One thing about Humanism that catches people up is that we don’t have any secret words, elaborate handshakes, esoteric stages of enlightenment, or locked doors. We know the who’s and when’s of the humanisms in our contemporary world, and we furthermore know that the concept has been created and sustained through the years by fallible human beings just as we are now, not thundering gods or heroes of superhuman strength.
In addition to all the above, we know that humanist ideas have arisen worldwide and throughout history. After all, even though it is still an audacious thought, there’s nothing complex about thinking that human beings should solve human problems. There’s nothing outlandish about realizing that religions, their scriptures, their symbols, and their gods are the children of the human imagination. There’s nothing all that breathtaking about assuming that human beings have agency in the world, for good and ill.
What is unique about Humanism is that we insist upon updating our thinking based on the newest understandings of scholarship and science, while holding fast to the vast storehouse of knowledge—and especially wisdom—from past human generations.
Is there really a difference between any run-of-the-mill secular person and a Humanist? Yes. Because we center our actions on aspirations toward virtuous action. If you aren’t doing at least that, you’re not a Humanist. Otherwise, it’s no secret. You’ve just gotta try.
My latest book is out: a book-length poem. Click here for more.