Americans who do not identify as religious now make up 21 percent of the population, according to the 2014 General Social Survey. With the dramatic increase in the number of secular Americans, the time is ripe for Creating Change Through Humanism , which lays out how and why people can lead moral and ethical lives without belief in a higher power. Abandoning traditional religious faith is just one step on a path to a better way of thinking. This book explains how to take the next steps with the empathy and activism that characterize humanism today. Defined by author Roy Speckhardt as “the radical idea that you can be good without a god,” humanism has inspired generations of individuals to improve themselves, their communities and their society. Creating Change Through Humanism describes how a humanist lifestance has influenced and can continue to advance diversity and equality. Humanist ideals pervaded the U.
S. from its founding, starting with the innovative idea of separating church and state to maintain a religiously-neutral government. Humanism has continued to propel our nation toward social progress by promoting basic human rights and dignity. The humanist movement, with its forward-thinking outlook and emphasis on critical thinking and self-reflection, is at the forefront of such pressing social issues as civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, responsible scientific freedom, and the environment and population dynamics.
Throughout this comprehensive and concise history of the humanist movement, Speckhardt interweaves personal stories, including his own, of individuals who journeyed from organized religion to humanistic convictions.
He encourages his readers to be open about their nontheism and to become active in social and political causes, so they can put their positive values into action and combat the anti-humanist prejudice propagated by the religious right. By highlighting the achievements of individual humanists and the progress made by humanist and secular organizations such as the American Humanist Association, Speckhardt illustrates that a worldview reliant on empathy and critical thinking is sorely needed to advance progressive aims for American society.