“So, what is a Humanist?”

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“So, what is a Humanist?” you might ask.

Here’s a common definition. A humanist is a person who wants to do good and be good, and contends that it’s not necessary to have a belief in a supernatural being to be that kind of a person. Many people wonder how many Humanists there are. About 60 million in the US and a billion in the world.

“And who are these Humanists?” Well, they have a lot of different names. Like agnostic, atheist, deist, freethinker, none, non-religious, secular, skeptic. It’s important to know that Humanism is not a religion. It’s simply a way of thinking, a philosophy, but definitely not a religion. Adherents insist that as secularism becomes more prominent in society, it should be seen as a positive moral creed.

Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist at Pitzer College, in his book,
“Living the Secular Life”, argues that secular morality accents the individual and encompasses reason, choice and responsibility. He says, “In place of relying on some eye in the sky to tell them what to do, secular people reason their way to proper conduct.”

In the New York Times, columnist David Brooks writes about secularists in Zuckerman’s book, “They may not be articulate about why behave as they do, but they try their best to follow the Golden Rule, to be considerate and empathetic toward others.” He quotes Zuckerman, “Secular morality hinges upon little else than not harming others and helping those in need.”