What is modern humanism? How does it work? What are examples of humanism in action? How can they get involved in their community? How do they decide if they are atheist, or not. These are all questions that children are facing.
As our species moves forward, we must realize that children are experiencing these shifts, as well. They can be both exciting and confusing for little ones. Though you may have a firm grasp on your humanist thoughts and beliefs, sometimes we must remember to simplify our complex progressive thought for kids.
Most of the humanists today subscribe to the western cultural humanism philosophy as well as a secular humanist philosophy.
Western Cultural Humanism is a good name for the rational and empirical tradition that originated largely in ancient Greece and Rome, evolved throughout European history, and now constitutes a basic part of the Western approach to science, political theory, ethics, and law.
Secular Humanism is an outgrowth of eighteenth century enlightenment rationalism and nineteenth century freethought. Many secular groups, such as the Council for Secular Humanism and the American Rationalist Federation, and many otherwise unaffiliated academic philosophers and scientists, advocate this philosophy.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
(Source: American Humanist)
So, what role can western cultural humanism play in our daily lives? Can a humanist lifestyle also be a religious one? There are certainly people who believe so.
However, secular humanism is, by definition, secular.
Do you have be to humanist if you are an atheist? No.
Which raises the question… How does one live without a God? In this short video, some important questions about Humanism and atheism are raised by smart and thoughtful kids.
The kids’ questions are answered honestly and with thought. Good stuff.
Kids’ Questions about Atheism, secular humanism, and more, with Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist:
In the end, an informed child who was allowed to ask questions and think critically will almost always make better choices than a child who is told exactly what to believe.
That is why, no matter your personal stance on theism v. atheism, you need to allow your child to think, ask questions and grow right along with you. Don’t be afraid to answer hard questions honestly. But, allow them to come up with their own viewpoints and opinions.