Posted by: Paul Chiariello | September 17, 2011

What is Humanism? – Some of my Favorite Videos

A lot of people ask me what is Humanism?  How can you have ethics?  Isn’t everything subjective? How can you say something is right? What gives you meaning or purpose?

Humanism is using our reason and experience to live what best life we can.

We make mistakes and we move on.  But we do so together and not with gods or the belief we can force our way alone.

This is more of a method than a set of specific doctrines.  Very simply, there is no holy book or prophet that we can try to make sure we are consistent with.

This means you can never really say “This is Humanism”, but instead: “This is a Humanism”.  And you can only ever come to that conclusion via shared references to reasons and experiences.  No textual references can give you ready made answers.

Of course there exist better explanations of our experiences than others.  And of course there are more soundly reasoned arguments when comparing different world views.  However, there is no guarantee of certainty since there is no omniscient presence we can try to rest our one set of beliefs on.


I have lots of answers for how I think this set of Humanist principles plays out in our world.  But here is one of the best brush strokes I’ve seen made in an attempt to answer the title of this post.  I believe this Declaration of Interdependence sums it up beautifully.



Below are a list of other videos I love.

They inspire me and give me meaning and purpose.

All of the videos below marvel at the universe and focus on our common humanity, suffering and joy.


Another absolutely great video (with some great background music too) is this short history of humanity from a Humanist perspective.


Absolutely great video with Carl Sagan.  Again, must watch.


Here is a great video from physicist Feynman on curiosity, science and how amazing our universe is.  Very moving.


Here is a great video by Andromeda’s Wake on atheism, God, our own purpose and the universe.  Again beautiful, though provoking and inspiring.


This is a really great mash up song with Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Tyson deGrasse.  A really great and inspiring view from some of the best absolute best popularizers of science.


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