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Humanism About Humanism


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Humanism is a philosophy, an approach to life, and a movement that focuses on creating a human-centered, value-oriented society.

There are various definitions of Humanism

Humanism is an active ethical and philosophical approach to life focusing on human solutions to human issues through rational arguments without recourse to a god, gods, sacred texts or religious creeds. Humanism has become a kind of implied ethical doctrine ("-ism") whose sphere is expanded to include the whole human ethnicity, as opposed to traditional ethical systems which apply only to particular ethnic groups.

Many early doctrines calling themselves "humanist" were based on Protagoras' famous claim that "man is the measure of all things." In context, this asserted that people are the ultimate determiners of value and morality— not objective or absolutist codices. Humanism is a philosophy, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; esp. a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. (http://home.att.net/~tangents/data/rlgdef.htm)

Humanism is a philosophy that places faith in the dignity of humankind and rejects the medieval perception of the individual as a weak, fallen creature. "Humanists" typically believe in the perfectibility of human nature and view reason and education as the means to that end. (www.galegroup.com/free_resources/glossary/glossary_fh.htm)

Humanism is, more generally, a system of thought that focuses on human beings; their needs, capacities, values, interests, welfare, and worth. (http://studentorgs.georgetown.edu/finitions.htm)

1. Humanism is a philosophy for the here and now. Humanists regard human values as making sense only in the context of human life rather than in the promise of a supposed life after death.
2. Humanism is a philosophy of compassion. Humanist ethics is solely concerned with meeting human needs and answering human problems--for both the individual and society--and devotes no attention to the satisfaction of the desires of supposed theological entities.
3. Humanism is a realistic philosophy. Humanists recognize the existence of moral dilemmas and the need for careful consideration of immediate and future consequences in moral decision making.
4. Humanism is in tune with the science of today. Humanists therefore recognize that we live in a natural universe of great size and age, that we evolved on this planet over a long period of time, that there is no compelling evidence for a separable "soul," and that human beings have certain built-in needs that effectively form the basis for any human-oriented value system.
5. Humanism is in tune with today's enlightened social thought. Humanists are committed to civil liberties, human rights, church-state separation, the extension of participatory democracy not only in government but in the workplace and education, an expansion of global consciousness and exchange of products and ideas internationally, and an open-ended approach to solving social problems, an approach that allows for the testing of new alternatives.
6. Humanism is in tune with new technological developments. Humanists are willing to take part in emerging scientific and technological discoveries in order to exercise their moral influence on these revolutions as they come about, especially in the interest of protecting the environment.
Humanism is, in sum, a philosophy for those in love with life. Humanists take responsibility for their own lives and relish the adventure of being part of new discoveries, seeking new knowledge, exploring new options. Instead of finding solace in prefabricated answers to the great questions of life, Humanists enjoy the open-endedness of a quest and the freedom of discovery that this entails.

(American Humanist Society: http://www.americanhumanist.org/humanism/whatis.php)

Humanistic Movements
The Humanistic Movement

The humanist movement wishes to positively influence the current global changes in order to create a truly human society. The goal is the development of a worldwide human society accepting cultural diversity, respect of nature as our basis for living with equal rights and opportunities for all people. The movement’s central themes are:

1. The value of human life as the central value, above money and power, etc.
2. Equality of all human beings. No human being above another
3. Freedom of belief and ideas.
4. Development and creation of alternative economic models to the current neoliberal one.
5. Methodology of active non-violence.

In order to reach such a society the movement argues that legal, economical and political power structures need to be reorganized on the basis of active non-violence. The movement wishes to promote communication amongst people to reach a comprehensive personal and societal change. (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanist_International)

The Human Potential Movement

The Human Potential Movement came out of the social and intellectual milieu of the 1960s and was formed to promote the cultivation of extraordinary potential believed to be largely untapped in most people. The movement is premised on the belief that through the development of human potential, humans can experience an exceptional quality of life filled with happiness, creativity, and fulfillment. A corollary belief is often that those who begin to unleash this potential will find their actions within society to be directed towards helping others release their potential. The belief is that the net effect of individuals cultivating their potential will bring about positive social change at large. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/uman_Potential_Movement)

Humanistic Management Research

Humanistic management research (HMR) draws on different streams of humanism and is connected to the humanistic movement. HMR distinguishes itself by focusing mainly on the field of business and economics as primary drivers of society. Humanistic-driven research is life-serving and life-enriching research, focusing on a human being with more than materialistic needs. HMR views the individual to be striving for self-fulfillment and community development, by which the enlightened individual accepts its interconnectedness and aims at improving the state of society. This basic understanding distinguishes humanistic-driven management research from management research based on an understanding of the human being as acting purely egoistically, materialistically-driven, rational and utterly self-serving (homo oeconomicus). The Humanistic Management Network believes that management and business can change and need to change in order to tap into all the potential within human beings and to allow for a more humane society. We believe that through solid high-quality research and teaching we can contribute our share to the creation of a more value-oriented society/

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