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What is your definition of Humanism?

Lately, I've seen quite a few posts here at CM from confused people who have no idea what Humanism is...

What do you think it is? Where did you get this definition from? What do you find wrong about Humanism and why?

Which 'kind' do you practice if you're a Humanist? What appeals to you about it?


Asked by IhartU at 12:19 PM on Mar. 24, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."

    About Humanism

    Answer by pam19 at 12:36 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • "often rejects the importance of belief in god. "

    WHy would one find importance of belief in a god for themselves, when they are fulfilled within themselves and the natural world around them? Believing in a god is a personal's not universal.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 12:27 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I practice Secular Humanism as Renee3K described it.

    Answer by CraftingMama at 12:27 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • I'd suppose that the philosophy of the Modern Humanist is more in line with my own.

    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:47 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • A variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in god.

    I do not practice it.

    Answer by Renee3K at 12:22 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth. OR.. Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans: And Medicine The concept that concern for human interests, values, and dignity is of the utmost importance to the care of the sick., or...A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome. It seems to mean different things for everyone.

    Answer by vbruno at 12:23 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Renee, did you know there is Christian Humanism?


    Comment by IhartU (original poster) at 12:23 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Literary Humanism is a devotion to the humanities or literary culture.

    Renaissance Humanism is the spirit of learning that developed at the end of the middle ages with the revival of classical letters and a renewed confidence in the ability of human beings to determine for themselves truth and falsehood.

    Cultural Humanism is the rational and empirical tradition that originated largely in ancient Greece and Rome, evolved throughout European history, and now constitutes a basic part of the Western approach to science, political theory, ethics, and law.


    Comment by IhartU (original poster) at 12:42 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Philosophical Humanism is any outlook or way of life centered on human need and interest. Sub-categories of this type include Christian Humanism and Modern Humanism.

    Christian Humanism is defined by Webster's Third New International Dictionary as "a philosophy advocating the self-fulfillment of man within the framework of Christian principles." This more human-oriented faith is largely a product of the Renaissance and is a part of what made up Renaissance humanism.

    Modern Humanism, also called Naturalistic Humanism, Scientific Humanism, Ethical Humanism and Democratic Humanism is defined by one of its leading proponents, Corliss Lamont, as "a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion." Modern Humanism has a dual origin, both secular and religious, and these constitute its sub-categories.


    Comment by IhartU (original poster) at 12:43 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Secular Humanism is an outgrowth of 18th century enlightenment rationalism and 19th century freethought. Many secular groups, such as the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism and the American Rationalist Federation, and many otherwise unaffiliated academic philosophers and scientists, advocate this philosophy.

    Religious Humanism emerged out of Ethical Culture, Unitarianism, and Universalism. Today, many Unitarian- Universalist congregations and all Ethical Culture societies describe themselves as humanist in the modern sense.


    Comment by IhartU (original poster) at 12:43 PM on Mar. 24, 2011