The Affirmations 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 human problems.
- We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to
explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for
- We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to
the betterment of human life.
- We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is
the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites
and repressive majorities.
- We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and
- We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of
resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
- We are concerned with securing justice and fiarness in society and
with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
- We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so
that they will be able to help themselves.
- We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race,
religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or
ethnicity, and strive to work toegether for the common good of humanity.
- We want to protect and ehnance the earth, to preserve it for future
generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other
- We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our
creative talents to their fullest.
- We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
- We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to
fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to
exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and
informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
- We ebelieve 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 principles 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 the 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, andwe are open to
novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
- We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of
despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal
significance and genuine satisfaction in the service of others.
- We believe 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.
- We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we
are capable of as human beings.