What Is Secular Humanism?

ISBN-10: 1591024994
ISBN-13: 9781591024996
Edition: 2007
Authors: Paul Kurtz
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Description: Are there any ethical values and principles that non-religious individuals can live by? In a time when many have forsaken otherworldly religions, what does human life mean? What is its significance? Secular humanism attempts to answer these  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 3/6/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 42
Size: 5.40" wide x 8.40" long x 0.20" tall
Weight: 0.176
Language: English

Are there any ethical values and principles that non-religious individuals can live by? In a time when many have forsaken otherworldly religions, what does human life mean? What is its significance? Secular humanism attempts to answer these questions in a way that resonates with human aspirations and the findings of science. In this succinct, engaging overview of the secular humanist perspective, philosopher Paul Kurtz describes the many ways in which secular humanism's scientific, philosophical, and ethical outlook has exerted a profound influence on civilisation from the ancient world to the present. Today many schools of thought broadly identify with humanist ideas and values. But Kurtz suggests that secular humanism is especially suitable for the needs of our increasingly secular world because it rejects supernatural accounts of reality and seeks to optimise the fullness of human life in a naturalistic universe. In tune with the most progressive trends of the contemporary world, secular humanism finds meaning in life here and now and expresses confidence in the power of human beings to solve their problems and conquer uncharted frontiers. Kurtz concludes by emphasising that secular humanism is a bold new paradigm, which weaves together many historical threads, while adding much more that is relevant to our rapidly emerging planetary civilisation.

Paul Kurtz was born on December 21, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree from New York University and a master's degree and doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the United States Army and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. He was a philosopher who focused on fighting prejudice against people who reject belief in a god and promoting a non-religious stance in life. He wrote or edited more than 50 books on ethics without religion, critiques of religion and the paranormal, and on skepticism, or the challenging of received wisdom. His works include The Transcendental Temptation, Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism, The Courage to Become, Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda, and What is Secular Humanism? He founded the journal Free Inquiry and the secular humanist Center for Inquiry. He also taught at numerous universities including the State University of New York at Buffalo and Vassar. He died on October 20, 2012 at the age of 86.

Classical Roots
Modern Secular Humanism
Secularism
Contemporary Secular Humanism
Method of Inquiry
Naturalistic Cosmic Outlook
Non-Theism
Humanist Ethics
Socio-Political Perspective: Democratic Humanism
Planetary Humanism and the New Paradigm
Conclusion

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