Humanism is not a religion. There is no book of rules. There is no Messiah. It is a moral way of thinking. A moral way of acting. A moral way of life. It is evolving as we ourselves evolve. The only rule worth considering is the ancient Golden Rule, recognised by civilisations throughout history; Do as you would be done by. And that is more of a guideline rather than a rule. Humanists have faith that we, the human race, can, and will solve all the problems of the world ourselves given time. We believe that there are no supernatural forces to do it for us. Each situation must be judged on its own merits. We must arrive at conclusions through rational thought and experience alone. Humanists would say that, the evidence points to this being the only life we have. It is up to us to make the most of it. To live a happy and fulfilled life, we need to make others happy and help them reach fulfilment. Humanists would accept that we are all individuals but, only by working together have we come this far, and only by working together will the human race survive. Humanists strive for a fair, compassionate, and open society, where everyone has a voice, and deserves to be heard.
The roots of Humanism go back at least as far as Confucius. (500 years BCE) Confucius said "Forget the gods, the 'Here and now' is what is important". He said it in Chinese, of course. The Greek philosopher, Socrates, drank from a poisoned chalice rather than accept that there were Gods. Epicurus, the laughing philosopher, extolled the virtues of restrained pleasure and wrote "Friendship goes dancing round the world, proclaiming to us all to wake to the praises of a happy life" . He also said "I was not, I had been, I am not, I do not mind". The Roman philosopher & poet Lucretius promoted the views of Epicurus. Right the way through Thomas Paine, who wrote "Rights of man" and claimed "my country is the world my religion is to do good", to today, thinking people have embraced Humanism. Even the mother in the street who shouts to the bully, "How would you like it if I did that to you", is talking Humanism.