Humanist Manifesto III

The Humanist Manifesto III

 

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.