Making the Manifesto: The Birth of Religious Humanism

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Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Jan 1, 2002 - Religion - 148 pages
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Page xxvi - Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs.
Page 3 - Try all things, hold fast by that which is good ;' it is the foundation of the Reformation, which simply illustrated the axiom that every man should be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him ; it is the great principle of Descartes ; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science.
Page 117 - A moral law, like a law in physics, is not something to swear by and stick to at all hazards ; it is a formula of the way to respond when specified conditions present themselves. Its soundness and pertinence are tested by what happens when it is acted upon.
Page 38 - First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it.
Page xxvi - ... of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age.
Page 137 - Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement.
Page xxvii - Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking. Twelfth: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life. Thirteenth: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions...
Page xxvi - Seventh: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation— all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained. Eighth: Religious humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man's life and seeks its...
Page xxvii - The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared...
Page xxvi - First: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. Second: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as the result of a continuous process. Third: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected. Fourth: Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and civilization...

About the author (2002)

William F. Schulz served as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA from 1994 to 2006. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; a Presidential Fellow at Simmons College in Boston; and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Wagner School of New York University. Schulz is author of two books on human rights: In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All and Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights. He is the editor of The Phenomenon of Torture: Readings and Commentary, also published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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