Lesson One: Defining Humanism

Introduction to Humanism

“…seeking, without religion, the best in, and for, human beings.”Chambers Pocket Dictionary

“…a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially: a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason.” Merriam Webster Dictionary

“…a non-religious philosophy, based on liberal human values.” Little Oxford Dictionary

“…an appeal to reason in contrast to revelation or religious authority as a means of finding out about the natural world and destiny of man, and also giving a grounding for morality…Humanist ethics is also distinguished by placing the end of moral action in the welfare of humanity rather than in fulfill the will of God.”  Oxford Companion to Philosophy

“The rejection of religion in favor of the advancement of humanity by its own efforts.” Collins Concise Dictionary

“That which is characteristically human, not supernatural, that which belongs to man and not to external nature, that which raises man to his greatest height or gives him, as man, his greatest satisfaction…” Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

“…a morally concerned style of intellectual atheism openly avowed by only a small minority of individuals but tacitly accepted by a wide spectrum of education people in all parts of the Western world.” Oxford Companion to the Mind

“A system of thought centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.” American Heritage Dictionary