Humanism

By Rev. Dr. David Breeden, Senior Minister

Definition:

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.


You might enjoy Rev. Breeden’s words of welcome in this 30-second video.