What Is A HumanistQUESTION: What is a Humanist?ANSWER:
What is a Humanist? The position of a humanist is that a person has control over his own behavior. The Humanist allows a person freedom of choice, and is responsible for his own self-direction. Making one’s own choices will lead to a progression of personal growth and a more positive view of oneself. Stressing that anxiety is a motivating force for change, the Humanist believes that the change will result in a more independent and complete life.
As the Humanist views it, a person’s goal is to appreciate life, to assess his purpose in life, and to accept this purpose. Death should not concern the Humanist, since death only is an end to a complete life. Humanists do not believe in life after death, or eternal life.
Secular Humanists describe themselves as atheists or agnostics. The atheist believes that there is no God, while the agnostic believes there is no God, but admit He could possibly exist. Instead of relying on gods or supernatural forces, Humanists base their decisions on the lessons of history, their own personal experiences, and the application of reason. The methodology of science is considered to be the most reliable source of information of what is factual in our universe.
Religious Humanism emerged out of Ethical Culture, Unitarianism, and Universalism. Their communities offer a basis for moral values, methods for dealing with life’s problems, and an overall sense of purpose. Special holidays shared with like-minded people, and providing an institutional setting for the moral education of children, offer members a sense of belonging. Members affirm each other’s beliefs and attend weddings, funerals, and all ceremonies together. Religious Humanists believe that only through religion can the needs of most people be met.