Part Two

As explained in the Introduction, humanism is a positive worldview defined by more than its rejection of theistic religion and autocratic government. Defense against the imposition of religion may be a valid activity for humanists, but humanist activism — the application of humanist ethics — can, and should, encompass much more. Humanists seek to positively influence the progress of humanity in all spheres of life; to do so, we must emphasize the positive aspects of this lifestance.

While there is a broad constellation of issues important to humanists, it is considerably more difficult to define specific issues upon which a universally acceptable humanist stance can be articulated. Thoughtful people may disagree on any number of issues, and humanists are at least as prone to internal disagreement as any other group. Humanism will seldom compel a particular position on issues of great complexity, such as domestic economic policy or the decision to employ military force. Thus, the universe of humanist causes is somewhat constrained and tends to focus on matters that involve one or more of the core principles outlined in the previous lesson. Yet this limitation hardly leaves us wanting for causes worthy of our attention.