No, humanists do not eat little children nor do we prey on them. While you can get a better overall view of humanism in general by reading the Humanist Manifesto, I’d like to set the matter straight by offering one humanist’s opinion of what secular humanism is all about.
The foundation on which Secular Humanism stands is a belief that we humans should help and support one another for we are on our own in this vast, uninterested Universe. Thus we cannot invoke a “Third Party” to persuade others to do as we say, nor can we use a “Third Party” to justify our own actions. For the humanist, the buck stops here. This means the only ones we can turn to for help or for advice are our fellow humans and this is not such a bad deal. Doctors, scientists, psychologists, social workers, friends and many others are standing by to help you when life gets too hard to handle by yourself. You are never alone.
And, freed from carrying elaborate scenarios in our head that require continuous readjustment to accommodate the rapid increase in new discoveries– as science keeps chipping away at the unknown– we are better able to embrace this awesome Universe with a clear head and try to face up, as best we can, to its stimulating challenges.
Granted, we can not offer the blissful happiness that others promise. There is just too much tragedy in our present world, too many innocent people are being slaughtered, for us to be truly happy.. And in general, happiness for us is a product of circumstance as much as it is a product of attitude,. Further, since we hold that our species could only have survived these many millenniums by supporting and taking care of each other, we believe that evolution ensures that we can never know true happiness unless we are helping one another.
We humanists believe that one’s personal dignity is just as sacred as is one’s life. Every person, in our opinion, has the right to be treated with respect, with dignity. For this reason, you often find us in the vanguard of those supporting equal rights for gays and for women, as well as fully supporting a woman’s right to choose and a
Person’s right to make their own decision on when they want to leave this “mortal coil”
And we don’t need spirituality to be awed by the wonders of this universe, to be fascinated by how insects live, how the planets dance in the heavens The real world is much more exciting than anything our imaginations can dream up. To quote Lewis Thomas : “Statistically, the probability of any of us being here is so small that you’d think the mere fact of existing would keep us all in contented dazzlement of surprise.’ And so it should, say we humanists.
As for morality, we, unlike most religions, see absolutely no connection between morality and sexual activity so long as no one gets hurt.. While we encourage everyone to do all they can to improve themselves and their lot, we consider it more important in the process of doing so, to consider our fellow man and our responsibility to our society. We of course support rule by law, though we prefer that the legislation so passed be driven more by practical considerations for the welfare of the individual than for any ideological purpose
It appalls us that while a skilled, dedicated doctor is putting a crushed head together, some lout, driven by ideology, is cracking in some other person’s brain with shrapnel or a bullet and we want to put a stop to it. We hold that a person, any person, is always more important than anybody’s ideology can ever be, whether that ideology be religious, communist, nationalist or whatever, and as a result ,we are often seen as overly critical of such belief systems.
Our purpose, as secular humanists, is to encourage society to accept the world as it is and work to improve it from that basis rather than trying to enforce a preconceived philosophy upon humankind. Science keeps opening up new doors, new opportunities, and we must be prepared to direct its results towards benefiting humankind rather than turning it against us..