Secular Humanism

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2003
Secular Humanism
Sat, 02-21-2009 - 1:51am

I have always had a hard time labeling myself as an atheist. It has a little bit of a negative connotation and I am probably still a little agnostic. So I read a little about Secular Humanism and wondered if that wasn't in line with the Atheists believe. Would you say it is a fair comparison?



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2007
Sat, 02-21-2009 - 7:40am

I would say that secular humanists are athiests but not all atheists are secular humanists. An atheist is anyone who lacks a belief in deities. That says nothing of their values or beliefs about any other topic, so they aren't necessarily humanists at all. Not believing in a deity does not necessitate believing in justice, reason, and building a better world.

Most people probably align with a lot of secular humanism, but I have known atheists that don't care at all about evidence and the scientific method, or who don't care about what happens to the world after they die, etc. Of course there are extreme cases, like atheist serial killers, who would have little in common with a secular humanist.

FWIW, one can be both an atheist and an agnostic. Atheism answers "do you believe?" and agnosticism answers "do you know?" so they don't have to conflict with each other. ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2006
Sat, 02-21-2009 - 9:19am

When I do the belief test on beliefnet, it always comes up with Secular Humanism as what is closest to my beliefs.

Disney Sig
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Sun, 02-22-2009 - 5:56pm

I, too, score as a "Secular Humanist" on However, although in the past "atheist" has generally been used as a negative or a pejorative, it does describe me.
So, for myself, I choose to take the harder road and label myself as such. I feel that this shows those to whom I am speaking that an atheist is a very upstanding, kind, likable person who simply does not have a belief in the supernatural. So, I attempt to allow the definition of atheist become a positive. As it should be.


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