What Is Humanism | Humanism and Its Aspirations

Humanist Manifesto III

HUMANISM AND ITS ASPIRATIONS

Humanist Manifesto III, a successor to the Humanist Manifesto of 1933*

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.

This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe. It is in this sense that we affirm the following:

Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.

Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals. We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.

Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness. Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature's resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.

Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature's integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

Thus engaged in the flow of life, we aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.

For historical purposes, see preceding Humanist Manifestos: I and II.

Click here for a version in Spanish (pdf).
Click here for a version in Portuguese (pdf).

Click here to view "Life without God (An ASL translation of the Humanist Manifesto III)" translated by Justin Dean Vollmar.

Humanist Manifesto is a trademark of the American Humanist Association-© 2003 American Humanist Association


American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Montgomery Humanists, to the American Huma...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett and Kim Ellington speak with...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

As we have seen by the recent murders of three nonreligious bloggers—Ananta Bijo...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Jennifer Bardi, editor-in-chief of the Humanist magazine, recaps the AHA's 74th...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Prospective Student Webinar this Thursday! Considering the next class of The Hum...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Help the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers represent humanists at this year's...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Pioneer Awardee Isaiah Smith, stands up for separation of church and st...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

A South Carolina court has ruled that prayer in public school graduations doesn'...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Right-wing media loves terrorism stories, so how did they all manage to miss thi...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Omaha Metro Area Humanist Association, a chapter of AHA, is participating in Oma...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist, Becky Garrison sits down with Quiet Company's Taylor...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the Humanist "Ask Me Anything" session with Kristin Wintermute, Execu...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We love to see our fellow free-thinkers doing what they can to help out humanity...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

With the number of Christians declining and the unaffiliated rising in the US, w...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Ethical Dilemma: How much would you change for your significant other's beliefs?

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone!

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Palm Beach Humanists, to the American Huma...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Bob Diven, AHA celebrant in New Mexico, recently participated in a debate about...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Washington DC does something right, and we aren't talking about the feds!

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

On May 13, the AHA joined other members of the National Coalition for Public Edu...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Ethical Dilemma: What to do about a rude house guest. Tell us your experience w...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the Humanist Institute's upcoming "Ask Me Anything" session with Kris...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this week's episode of the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett interviews singe...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

A very happy 127th birthday to Inge Lehmann, the Danish seismologist and geophys...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do community events like "Draw Mohammad" contests promote freedom of speech or j...

12 days ago