Core Humanist Principles

From these public declarations of contemporary humanist thought, we may derive a set of core humanist principles. It is this set of principles that must form the basis for all humanist activism. While not all humanists necessarily subscribe to every one of these tenets in every circumstance, together they represent a broad consensus.

  • Science and Reason    The most reliable means of obtaining knowledge is through the application of the scientific method, critical evaluation, and reasoned analysis.
  • Human Rights    An affirmation of the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual, including the freedom of conscience, thought, association, speech, and religion.
  • Democracy    Democratic forms of government provide the best means of ensuring self-determination.
  • Tolerance    Separation of church and state, freedom from religion, and freedom of conscience.
  • Non-theism    Morality is an intrinsic part of human nature and does not depend upon external forces or divine mandate; humans must act responsibly toward one another, toward future generations, and toward the natural world.
  • Enrichment    Provision for the personal enrichment and development of humanity through art, literature, and music.
  • Universality    Humanism is a philosophy that applies to all human beings, independent of political borders.