THE AFFIRMATION OF HUMANISM:
A Statement of Principles
We are committed
to the application of reason and science to the
understanding of the universe and to the solving of
efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to
explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look
outside nature for salvation.
that scientific discovery and technology can attribute
to the betterment of human life.
in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is
the best guarantee of protecting human
rights from authoritarian elites and repressive
We are committed
to the principle of the separation of church and state.
the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of
resolving differences and achieve mutual
We are concerned
with securing justice and fairness in society and with
eliminating discrimination and
in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so
that they will be able to help themselves.
to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race,
religion, gender, nationality, creed, class,
sexual orientation , or ethnicity, and strive to work
together for the common good of humanity.
We want to protect
and enhance the earth to preserve it for future
generations, and to avoid inflicting needless
suffering on other species.
in enjoying life here and now and in developing our
creative talents to their fullest.
in the cultivation of moral excellence.
the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to
fulfill their aspiration, to express their sexual
preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have
access to comprehensive and informed health-care,
and to die with dignity.
in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity,
honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist
ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There
are normative standards that we discover together.
Moral principals are tested by their consequences.
We are deeply concerned
with the moral education of our children. We want to
nourish reason and compassion.
We are engaged
by the arts no less than by sciences.
We are citizens
of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to
be made in the cosmos.
We are skeptical
of untested claims to knowledge, and are open to novel
ideas and seek new departures in our
We affirm humanism
as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and
ideologies of violence and a source
of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction
in the service to others.
in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than
despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth
instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin,
tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred,
compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness,
and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that
we are capable of as human beings.