Why I am passionate about Humanism

May 28, 2011 

One of my readers asked me last month why it is I am so passionate about Humanism. He said it’s almost like I’m a Humanist preacher.

I laughed because I have been told that before. Even though the concept of a Humanist preacher is rather silly, I’ve been assured that such comments are meant as a compliment. I’ve even had people say that they would like me to start a Humanist church so they can come hear me “preach” about Humanism on a regular basis.

While I don’t have any plans at the moment to open a Humanist Hall or to become a Humanist celebrant or chaplain (and yes, we do have those), there is a lot of truth to these comments about me “preaching” Humanism.

Even though I don’t believe in traditional religion, I do believe in Humanism. So much so, that I possess a bit of an evangelical fever about me when I talk about it.

The reason I am so passionate about Humanism is because it makes me feel great to think, write and speak to people about this philosophy. I’m a true believer. And no, I’m not a convert. This is the way I was raised.

The truth of the matter is that the more I think and reflect upon this philosophy, the more passionate I become about it. I find Humanism to be awe-inspiring. I am so motivated to do and be more when I think about it that I can’t help myself.

It inspires me to be a better person. It inspires me to reach out and connect with others in a deeply human way. It encourages me to be compassionate in those moments when I am most frustrated and annoyed. In short, I really feel good about myself as a Humanist.

I was asked at a talk in Miami whether I thought the Humanist approach was superior to others. My answer is: of course I do! Otherwise I wouldn’t choose to be a Humanist. I would choose whatever belief I thought was superior.

I chose and am passionate about Humanism because I really do believe that people would be better off if they engage positively with the world as it really is instead of hoping for another world that may or may not exist.

I really do believe that people would be better off if they practice Freethought and critical thinking skills. And I really do believe that the world would be better off if we spent more time thinking about how we can be compassionate with each other rather then focusing on our differences.

So am I an evangelical Humanist preacher? Maybe. But I prefer to think of myself as simply passionate.

Jennifer Hancock, is the author of the new book, the “Humanist Approach to Happiness: Practical Wisdom.” She can be found on the web at www.Jen-Hancock.com.

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