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  • Ingersoll Renewal And Restoration Project
    A place to learn more about the Robert G. Ingersoll Renewal and Restoration Project. For those who want to know more and for those who want to help.

  • Humanism – Ethic, Origin and Aspirations

    Humanism, in general, refers to a broad category of ethical philosophies that lay stress on human qualities and values, rather than supernaturalism. It upholds the ability of human being to lead purposeful and ethical lives, based on his own rationality, rather than any religious dogma. Humanism rejects supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition in any form. It is a system of self determinism of truth and morality, right and wrong by empirical observation and reason alone. It recognizes the dignity and worth of each human being and its goal is to bring about greater good of humanity.

    Roots of Humanism can be found in ancient Greek thought. Many medieval Islamist thinkers pursued Humanism in their discourse. Humanistic movement began in Europe at the end of middle ages. Renaissance marked the revival of study of Latin and Greek study and consequently the renewed interest in the study of science, philosophy, art and poetry of classical antiquity. The study of roman and Greek texts brought about a major shift from the old dogmatic Biblical values of divine providence. It brought about a renewed confidence in the ability of human beings to determine truth and falsehood by their own judgment and intellect. The Humanistic thought of that period were that God was the creator of the universe, but Humans were responsible for developing it. Beauty was considered an essential element in the path towards God.

    Modern Humanism encompasses many streams of philosophical thought.  Secularists, agnostics, atheists, scientific skeptics and secularists find appeal in Humanism. That doesn’t mean that it is necessarily opposed to belief in God. It is not dogmatic about belief in existence of God or otherwise.

    Modern Humanism holds that empirical observation, experimentation and rational analysis are the only means to gain knowledge. Revelation, mysticism, tradition or anything that is not based on reason and observation is rejected as a source of knowledge. Pseudoscience, superstition, text of allegedly divine origin or anything that is not based on observation and logic is rejected too. It recognizes the value of scientific enquiry and methods in finding the truth and solutions to many problems and bringing on many beneficial technological advancements.

    Ethics of Humanism are drawn from reason and human intellect and not any transcendental reality. Its main goal is to bring about human welfare and finding purpose of life in the ideals justice, peace and opportunity for all. Humanists ground their strong conviction in free thought and capability of a human being to make an informed choice. The source of ethical behavior is not any reward or punishment after death but circumstances and concerns of this very world. The values and ideals are borne out of reason and human compassion. They are based on free choice by a free thinking individual rather than a transcendental reality. Human beings are social by nature and Humanists aim for a world of mutual care and concern, free of violence, cruelty and inequity. They aspire to make life better and richer for all humans and make this world a better place.