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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy World Humanist Day

Today is World Humanist Day as well as the summer solstice. World Humanist Day is, of course, celebrated by Humanists and we folks being a minority, a lot of people aren't aware of it. The day exists mainly as a day of fellowship for Humanists and to increase awareness of Humanist values. It developed slowly over the 1980s between several groups celebrating on various significant dates. Finally the American Humanist Association and the International Humanist & Ethical Union agreed on a unified date, June 21st (to reflect reverence for the natural universe on the summer solstice). Even among Humanist groups, it's still a growing holiday, but it's starting to be celebrated more frequently by them over time. The winter solstice has already been celebrated by Humanists for a long time, around the same holiday season as others are celebrating.

In that spirit, let me provide some quotes on Humanism, thanks to

Ethical Humanism is primarily an attitude about human beings, their worth, and the significance of their lives. It is concerned with the nature and quality of living; the character and creativity of our relationships. Because of this concern, humanism spontaneously flowers into a spiritual movement in its own right.
-- Edward Ericson

In my view, humanism relies on reason and compassion. Reason guides our attempt to understand the world about us. Both reason and compassion guide our efforts to apply that knowledge ethically, to understand other people, and have ethical relationships with other people.
-- Molleen Matsumura

A Humanist Code of Ethics:
Do no harm to the earth, she is your mother.
Being is more important than having.
Never promote yourself at another's expense.
Hold life sacred; treat it with reverence.
Allow each person the dignity of his or her labor.
Open your home to the wayfarer.
Be ready to receive your deepest dreams;
sometimes they are the speech of unblighted conscience.
Always make restitutions to the ones you have harmed.
Never think less of yourself than you are.
Never think that you are more than another.
-- Arthur Dorbin

IHEU page on World Humanist Day
Secular Seasons page on World Humanist Day
Wikipedia article on World Humanist Day
Wikipedia article on the Summer Solstice


  1. I didn't know about this! Is there some reason they chose the Summer Solstice, with its strong pagan associations?

    Well, late Happy World Humanist Day to you! :)

  2. Yes a lot of Humanists are still learning about it in fact. I don't think many mind the pagan associations, one because all of our traditional holidays have come from something non-Humanist anyway, and two because Humanists already celebrate the winter solstice.

    I think the reason for choosing the solstices is because these are natural events. They highlight a reverence for the natural universe (as opposed to the supernatural) ala Carl Sagan, Einstein, Hawking, and friends. In addition, I've read humanist ceremonies that point out the sun and its light as a metaphore for knowledge bringing us out of darkness (ignorance).