Understanding Humanism is an easy-to-read and informative overview of the beliefs, practices, and values of humanism as a non-religious worldview. This short and lively book explores humanism both as a broad historical tradition of thought and as a stance embodied in organised institutions. It sets out clearly and systematically the beliefs and values of humanism as well as the reality and personal experience of living as a humanist today.
Questions discussed in this book include:
How do humanists see the relation between science and religious belief? Is humanism wedded to science as the only valid form of knowledge? What value do humanists place on the arts, and can they value religious art? Does the emphasis on human responsibility depend on an untenable belief in 'free will', and is this undermined by psychology and neuroscience? Do humanists think that life is sacred? What account would humanists give of the basis of human rights, and why they are important? Does humanism entail that human life is meaningless and pointless? Can humanists meet the challenge of nihilism?
Understanding Humanism provides a reliable and easily digestible introduction to the field. By exploring these questions and inviting readers to engage with the arguments, it serves as the ideal textbook for those approaching the topic of humanism for the first time.
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