June 21st marked World Humanism Day. In Wales, former Counsel General Mick Antoniw argued that the ideology is an important, even necessary source of values for Wales, which is becoming increasingly secular. In his essay, published by WalesOnline, he envisions Humanism as the ideology that will unite the country.
According to Antoniw, the world is undergoing dramatic change. Technological advances and globalization are further perpetuating social and economic stratification, and intolerance and division are making their way through communities around the world. Antoniw writes that it is sometimes easier to become entrenched in narrow beliefs, ignoring goodness that is not related to a belief in god—or a rational belief in none.
Antoniw states that Humanism is ethical, affirming the worth, dignity, and autonomy of the individual and pointing up the importance of individual freedom. The ideology gave rise to science and inspired many of the world’s great thinkers and artists. It uses science for creative purposes, not destruction, and seeks solutions to global and local issues through human thought and action. Mr. Antoniw does not believe solutions should be anticipated through divine intervention.
Humanism also supports democracy and human rights to “the fullest possible extend,” believing that personal liberty is as important as social responsibility. There is no creed, and the ideology is committed to education without indoctrination. It aims to maximize fulfilment through ethical and creative ways of living.
Statisticians and scientists currently predict that by 2030, 50% of the world’s wealth will be in the hands of 1% of the population. Increasing inequality allows societies to become increasingly unstable, driving countries toward nationalist protectionism. Humanism puts the power back into the hands of the people; only through rational thought and analysis can the issues of the modern world be solved.