Introductory video

New to Humanism? Watch these two introductory videos.

What is Humanism? (By HumanistSG)

About the video: Humanist Society (Singapore) founder Paul Tobin explains what is humanism. This video is produced with the help of That Moment photography studio and released in March 2016.

Script

What is humanism? It is a philosophy and a life stance. Humanists believe that humans must be responsible for making their own lives better. It is about creating a kinder, gentler society through the spirit of compassion, reason and critical questioning.

Humanism does not believe in relying on gods or angels for help. We take it upon ourselves to make the world a better place.

Humanists believe that all people are born with the capacity to do good. Our empathy, our compassion and our selflessness has emerged within us over millions of years through the process of evolution.

This capacity to love has made us stronger, not weaker. It has helped us form stronger communities and brought us happiness and courage in our darkest hours.

However, most of us do not realise this. We often attribute our good qualities to religious, political or racial labels. This is divisive, and not necessary. Humanism believes that you are capable of doing good just for goodness sake.

Humanists believe the world’s most pressing problems should be solved through human thinking and action, instead than divine intervention. Science and free inquiry should be applied to issues such as global warming, antibiotic resistance, violent conflicts, and poverty.

Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge arises through a continuing process of observation, evaluation and revision. Humanists seek to understand the world first and make decisions based what is real, and not what is imagined, or what is fixed by outdated tradition.

This is the most effective way to reduce suffering. While science is important, humanists also believe that the use of technologies must also led by human values. The ends should not always justify every means.

To change the world, humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment. It values artistic creativity and imagination, recognises the transforming power of art.

Lastly, humanism believes that nobody should be punished or discriminated for what they believe. Humanists feel that people’s right to believe should be respected. However, ideas cannot be respected.

They must be discussed and debated. Any idea that is given respect beyond criticism, will become unquestionable. If the idea turns out bad, or irrelevant, it will end up causing harm to the rest of the world.

Video by the BHA


Source: British Humanist Association

About the video: Humanism is sometimes mistaken for another form of religion, or something which is very complex. Here, some well known humanists explain that all humanism really is, is people wanting to live ethical and happy lives, thinking for themselves, without religion imposing its own morals on them.