humanists would argue that there are no supernatural beings; that the material universe is the only thing that exists; that science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about this universe; and that there is no after-life and no such thing as reincarnation. Human beings can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs. We should derive our moral code from the lessons of history, personal experience and thought. [There's a slightly longer description of Humanism at the bottom of the page.]
HUMANIST MANIFESTOS & DECLARATIONS This section will be added shortly.
FAMOUS ATHEISTS, AGNOSTICS & HUMANISTS This section will be added shortly.
WHAT IS HUMANISM?
Humanism is an approach to life based on reason and our common humanity, recognising that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone. Humanism encourages open-minded enquiry into matters relevant to human co-existence and well-being.
Humanists are committed to the application of reason and science, to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems so that quality of life can be improved for everyone. While atheism is merely the absence of belief, humanism is a positive attitude to the world, centred on human experience, thought, and hopes. The British Humanist Association and The International Humanist and Ethical Union use similar emblems showing a stylised human figure reaching out to achieve its full potential.
Humanists believe that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of both knowledge and a moral code to live by. They reject the idea of knowledge 'revealed' to human beings by gods, or in special books.
Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality. Most humanists would agree with the ideas below:
• There are no supernatural beings. • The material universe is the only thing that exists. • Science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about this universe. • We only live this life - there is no after-life, and no such thing as reincarnation. • Human beings can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs. • Human beings derive their moral code from the lessons of history, personal experience, and thought.
This is an extract from the BBC's website (their site contains some excellent descriptions of different faiths and belief systems).