Secular humanism is a philosophy and organized movement critical of religion and supporting liberal values.
Some adherents prefer the more grandiose term Humanism and specifically with a capital H to distinguish it from other forms of humanism. This has been criticized as causing confusion with, for example, Renaissance humanism.
The organized movement is relatively young with the first "Humanist Manifesto" being publicized in 1933. However, there were precursor movements before this. Today the "International Humanist and Ethical Union" umbrella organization represents more than one hundred organizations in more than 40 countries.
Jews have played an important role in the movement. Examples include Felix Adler who founded the precursor "Ethical Culture" movement, Jaap van Praag, first and long time chairman of the "International Humanist and Ethical Union", and Paul Kurtz who has been called "the father of secular humanism".
The movement in the United States has been criticized for having few Blacks and Hispanics who are often religious.
Generally, the most important aim of the movement is supporting secularism and rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making.
Human rights and liberal democracy are also supported and in particular those aspects that are related to secularism.
- ↑ The Hidden Hues of Humanism http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2012/features/the-hidden-hues-of-humanism