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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Humanism is not the only answer to the conditions of secularism, nor would secularism inevitably equal nihilism without humanism.. This chapter articulates and defends positive humanism, a tradition not defined just by rejecting dogmatic religion but by seeking ethical ideals and human rights. Realizing those values requires hermeneutic interpretations of humanist exemplars from many cultures, past and present, in order to creatively apply those values within individual contexts. Humanism stands for liberty (autonomy and resilience), responsibility (the duty to care, for which one is answerable), justice (upholding institutions and arrangements that protect people from exploitation and humiliation), solidarity (spiritual and material care for one another), diversity (the right to individual and group identity), art of living (refined moral conduct toward oneself and others), and sustainability (long-term care for the inhabitability of the planet). Taken together, these values seek to promote humaneness.

Keywords: humanism, humanness, human rights, dignity, autonomy, hermeneutics

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