Sunday, October 15, 2006

The world is my country. To do good is my religion

The world is my country;
To do good is my religion.

Traditional mainstream religions do not accommodate current knowledge, belief and emotional needs. Humanism goes in a different direction and concentrates on what we all have in common. It has become a dynamic alternative to the traditional faiths.

Humanists feel at home in the natural world and do not need gods or god, a heaven, or scriptures. They respect scientific methods and the knowledge coming from the use of them. They are concerned with making use of this knowledge for the care of this marvelous planet.

Most of them think of Jesus as an ethical leader. To the work of the previous Jewish prophets he added a special insistence on the place of love, kindness, and forgiveness in human life. Humanists do not attribute divinity to Jesus, Buddha, or other religious leaders, but often find inspiration in their lives and teachings.

Humanism is a philosophy of good will and concern for humans and Nature. Happiness and self-fulfillment for oneself and others are richly sufficient life goals. Moral codes are made by humans. Values and ideals grow out of the experience of various cultures, societies, and individuals.

Humanism encourages us to feel that, no matter who we are, we have untapped abilities, unknown potentialities, and more strength, inventiveness, and capacity for survival and progress than we know.

We have to look for the strength not outside ourselves, but within ourselves, to meet life with courage.