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The Great Lakes Humanist Society (GLHS) is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization.  It’s mission is to foster a community of humanists, dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry and creative thinking, unfettered by superstition, religion, or any form of dogma.  GLHS is a Charter Membership Chapter of the American Humanist Association.

The Society’s goals are:

 

  • To create a community of humanists, atheists, agnostics and freethinkers who can support each other throughout the  life span. 
  • To provide a forum for intelligent exchange of ideas for those seeking fulfillment in an ethical secular life. 
  • To develop through open discussion the moral basis of a secular society and encourage ethical practices within our own membership and the community at large. 
  • To develop educational programs focusing on secular ethics, science, history and critical thinking for members, their children, and the public at large as alternatives to supernatural interpretations of the human condition. 
  • To take action within our communities, and within the world at large, to improve the conditions of humanity and denounce bigotry, intolerance, and the persecution of ideas. 
  • To support and defend the principles of democracy, free speech, and the separation of state and church as expressed in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. 

 

“As indicated by our very name, we humanists celebrate humanity, want humanity to survive, and recognize that if humanity does survive, it will be by its own efforts.  Never can we sit back and wait for miracles to save us.  Miracles don’t happen.  Sweat happens.  Effort happens.  Thought happens.  And it is up to us humanists to help–to expend our sweat, our effort and our thought.  Then there will be hope for the world.”
-Isaac Asimov

 

Humanism
Humanism is a non-theistic way of thinking and living that draws its knowledge from science, its inspiration from art, and its motivation from compassion.  It is based on the belief that each person is unique and valuable, and that we must all rely on each other to improve the world and the condition of humankind. Humanism asserts that we must each take responsibility for ourselves and for the communities in which we live, not relying on beliefs in supernatural forces or gods to intervene in our behalf. Humanism emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, individual freedom, human values and the need for tolerance and cooperation.  (See the Humanism and Its Aspirations.)

“I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings.  Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels.” -Pearl S. Buck

 

Science And Reason
We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and the solving of human problems.  We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside of nature for salvation.

“I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious-except he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force.” -Mark Twain

 

Morality and Ethics
We are committed to moral excellence in ourselves and in our children.  We believe that human values have their origin in human nature, experience and culture.  We advocate constitutional democracy as the best means for securing justice, equality and fairness in society.  We believe that seeking moral guidance from supernatural or mythological beings is contrary to human happiness and growth.

“On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.” -Thomas Jefferson

 

Freethought
We believe that the mind should not be shackled by any religious, political, ideological or social institution.  We believe that questioning claims to authority leads to an open and free society.  Free inquiry is essential for the attainment of the necessary knowledge to advance humankind and preserve our planet.

“The church in all ages and among all peoples has been the consistent enemy of the human race.  Everywhere and at all times, it has opposed the liberty of thought and expression.” -Robert G. Ingersoll

 

Separation of Church and State
We believe that the very foundation of our freedom is the separation of church and state.  Only this separation can insure plurality and tolerance for all world views.  Breeches in this wall, no matter how small, are threats to democracy and all that we hold dear.

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”  -James Madison

 

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