What is Humanism?

This question is one that all of us must ask in order to determine if we will feel comfortable identifying as a Humanist, and at home in a Humanist organization. There are many ways to answer, and not all of us agree about every detail. Some of the best summaries we have found are reprinted here, courtesy of the Council for Secular Humanism, the American Humanist Association, and other secular writers and organizations.

Secular Humanist Declaration (CSH, 1980)
Affirmations of Humanism
Humanist Manifesto I  
(AHA, 1933)
Humanist Manifesto II  
(AHA, 1973)
Humanist Manifesto III  
(AHA, 2003)

Humanism with a Capital H
Humanist Declaration on the Preservation of Families

Declaration of interdependence: a new global ethics (IHEU, 1988)

Amsterdam Declaration 2002 (on Humanism) (IHEU, 2002)

The list above is by no means exhaustive. Below are links to many other expressions of humanist thought and ethics. Each will open in a separate window.

The Life of Courage by Sherwin Wine. Keynote Address at HumanLight's New Jersey Celebration in 2003.
The Humanist Philosophy in Perspective
The Promise of Humanism
Positive Humanism
Life is to be Lived Now
Humanism Unmodified
Ancient Stoicism and Rational Psychology: Humanistic Ways to Mental Health
Humanism as the Next Step
The Genesis of a Humanist Manifesto
What is Secular Humanism?
Thou shalt not command non-Christians by Harley Brown
The ethics of Humanism without religion
The Evolution of Thought
Why do Conservative Christians hate the Constitution?
10 Myths About Secular Humanism
Religious and Secular Humanism - What's the Difference?
Personal Paths to Humanism
Humanism and the UN - A Shared Future?
Why Humanism is Important to Today's Political Discourse
Does Secular Humanism Equip Us To Deal With Death?
The Humanist Touch
Church and State: A Humanist View
The Law and Secular Humanism
The Secular Humanist Prospect: In Historical Perspective
The Challenge of African Humanism

Humanism and Secular Humanism - Wikipedia

Winter Edition - How do Humanists celebrate winter holidays?

Secular Winter Holidays (Wikipedia)

Celebrate Winter Solstice (Children of the Moon)

Winter Celebrations in a Secular Family (Jane Wynne Willson)

The Grinch Delusion: An Atheist Can Believe in Christmas (Sam Harris, 2006)

A Very Atheist Christmas: 666 Words About How Atheists Can Celebrate Christmas (Kylyssa Shay, Secular Earth, 2008)

A Holiday for the Nonbeliever (Elizabeth R.A. Liddell, Secular Student Alliance, 2007)

Do atheists celebrate Christmas? (Duncan Crary, Institute for Humanist Studies, 2004)

Holidays of Humanism (Sherwin T. Wine, Humanism Today, Vol. 2, 1986)

Can the holidays be happy for secular humanists? (Terri Mandell, USA Today, 1995)

Celebrate Holidays Humanistically (Society for Humanistic Judaism)

How Christ Got into Christmas (Peter H. Samson, S.T.D., 1970)

'Tis the Season to be Secular (Daniel Robinson, The Harvard Independent)

Make Your Own FSM-Flying Spaghetti Monster Christmas Lights

Krismas/12 Days of Secular Celebration

Christmas Will Do: Observations on HumanLight and Other Pseudo-Christmas Celebrations (Brian P. Hudson, The Secular Web Kiosk)

A humanist discussion of...Religious Festivals and Ceremonies (British Humanist Association)

A Humanist view of Christmas (Margaret Nelson, Suffolk [UK] Humanists & Secularists)


Many informative articles can be found in Essays and Reports from a Humanist Perspective.

An excellent site with the complete text of books and articles online is:

A Guide to Humanist Literature - hosted by Humani: The Humanist Association of Northern Ireland

The full text of Corliss Lamont's Philosophy of Humanism.

Something that usually accompanies interest in Humanism is interest in atheism. Some excellent websites about atheism:

The Wasteland of  Wonders
The Ethical Atheist