Q&A on Humanism

What is Humanism?
Humanism is a human-centered life stance that affirms human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own life. It promotes an ethical life style based on reason, tolerance and compassion. It affirms that all knowledge must be derived from evidence and reason.

What are the goals of Humanism?
To promote a rational – compassionate but not emotional – approach to human problems. To encourage the idea that the non-religious have as much rights and privileges as the religious. To uphold a life stance that is non-theological. That life can be meaningful without recourse to religion.

How do you intend to promote your goals?
Organize social functions (talks, seminars, dinners, field trips etc) for its members and for others who are interested in becoming members. When we are invited, to provide a constructive alternative views in public forums that touch on issues relating to life, values and morality. Provide a database of information (website, library etc) for members on issues related to Humanism.

Is Humanism the same as Atheism?
No, not all atheists are Humanists. Conversely, some Humanists do not call themselves atheists: e.g. agnostics, non-theists, igtheists etc.

Are Humanists against religion?
Humanists are not against the right of anyone to hold personal religious views. It does provide an alternative world-view that shows life can be meaningful and happy without recourse to religion.

Do Humanists want to stifle religion?
No, while Humanists provide a non-theistic viewpoints, Humanists are for a society that is tolerant of divergent viewpoints that allows for debates and compromises.

Some have described Humanism as a cult, is it?
This term, as generally in used today, defines cults as groups which are authoritarian, exploitative (of its members) and hermetic (it does not allow its members to mingle freely with the general public. Humanism is not authoritative (it is tolerant of divergent views), it is not exploitative (no one is ever forced or coerced to become a Humanist) and Humanists are normally very gregarious people who mix freely with everyone.

Is Humanism a belief system?
Humanism is a life stance. It is a “world-view” that is based on a non-theistic paradigm. There are no dogmas in Humanism.

What do Humanists worship — humans? — nature?
Humanists do not worship humans. Its main premise is that we start from the fact that we are humans and as humans it is our responsibility and our right to live a happy and meaningful life.

Do Humanists promote homosexuality?

Humanists do not “promote” homosexuality. While opinions diverge among Humanists, many Humanists accept that the scientific evidence, as it stands, shows that homosexuality is not a “life-style” choice but is something that is biologically innate within each individual.

What does a Humanist society offer Singapore?

It offers Singaporean citizens and residents who are not religious an avenue to interact socially with like-minded people. A source of social support which is normally provided for by religious An information source on issues relating to reason and morals. For others who do not share the same views, it hopes to show that Humanists are ‘normal people’ who try to live a happy, moral and productive life.

PS: If you are not familiar with the phrase “life stance”, have a look at its Wikipedia page.

Does the Society support meditation?

Meditation has been shown by various studies to be beneficial psychologically, mainly due to stress reduction and relaxation which can lead to a better quality of life. While there are some meditation classes that are linked to mysticism and pseudo-scientific claims (such as curing diseases), there is no need to tie the practice to any particular religion or belief system to enjoy the benefits. Various kinds of secularized and evidence-based meditation techniques are available in the market today.