Humanism involves far more than the negation of supernaturalism. It requires an affirmative philosophy . . . translated into a life devoted to one's own improvement and the service of all mankind.— Corliss Lamont
The most delightful Corliss Lamont quotes that will activate your desire to change
I think . . . that philosophy has the duty of pointing out the falsity of outworn religious ideas, however estimable they may be as a form of art. We cannot act as if all religion were poetry while the greater part of it still functions in its ancient guise of illicit science and backward morals. . . .
Humanism believes that the individual attains the good life by harmoniously combining personal satisfactions and continuous self-development with significant work and other activities that contribute to the welfare of the community.
Since Humanism as a functioning credo is so closely bound up with the methods of reason and science, plainly free speech and democracy are its very lifeblood. For reason and scientific method can flourish only in an atmosphere of civil liberties.
We do not ask to be born; and we do not ask to die. But born we are and die we must. We come into existence and we pass out of existence. And in neither case does high-handed fate await our ratification of its decree.
For the Humanist, . . . head and heart . . . must function together. . . . The constitution of the Phillips Exeter Academy reads: 'Though goodness without knowledge . . . is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous. . . . Both united form the noblest character and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind.'
True freedom is the capacity for acting according to one's true character, to be altogether one's self, to be self-determined and not subject to outside coercion.
The wise man looks at death with honesty, dignity and calm, recognizing that the tragedy it brings is inherent in the great gift of life.
Human beings and their actions constitute the advancing front, the surging crest of an ongoing movement that never stops.
Intuition does not in itself amount to knowledge, yet cannot be disregarded by philosophers and psychologists.
I believe firmly that in making ethical decisions, man has the prerogative of true freedom of choice.
The intuition of free will gives us the truth.
The theory that everyone acts from self-interest, direct or indirect, is psychologically unsound. . . . Throughout history . . . there have been millions of men and women with some sort of Humanist philosophy who have consciously given up their lives for a social ideal.
Supernatural entities simply do not exist.
This nonreality of the supernatural means, on the human level, that men do not possess supernatural and immortal souls; and, on the level of the universe as a whole, that our cosmos does not possess a supernatural and eternal God.
There is no place in the Humanist worldview for either immortality or God in the valid meanings of those terms. Humanism contends that instead of the gods creating the cosmos, the cosmos, in the individualized form of human beings giving rein to their imagination, created the gods.
Feelings of right and wrong that at first have their locus within the family gradually develop into a pattern for the tribe or city, then spread to the much larger unit of the nation, and finally from the nation to mankind as a whole.
To define twentieth-century humanism briefly, I would say that it is a philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity in this natural world and advocating the methods of reason, science, and democracy.
The highest ethical duty is often to discard the outmoded ethics of the past.
The act of willing this or that, of choosing among various courses of conduct, is central in the realm of ethics.
Overemphasis on the sex aspect of morality has led to a neglect of its other aspects and a narrowing of its range.
Most men, I am convinced, have an unmistakable feeling at the final moment of significant choice that they are making a free decision, that they can really decide which one of two or more roads to follow.
God, once imagined to be an omnipresent force throughout the whole world of nature and man. has been increasingly tending to seem omniabsent. Everywhere, intelligent and educated people rely more and more on purely secular and scientific techniques for the solution of their problems. As science advances, belief in divine miracles and the efficacy of prayer becomes fainter and fainter.
The dynamic, creative present, however conditioned and restricted by the effects of prior presents, possesses genuine initiative.
The cause-effect sequences in our brains are just as determining, just as inescapable, as anywhere else in Nature.