Our Humanist Compass: HumanistCoach.com's Four Ambitions, 4 of 4
The Humanist You:
Equipped and Empowered for Living and Laughing in the Real World
Everything on this site is rooted in humanism. The equipping and the empowering. The living and the laughing. All this making sure we’re grounded in the real world rather than playing make-believe with fairies and angels.
When we bring this all together, it results in something powerful.
Something called humanism.
Which is why we’re talking about The Humanist You.
And what is humanism? Humanism can speak of a mindset, a perspective, a philosophy, or a social movement. It’s one that begins and ends with the advancement of humans. Sometimes people will make a distinction between “secular” humanism and “religious” humanism, but this can be confusing since both are inherently non-theistic. Humanism is never about gods but about humans.
Whether you’re talking about a philosophy or a social movement, here’s what humanism strives for:
To be Humanist is to strive for the Big-Picture Betterment of a Thriving Humanity.
But what exactly does this mean?
I’m glad you asked.
Below you find six bullet-pointed ideals concerning humanism. Each of these are direct quotes from the American Humanist Association‘s 2003 document, “Humanism and Its Aspirations: Humanist Manifesto III.” Each of the bullet-points are what the document refers to as humanism’s, you guessed it, “aspirations.” Click on each one to read about the general consensus on what it means to be humanist. Click here to read the document in full and find links to previous versions.
“Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.
“Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.”
“Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.
“Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.”
“Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.
“Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.”
“Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
“We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.”
“Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
“Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.”
“Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.
“Progressive cultures have worked to free Humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.”
So yes, the humanist drive centers on the big-picture betterment of a thriving humanity.
All of us together.
For the better.
Until the job is done.