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date: 25 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

What does it mean to “practice Humanism”? This chapter argues that Humanism is best understood as a “life stance” constituting six core value-commitments: an “epistemic commitment” representing pursuit of the truth through rational analysis; a “naturalist commitment” representing Humanists’ belief that human beings are part of nature, related to all life on earth; an “ethical commitment,” representing a concern for the dignity of all people; a “self-actualization commitment,” a belief in the development of all human capacities; a “social commitment,” stressing the importance of relationships and responsibilities towards others; and a “justice commitment,” expressing Humanists’ belief in the responsibility of all people to work for a just society. To “practice Humanism” is defined as “self-consciously acting in such a way as to realize one of these six commitments.” Examples of each commitment in practice are given, and through these examples the nature of each commitment is clarified.

Keywords: humanism, ethics, rationality, naturalism, self-actualization, justice, relationships, religion

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