(Copied from Free Inquiry, Spring 1993, Vol. 13, No. 2, without permission) The Affirmatio
(Copied from Free Inquiry, Spring 1993, Vol. 13, No. 2, without
The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles
-- We are committed to the application of reason and science to the
understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
-- We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to
explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature
-- We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute
to the betterment of human life.
-- We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is
the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian
elites and repressive majorities.
-- We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and
-- We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of
resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
-- We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and
with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
-- We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so
that they will be able to help themselves.
-- We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race,
religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or
ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of
-- We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future
generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other
-- We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our
creative talents to their fullest.
-- We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
-- We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed
to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to
exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and
informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
-- We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity,
honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to
critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we
discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.
-- We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children.
We want to nourish reason and compassion.
-- We are engaged by the arts no less than the sciences.
-- We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries
still to be made in the cosmos.
-- We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open
to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
-- We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of
despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal
significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
-- We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than
despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance,
joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love
instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of
ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
-- We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that
we are capable of as human beings.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank