The mission of the Stanislaus Humanists is to advance Humanism, an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in supernatural forces. Humanists advocate for equality between naturalists and supernaturalists and strive for a society guided by reason, empathy, and our growing knowledge of the world. Stanislaus Humanists encourage people to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good.
What is Humanism?
Humanism is a worldview which holds that reason and science are the best ways to understand the world around us, and that dignity and compassion should be the basis for how you act toward someone else. Humanism is naturalistic. By this, we don't mean to say that there is no God. Instead, we say that there is no proof for the existence of God, any gods, the supernatural, or an afterlife. We are living the only life we'll have in the only world we know about. The responsibility for the choices we make is ours and ours alone. Below are the basic principles of Humanism:
The following is taken from the American Humanist Association's guiding document, Humanism and Its Aspirations.
Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.
Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.
Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.
Humanists recognize nature as self-existing. We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.
Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.
Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.
Life's fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.
Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.
Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.
Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature's resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.
Seeking to Build a Better World by Working with Others
Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.