Humanism, humanity and faith What does it mean to be human in a world of suffering?
What Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value
and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally
prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of
dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according
to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it.
The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century.
Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of
human freedom and progress. In modern times, humanist movements are typically
aligned with secularism, and today humanism typically refers to a non-theistic life
stance centred on human agency and looking to science rather than revelation from
a supernatural source to understand the world.