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What is Humanism Moses Kamya and Steve Hurd. Humanism is not a religion It is a philosophy of life Humanist principles are held by both religious people.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Humanism Moses Kamya and Steve Hurd. Humanism is not a religion It is a philosophy of life Humanist principles are held by both religious people."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Humanism Moses Kamya and Steve Hurd

2 Humanism is not a religion It is a philosophy of life Humanist principles are held by both religious people and by secular people

3 Basic principles of Humanism are widely held by many people Famous African Humanists: Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia Julius Nyerere of Tanzania Nelson Mandela of South Africa

4 Humanism is positive and questioning... Positive philosophy of life –Everyone should be free to make the most of this life so long as your own freedom does not hurt others –We aim to create a “good society” that cares for others. Humanists are inquisitive – we look to science to find answers. When we have new evidence we change our minds and admit when we are wrong.

5 Philosophy for a “Good Life” "The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.“ Bertrand Russell, Philosopher

6 Humanist view of human nature There are many problems in the world and people can often be very selfish and, sometimes, cruel towards others. But people also show great kindness.. What is your personal experience of this? When have people been cruel to you? When have people been kind?

7 Humans have been successful by cooperating… Through millions of years of evolution, human beings have learnt to work together... we help each other in times of trouble we bring up and educate our young We work together: –to clear land for farming –To construct buildings –So we can specialise in jobs we are good at and trade –To care for the needy – the sick, the elderly..

8 Humans working together can do great things - sharing their knowledge, skills and imagination. A good society allows all individuals to achieve their potential. What are the important achievements of human society?

9 Human achievements include…

10 How should we live life? People are happier when they have a chance to improve themselves. This is more likely if society is safe and gives us opportunities to better ourselves. But, we don't all have to be the same. We should be free to follow our interests and ambitions. It is OK to enjoy life!! You don't have to feel guilty about having a good time (so long as it is not at the expense of others).

11 How can we make sure that society stays good? We see many good things: people who act kindly towards others. Society shows that it cares for people by improving prisons, rights for women, children and the disabled… Life for many people is better today than ever before. The rules we live by are made by human beings. –If things can be improved we should do it – even if we have to change the law. But a framework of LAW is important - because it ensures human rights.

12 What rules should we live by? the GOLDEN RULE: “You should treat others as you would like others to treat you.” As Society changes we often need to change the rules. But the PRINCIPLES of how we live our lives stay the same. An important word for Humanists is “EMPATHY”. We try to imagine ourselves in other peoples shoes. We try to feel their joy and their pain. When did you last help someone?

13 Humanism... Values all human beings Does not discriminate Supports democracy & human rights Promotes freewill and social responsibility Celebrates human achievement in science, the arts, music etc. Encourages a rational approach to problems Cares for individuals, society, the environment and future generations Is Humanism relevant to Uganda & Africa?

14 Humanists are interested in the world around them

15 We are inquisitive.. What things fascinate us?

16 Some big questions… Where did we (i.e. humans) come from? How long have we been around? How did the universe start? Is there life on other planets? How did the incredible variety of life on earth come about? What happens when we die? Are there ghosts, spirits and supernatural forces? Where will genetic engineering lead? What might humans look like in future? Humanists keep their minds open to new ideas and respect science.

17 How do Humanists approach the big questions?

18 Where did we come from? We don't know for sure but the best that science can tell us is... Our universe began with a BIG BANG 13.7 billion years ago It has been expanding ever since. Life has evolved gradually from simple to more complex life forms – all life forms today share the same common basic DNA. Homo sapiens evolved 250,000 to 400,000 years ago. Humanists appreciate the wonder of evolution, which has created so many forms of life from simple origins and the process goes on!

19 Does the Supernatural exist? Are there ghosts, demons and evil spirits? If you haven't experienced them or seen convincing evidence why worry about them?

20 What happens after death? We can’t be sure! Many people hope for an afterlife. If there is it will be a bonus. We know for certain that our bodies will decompose and molecules will be used to create new life. This idea is very liberating. It makes us want to make the best of the one life we know we have – live every minute and help others to have a good life too – and leave a better world for those who come after us!

21 Amsterdam Declaration of Humanist Principles

22 2002 Amsterdam Declaration of Humanist Principles 1.Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction. 2. Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world's problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends. 3. Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.

23 4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination. 5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world's major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process of observation, evaluation and revision. 6. Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment. 7. Humanism is a life stance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times.

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