Humanism and its ‘policies’ or ‘beliefs’ have spread rapidly throughout the West in particular, since the end of the Second World War, and increasingly steer local and regional governmental and global aims.
Secular Humanism – A comprehensive nonreligious life stance that incorporates a naturalistic philosophy, a cosmic outlook rooted in science, and a consequentialist ethical system.
As far back as 2006, Humanist UK reported – ‘In the 2001 census 7 out of 10 people ticked the ‘Christian’ box. Today an Ipsos MORI poll has shown that 36% of people – equivalent to around 17 million adults – are in fact humanists in their basic outlook.’
Ten Core Beliefs of Humanists – [Humanist Association of Canada]
- Humanists believe that the human species has evolved – and remains – as part of nature.
Humankind is no more than – and no less than – a part of nature: like all living organisms, the life of humans is limited in duration and scope.
- Human consciousness is a function of the activity of the human brain.
Consciousness is another aspect of natural life, not a force or essence instilled into humans by an outside deity or intelligence. An individual’s consciousness ends when that person dies.
- Human beings require (to some extent) a system of belief in order to function.
The Humanists’ system is founded using the scientific method to establish the factual basis of any data and on basing human behavioron reasonable conduct and democratic principles.
- Humanists believe that in all its forms the supernatural is a myth.
Humanists are people who do not believe in the idea of a Divine Architect or Regulator who has constructed the universe and controls human affairs, and they reject all religions based on dogma, revelation and mysticism.
- The human species is capable of achieving a great deal using collaboration and creativity.
The human species has always carried out acts of great benefit as well as acts of destruction. Humanists recognize that the human species is innately capable of both – and that the potential for destruction is part of the human repertoire.
- Humanists do not believe that the range of human behavior has been pre-ordained or that the rules of human conduct have been set by any deity or external intelligence.
There is much merit in the idea that there is no such thing as an extrinsic set of rules imposed from outside humankind governing all of human behavior.
- Humanists believe that individuals who are aware of the consequences of their actions on other individuals, on the community and on the species are likely to behave in a more reasonable and more ethical way.
Striving for the greater good and worth of the human species is not the exclusive property of theism. It is a human activity that can exist just as well without a belief in a deity as it can with it.
- Humanists believe that equality of opportunity is a fundamental principle on which humankind can base its behavior.
Equality of opportunity should be supported for all people no matter what their nation, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation or any aspect of their beliefs.
- Life on earth is relatively fragile and requires care and attention to continue.
There is nothing protecting the human species against all causes of potential extinction.
- Humankind’s destiny is not predetermined or preordained – much of it lies in our own control.
There is hope. It is up to all human beings to look after each other and themselves.
Humanist UK clarifies its position on the following;
Euthanasia– Humanists recognise that all life is valuable but believe that quality of life is also important when making decisions about life and death. Humanists value human beings’ personal autonomy and believe they should have the right to make their own decisions about how they live and die.
So far five jurisdictions have decriminalised both euthanasia and assisted suicide: the Netherlands (2002), Luxembourg (2009), Columbia (2015), Canada (2016), Victoria, Australia (2017). In the US states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Washington DC, and California assisted suicide is now legal. Two jurisdictions have decriminalised only euthanasia: Belgium (2002) and Colombia (2015).
Abortion – Humanist UK campaign in favour of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, in particular relating to abortion. Humanists position on abortion is ‘pro-choice’. Humanist UK defends the right for women to gain access to safe abortion with appropriate secular counselling and after-care, and support liberalisation of the abortion laws. According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.
Marriage– Humanists have long campaigned for a reform of marriage laws – in order to gain legal recognition for both humanist and same-sex marriage ceremonies. In relation to same-sex couples, Humanist UK want marriage law to be reformed so that two men or two women enjoy the same access to marriage as a man and a woman.
Death– Humanists do not believe that people have souls, or that there is an afterlife in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory, or that there is a God who judges where people go in an afterlife. Humanists believe that we only have this life, and that it ends forever when we die.
What does this mean?
Our present God-rejecting, self-centred humanism was foretold up to 3,000 years ago, but why does it have such an emphasis now?
Psalm 2: 2 – 3– The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” (Liberalism)
Isaiah 5: 20 – 21 – Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
2 Timothy 3: 1 – 4 – But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves… conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
Galatians 6: 7 – 8– Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Romans 1: 18 – 32– The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools… They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator… Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done… They are…God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful… they have no understanding, no fidelity… Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
What does the Bible tell us about?– The Future
What does this mean for you?– Good News