The appreciation of people and appreciation of what human beings can accomplish given the opportunity. Humanism generally operates on the premises, beliefs, and assumptions that people have some sense of unity, that individuals are "perfectible" by their own efforts, that people in general are intrinsically good, and that humans can and should take the responsibility in coping with the problems of the human situation. Humanism generally utilizes the methods of science, reason, and logic (to the exclusion of mystical, sacred, and otherworldly explanations) with the purpose of promoting, directing, and constructing a world that is more egalitarian and liberative. The greater good, the welfare, and the happiness of all people (as opposed to serving the interests of a few select elite) is seen as an ethical good, the direction, and the purpose that all should strive for. Humanism can be seen as an orientation for some and a belief system and ideology for others that stresses emancipation of the spirit, opposition to restrictive, oppressive, and differentially applied authority, and freedom of the intellect. The general orientation of humanism by some is the observation that social relations, institutions, practices, myths, beliefs, etc., that maintain and promote inequality, suffering, and lack of opportunity are oppressive and inhumane, i.e., unhuman, unhumanlike. Humanism with this orientation has an interest in and seeks to promote those social institutions, social relationships, social reforms, and, if need be, revolutions that will bring about less oppressive relations and social structures.

 










   

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