Humanism: The Meaning Of Life

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Background
Humanism as a movement firstly emerged during the 14th century in Italy where it gave significance to its epoch, the Renaissance. It involved a rebirth of the study of Greek and ancient Latin authors that were unaffected by the Christian thoughts and explanations. Secondly, humanism gained more popularity during the 17th-century enlightenment since it believed in humanity’s ability to change nature and society according to its needs and aimed attention at the importance of the value of human beings.

Main ideas
Who is a humanist? Since humanism is related to the study of the whole person, it emphasises the uniqueness of individuals. Humanists believe in the scientific method when it is related to understanding how the universe works
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According to humanism thoughts, the meaning of life is not something waiting to be discovered, but something that we create in our own lives. Therefore, in order for a human being to give its life a meaning, one should pursue the happiness in life and help others to do the same.

What is right and what is wrong? Humanists make their ethical decisions in life based on reasoning, compassion and a concern for other human beings and animals. Many humanist have moral concerns when it comes to eating meat since they are based on the way we treat animals, environment and world poverty. For this reason, some humanists become vegetarians, while some choose to eat less meat or to eat only meat from free range animals.

A humanist view of morality is different from other religious outlooks in life where they often look to holy texts to discover the goal that a god has set. Humanists do not look to any god for rules but think carefully themselves about what might be the best way to live.
This approach focuses on being empathetic and on thinking about the effects of choices on the happiness or suffering of the people or animals concerned. Just as in other religions and traditions, humanism has its version of “The Golden Rule” which basically involves the thought “Treat other people in a way you would like to be treated
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Humanists mean that our social instincts lays the foundation of morality and that they are a natural part of humanity. Ideas such as freedom, justice, happiness, equality, fairness are all seen as human inventions, that we must strive to live up to.

Do all people have equal value? Because the freedom of choice contribute to human happiness, humanists value individual freedom. In the same way, humanists oppose racism, sexism, torture, unfair imprisonment, persecution because of beliefs and inequalities in wealth and education or everything that stand in the way of human welfare, development and progress. Therefore, the core aim of humanism is to improve human lives by fulfilling equal human rights.

How was the world created? Humanists believe in the scientific method, which means observation and experiment to find out how the world works. Therefore, the belief that The Big Bang theory was how the universe began is dominant in humanism. Humanists also believe that millions of years of evolution by natural selection, which continues even now, happened to produce our species amongst the various species that exist and have existed. Human beings are seen as a remarkable species with amazing
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