By Rev. Dr. David Breeden, Senior Minister
Humanism is a way of life based in the best of human thought and dedicated to the well-being of humanity, living things, and the planet.
Humanism can be summarized in seven points:
- People matter more than ideas.
- People have many ways of knowing, many ways of discovering and expressing what it means to be human. All ways matter. Art is universal.
- Science, mathematics, and scholarship are universal human expressions testable and provable in all human cultures. These are universal human projects.
- Knowledge must be tempered with the humbleness of wisdom. While Humanism bases itself on the best of human knowledge at a given time, knowledge is contingent—the truism of today becoming the artifact of tomorrow.
- Evolution is the greatest story of all, combining the cosmos with the human ethos.
- Humanists see people as of central concern not because of our specialness as a species but because of our capacity to both heal and destroy ourselves, the planet, and all living things.
- Humanism is devotion to nature and life.
The goals of Humanism can be summarized succinctly as well
- To grow beyond damaging tribalisms, whether of religion, race, gender, nation, location, class, or any of the other boundaries chosen to do damage to the human mind.
- To grow beyond patriarchy and all false forms of hierarchy.
- To encourage human potential and the diversity of human expression, in art and in life.
- To pursue knowledge and wisdom, wherever that pursuit leads.
- To implement the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to strengthen the United Nations.
- To end economic inequality.
- To care for the planet and its biological diversity.
- To help all of humanity move beyond . . .
These goals are both individual and communal.