A HUMANIST DECLARATION OF PEACE Throughout the ages, people of conscience have pondered th
A HUMANIST DECLARATION OF PEACE
Throughout the ages, people of conscience have pondered the
brutalizing character of war and the denial of human worth which
it occasions. While the multitudes have followed tribal and
national leaders in considering warfare to be sometimes
justifiable, a few men and women of conscience have held
steadfastly to non-violence as an ethical and religious
These persons of conscience have represented every variety of
religious, philosophical, and cultural identity. Significant has
been the peace witness of groups such as the Society of Friends.
Humanism has been historically concerned with issues of peace. We
believe that our ultimate loyalties lie with the entire human
community; that the best solutions to our problems and differences
are found when we rely on human reason, compassion and good will;
and, much like the Friends, we believe in the "inner light"
(though we don't attribute it to any supernatural source) -- that
is, we believe each human person to be special, their humanity is
to be reverenced. These ideas, along with our belief in the
individual and collective responsibility we all share in building
our own future, are embodied in our tradition, from 500 years
B.C.E. up to today.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THOSE HUMANIST INDIVIDUALS AND
COMMUNITIES WHO RATIFY THIS DECLARATION THAT:
1) We give our full support to those persons of conscience
who choose for deeply held ethical reasons not to participate in
war. Our support for such conscientious objection extends not
just to the young man who is subject to registration and the
draft, but to those persons of any gender or age who, due to
deeply held ethical beliefs, cannot participate in war. This
includes those persons who feel they must resist war taxes and all
other manifestations of militarism.
2) We call upon our Humanist leaders to provide peace
counseling to persons concerned about peace issues, regardless of
that person's affiliation with any Humanist community.
3) We call upon our Humanist communities -- local, national,
and international -- to provide registries where people of
conscience may formally register their statements of conscientious
4) We call upon our government, and all of the world's
governments, to abandon war as an instrument of foreign policy.
We support a multilateral, verifiable, freeze in the production
and deployment of weaponry, especially nuclear weaponry, as the
first step in a disarmament process that must include a commitment
to negotiation, arbitration, conciliation, and compromise as the
replacements for armies and navies in our international dealings.
5) We support the establishment, in as many places as
possible, of academies of peace and conflict resolution.
6) We dedicate ourselves to an effort for the widest
possible dissemination and ratification of this Humanist
Declaration of Peace, and to educate ourselves on issues of peace
and to share with others what we learn. We must work together on
removing the causes of war by promoting the things that make for
peace. We believe in peace on earth because we have nowhere else
to go. Peace is patriotic. Peace is possible. We will work
together to obtain it.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank