Technically speaking, I am a secular humanist and atheist. That is to say, I don’t believe in the existence of any kind of deity and I choose to live my life without religion or any such belief. Philosophically speaking, I’m a materialist in my approach to the world. My views on the world are based on scientific method and reasoned discussion, and I believe that ideas should be challenged and investigated always. I have absolutely no problem with being a product of evolution and an equal creature to every other on this planet. For me, the world, this universe and the very possibility of life is as beautiful and incredible as I could ever wish for and I don’t feel the need for someone to attribute this to. The world is neither evil nor good but just an accumulation of different forces, needs and events.
All this aside, I still very much believe in the human capacity to be rational and considerate of others. I am not a nihilist nor a hedonist; I don’t seek to live for pleasure alone and I don’t exist in a vacuum without beliefs or purpose. It is my belief that humans are capable of comprehending the consequences of their actions and able to co-operate and work to the benefit of more than the individual and to avoid harming others. I believe that every life has worth and value, and deserves respect and equal consideration. For me, humanism is a philosophy and community where we can discuss ideas of ethics and share a positive view of human life. It is not about humans being placed as superior but about recognising and embracing the capacity in humans to act fairly and rationally, or at least to try. The final humbling part is to accept that we are just human, that we’re not perfect and that at the end of the day we’re just curious creatures who remain a part of this planet and its ecosystem.
This should be an adequate summary of some of the main points. I also recommend looking at the Amsterdam Declaration for a nice representation of Secular Humanism that fits very well with my beliefs. I’ll discuss my ideas about other issues in subsequent posts.