Humanism is the faith that human beings can live happily without religion. It values the welfare of human beings more than religious beliefs.
Evolution of ethics
The concept of humanism evolved with the evolution of ethics in the world. It was introduced to the field of philosophy and other fields as the societies began to develop. Basically, it explains the ways of life and the ways one should think about the world. It is the idea which links humans to their surroundings and puts them in the state of owning the society. It revolves around moral values and conscience. The people who believe in and follow humanism are called humanists.
The notion of morality
Humanism is close to the thought of secularism which is devoid of religious extremes and biasness. It subtracts the element of religion because of diversity in religions. Although, religion and morality have close nexus, religions teach morals and ethics which are all common but now the religions have different names and humans are divided along the religious lines based on different Gods, texts and worshiping places. While ethics are universal for all, humans have admittance to the general ethics and they can’t be deemed as the followers of certain ethical and moral values and refuters of other standards of the same notion of morality.
Morality is rooted in humans and it develops in their early stages of life. We would be a humanist first long before acquiring the capability of understanding what religion is. Our brain understands the concepts of good and bad before it can interpret the details of any religion. This is why humanism is secular.
The first Humanist Manifesto
A conference which took place in 1933, at the University of Chicago issued the first Humanist Manifesto which declared humanism to be the ideology of social and economic justice, human reason and ethical values. Humanism disregards the notion of supernatural entities and strongly revolves around science. This depicts that the philosophy of humanism is the believer of facts and not of intangibles or falsehood.
The most common humanist beliefs encompass the following ideas:
- Humans are owed respect. This calls for the element of desert with respect to dignity in humanity. Humans are superior to other creatures, so in a social system, they deserve being treated with respect and dignity.Their self-esteem is inviolable.
- Secondly, humans have the freedom to make their own decisions. They do this by using their reasoning and cognitive capabilities.
- Humans get to choose what is good and what will help them serve the cause of humanity. They strive on making the world a better place with the features of justice, kindness and conscience.
Humanism and the Greeks
The concept of humanism when traced back to the times of Greeks, Thales and Protagoras, has now developed to a completely new form. Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopherand Zoroaster, a philosopher in spirituality,impacted the initial theory of humanism to a great extent. These historic teachings of humanism were incorporated in studies in the 15th century during the period of renaissance. The modern philosophy of humanism is seen in the works of Petrarch, being the first modern humanist. Later the modernists in humanism focused more on scientific and psychological areas than the philosophical ones.
Key Facts about Humanism
- The American Ethical Union and the American Humanist Association are two of the national organizations in America which are followers of Humanism.
- Humanist individuals and movements exist in Unitarian Universalism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism.
- Humanism exists in some person’s faiths without acknowledgment.
- Humanism doesn’t have any sacred text.
- There is no clergy because Humanism is not among the recognized religions.
- “Evolve” fish and Happy Human are two unofficial symbols of Humanism.