Humanism, as we understand it, is a worldview oriented toward the interests, values, and dignity of the individual human being. It is a collective term for ideas whose goal is to improve the foundations of human existence and, in particular, to advance humanity (humanitas). Freedom of conscience, recognition of social plurality and non-violence are important humanist principles that are to unfold in the solidary cooperation of all people in sustainable social, economic and ecological responsibility.
Humanism develops ideas and initiatives on how to realize a self-determined and meaningful life. Although there are various currents in humanism, as we represent it, it appeals above all to people without religious ties – whether atheist, agnostic, free-thinking or free-spirited.
What is special about the Humanist Association in this regard?
Humanism, as represented by the Humanist Association (HV), sees itself as a positive worldview, as a way of living life – as an attitude towards life. It is concerned, for example, with the practical overcoming of social challenges and the answering of ethical questions. It is this worldview-based “practical humanism” above all that distinguishes HV from other organizations.
Therefore, in addition to the intellectual debate and further development of the foundations of its worldview – such as the role of a naturalistic worldview, the importance of evolutionary thinking, and others – it engages in a variety of social, educational, and cultural projects. They range from crèches and private elementary schools to counseling for living wills and medical ethics assistance, and much more. For especially in the social and educational sector, there have been far too few specifically humanistic offers and services up to now.
Against the neglect or even discrimination of humanistic needs we do not want to proceed by mere criticism of the conditions, but also respond to them with concrete, own offers. Therefore, the Humanist Association consistently demands the constitutionally guaranteed equal treatment with other worldview communities and in particular the religious communities – in the financing of Humanist counseling in hospitals, in a separate school subject of Humanist instruction up to the broadcasting times in public broadcasting, to name just a few examples. The demand for equal treatment ends, of course, where outdated church privileges have run riot and a fundamental reform is indicated.