secular humanism


: humanism (see humanism sense 3) viewed especially as relying on reason, logic, and naturalism (see naturalism sense 2) as opposed to religious dogma and supernaturalism (see supernaturalism sense 2)
Some items on the spiritual person's shopping list are easily supplied by secular humanism. Easiest of all are two that people often find intuitively the most perplexing: how can there be meaning in life and moral values in a world without gods?Julian Baggini
Secular humanism was the seeking of a middle way between dogmatic belief in God and militant atheism.Anthony T. Kronman
… as the author states, his secular humanism offers a cosmic outlook on the universe and our place in it …Genevieve Stuttaford
secular humanist noun
plural secular humanists
… as a secular humanist she has a moral and ethical belief system that is very similar to those found in many of the great religions. She just doesn't believe in gods, the supernatural, or an afterlife. She is, instead, guided by reason, science, logic and a desire to find a common ground and love, between all people. Claire Knight
[Tim] Madigan says secular humanists can criticize dogma and statements of faith while retaining working relations and friendships with people of many different religious beliefs. Michael McAteer
secular humanist adjective
secular humanist groups
… ethical quandaries faced by those of us who try to maintain a delicate balance between our secular humanist values and our scholarly duties … Jason Gersh

Examples of secular humanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web See here for Mark Oppenheimer's report from last weekend's secular humanism conference. Chris Mooney, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2010 Moral Majority condemned books on secular humanism. Jeffrey Fleishman, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Jan. 2023 There are different kinds of secular humanism. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 23 July 2022 By the 1980s, as Mr. Schmidt brings his story to a close, the Religious Right was portraying secular humanism as a threat to the nation’s hopes for morality and decency. D.g. Hart, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'secular humanism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of secular humanism was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near secular humanism

Cite this Entry

“Secular humanism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

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