What is Humanism?
"Man is the measure of all things, of things that are that they are, of things that are not that they are not." – Protagoras, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (490 – 420 BC)
Humanism is a life stance that places mankind at the centre of value judgments. Humanism stresses on the importance of human dignity, concerns, needs and capabilities. Humanists strive to understand the world around them and approach global issues from a rational and compassionate point of view, without the need for divine intervention.
Humanism affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfilment that contributes to the betterment of humanity. Often, this also translates into giving human beings a special place in the universe on account of their abilities and faculties.
Despite having a wide array of meanings, its current philosophical meaning comes into focus when contrasted to theism and other supernatural beliefs. Although it is possible to be both a theist and a humanist, most who consciously use that term are atheists - especially if they are secular humanists.
Today, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) provides the IHEU Minimum Statement on Humanism. It is a definition that is used by humanist organisations worldwide:
Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.
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In Mandarin: 人文主义是个民主与道德的人生立场，确认了人类掌握及承担着决定人生意义与方式的权利与责任。人文主义提倡理性与自由学问的精神，透过人本及自然的价值观来建设个更人道的社会。人文主义是个非神论的哲学观，也不接纳关于现实的超自然解释。