Humanists find intrinsic moral reward in honesty, empathy, love, caring for others, and the social benefits of a supportive community, rather than in any religious belief. We are good because we want to be good—not because we are told to be good.
Practise social responsibility.
Work to build, work to support, and work to make society better through altruistic acts. We are responsible for making the world into what we want it to be. Things don’t have value unless you value them. If you value charity, practise charity. If you value learning, learn and teach. By sharing knowledge and resources, we can set higher standards for the betterment of our communities, as well as for the growth of our personal integrity.
Use reason to decide what to believe.
Critical thinking allows us to think about and discuss ideas objectively to determine which course of action to follow. Exploring non-traditional beliefs is necessary for us to learn more about the beautiful and fragile natural world we live in, as well as how to safeguard living conditions for ourselves and future generations.
Recognize that personal freedoms take precedence over personal preference.
We support everyone’s right to fair and equal consideration under the law. We understand that laws are made to protect our rights, not to restrict them. Use the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a touchstone for human rights and civil freedoms. The world is only as humane as we make it, so it is up to us to treat each other with dignity and without prejudice.
Advocate for a democratic government and secular public policies.
Democracy gives every person the freedom and right to be heard. Secularism ensures that everyone is treated equally and fairly under the law, regardless of personal belief or philosophy. Keeping religion out of public policy ensures legislative objectivity in terms of health, education, and economic decision-making.
Support public funding of schools with secular curricula, not faith-based curricula.
Secular schools have education as their priority and teach students in a diverse and inclusive environment. Faith-based schools have indoctrination as their priority and teach students religious and cultural bias in a socially segregated environment. Every province and territory in Canada—except for Ontario—has stopped government funding of faith-based public schools. It is about time that Ontario did the same. Our educational institutions must be free to foster the learning of science and philosophy without fear of reprisal from religious lobbyists.
Worldwide Definition of Humanism
“Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance that affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. Humanism stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. Humanism is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.” — Humanists International