Humanist thought has probably existed since the dawn of man. Certainly we can find humanist thought as early as some of the ancient Greek philosophers. Humanism has probably never been as much in the fore as it is today. Of course, expression of such thought throughout much of history would have resulted in public ostracism, even a burning at the stake.
Thre are several types of humanism, including religious humanism. This web site is concerned primarily with nonreligious or secular humanism. At the heart of secular humanism are two concepts:
Our reliance on reason leads us to believe that there are no supernatural entities, such as a God, gods and angels and that supernatural places like heaven and hell do not exist. Thus, secular humanism is a nontheistic belief system and secular humanists believe that there is no God or gods and all the gods and religions worshipped by humans were created by humans to fulfill certain human needs. Secular humanism, thus, is very much distinguished from any religiously based humanism.
Additionally, secular humanists look to science and the scientific method to answer questions they have about the physical universe. Thus, most secular humanists believe that evolution best explains how the various species have arrived at their present state of development.
We believe that a moral system based upon love and respect of all that surrounds us is on a firmer foundation than one based upon obedience to a god or gods that no one really ever sees or a self-centered desire for a reward (heaven) or to avoid a punishment (hell).
There are several lists of humanist principles available. One is called the Humanist Manifesto III which is the work of the American Humanist Association (AHA). Another is called the Affirmations of Humanism which is the work of the Council for Secular Humanism (CSH).
There are many online rescources available, but following are books that can be downloaded and are free for your personal use:
Following are links to the national humanist organizations mentioned above:
A couple of national secular humanist/atheist web sites that are particularly good for educational information are:
There are, also, many other resources available on the internet or in books and magazines.