Statements on Humanist Principles
The Humanist Manifestos and other defining documents are a respected tradition among Humanists. As discussed in the What is Humanism? page, Humanism has no Dogmas and it’s details are different for different humanists. Further, it evolves as we learn about the world and ourselves.
The Manifestos and Declarations are very short outlines of Humanism that prominent Humanists have come together to write. They are public and tentative agreements that reflect what the Humanist authors believe to be true in fact and true in describing what Humanists as a community believe.
American Humanist Association
Below are the American Humanist Association’s Humanist Manifestos. The First Humanist Manifesto of 1933 was the first founding Humanist document. To the right is a clear and concise summary of the AHA’s 3rd Manifesto (click to view).
International Humanist and Ethical Union
In addition, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the central Humanist umbrella organization, has developed two similar declarations of Humanist beliefs. Like the Manifestos, the Declarations are periodically revised and do not constitute dogmas.
Counsel for Secular Humanism
Moreover, the Counsel for Secular Humanism has developed two more comprehensive documents outlining Humanist beliefs and values.
Institute of Science and Human Values
Lastly, the most recent statement of Humanist principles that has been written was published by the Institute of Science and Human Values.
Further Reading: Humanist Book List
The form Humanism takes and the beliefs Humanists argue for change as we learn. Below are some of the most prominent and useful books in the history of that discussion and in its current debate. Some were not meant to be ‘Humanist’, but still portray vital Humanist themes.
History of Humanism
Critical Humanisms – Martin Halliwell & Andy Mousley
Humanism: A Very Short Introduction – Stephen Law
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism – Susan Jacoby
Making the Manifesto – William Schulz
Philosophy of Humanism – Corliss Lamont
American Religious Humanism – Mason Olds
Ethics & Society
The Forbidden Fruit – Paul Kurtz
Religion Without Relevation – Julian Huxley
Essays in Humanism – Albert Einstein
Writings on an Ethical Life – Peter Singer
A Common Faith – John Dewey
The Origins of Virtue – Matt Ridley
Good Without God – Greg Epstein
Religion for Atheists – Alain de Botton
Parenting Beyond Belief – Dale McGowan
Living Without God – Ronald Aronson
The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality – Andre Comte-Sponville
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Letter to a Christian Nation – Sam Harris
The Portable Atheist – Christopher Hitchens
God is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens
Why I Am Not a Christian – Bertrand Russell
Why are Atheists So Angry? – Greta Christina
Candide – Voltaire
Sirens of the Titan – Kurt Vonnegut
1984 – George Orwell
Letters from the Earth – Mark Twain
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
His Dark Materials Trilogy – Phillip Pullman
Films & TV Shows
Inherit the Wind 1960
Cosmos with Carl Sagan 1980
Little Buddha 1993
The Shawshank Redemption 1994
The Crucible 1996
Jesus Camp 2006
The Invention of Lying 2009
The Nature of Existence 2010
The Grey 2012