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. One example is the "Freethought" movement, which however sometimes was not politically correct. The prominent journal The Truth Seeker for a time supported eugenics, race realism, and stated anti-Semitism. More recently, it has been acquired by the secular humanism movement and is now politically correct.
Jews have played an important role in the secular humanism 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". Today the "International Humanist and Ethical Union" umbrella organization represents more than one hundred organizations in more than 40 countries.
The Center for Inquiry in 2017 stated that, "In 1973, Center for Inquiry founder Paul Kurtz and Unitarian leader Edwin H. Wilson drafted Humanist Manifesto II, a set of common principles to “serve as a basis for united action” in order to realize “a vision of hope, a direction for satisfying survival.” The first manifesto came about before the Second World War and the Third Reich. So the opening paragraph of the second manifesto illustrates that the ideologies behind the recent white supremacist convulsions are one of the key motivating factors for this second manifesto."
The most important claimed aims 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. Secular humanism in addition generally support various liberal, politically correct views and activities, such as supporting globalism and "diversity".
The movement in the United States has been criticized for having few Blacks and Hispanics, who are often religious.
- What Does Secular Humanism Have to Say about the Hate in Charlottesville? https://centerforinquiry.org/press_releases/secular_humanism_charlottesville/
- The Hidden Hues of Humanism http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2012/features/the-hidden-hues-of-humanism
- Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban an Irrational “Act of Cruelty” Says Center for Inquiry https://centerforinquiry.org/press_releases/trump-muslim-travel-ban/
- German Chancellor’s Call for Burqa Ban Denounced by Center for Inquiry https://centerforinquiry.org/press_releases/german_chancellor_burqa/