Although Humanist thought has a long intellectual tradition going back many centuries, Humanism as a contemporary Philosophy of Life is still very much a work a progress. It has no received dogma. Most Humanists, however, would support the following principles as key elements of a specifically Humanist Way of Life:
• We neither fear judgement, nor expect reward, in an afterlife. We aim to find meaning and purpose in the One Life we have.
• We recognise that ethics are properly founded on human nature and shared human experience, not on supernatural revelation.
• We value knowledge and rational enquiry. We aim to meet challenges facing humankind by using science and technology in a responsible manner.
• We value and support secular democratic societies in which human rights and civil liberties are protected, first and foremost freedom of belief and freedom of expression.
• We aim for cooperation with all human beings to promote the common good of all humankind, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, status or belief.
Many people, even if they do not call themselves humanists, have intrinsically humanist beliefs and values. You can discover how closely your own beliefs are consistent with humanist beliefs through the following short test: The Really Simple Guide to Humanism
A key feature of modern day Humanism are non-religious ceremonies, such as Humanist funerals, weddings and naming ceremonies. For a list of celebrants, please contact the British Humanist Association.
or the Suffolk Humanists.