The Amsterdam Declaration of 2002, signed twenty years ago at the World Humanist Congress by the members of what was then the International Humanist and Ethical Union and is now Humanists International, states, in part, “Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times.” The American Humanist Association (AHA), as a founding member of the group, proudly endorsed the statement which updated one originally written in 1952.
A couple of years ago, the staff of theHumanist.com—the AHA’s weekly digital newsletter—created a regular series called “Journeys to Humanism”. The goal of the series is to explore the variety of paths that people travel to find their way to humanism. Each path is different, and yet, they all point towards the lifestance described above.
This issue features some of those journeys of exploration, observation, and revision. The four humanists we highlight have travelled, and are travelling, very different paths. But they share a desire to find meaning and “an ethical and rational means of addressing” the challenges in their lives and communities.
Recently you’ve heard the AHA talking a lot about plans for moving into the future. As we’ve said, with the leadership of our new Executive Director, Nadya Dutchin, you will see an increased focus on social justice activism, alongside and as part of our emphasis on issues of the separation of religion and government. In fact, I hope you are already noticing this change, here in the pages of the Humanist and in all the AHA’s work.
Like the journeys we celebrate in this issue, and as we humanists promised in the Amsterdam Declaration, the AHA’s goal is “the cultivation of ethical and creative living” that “offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times.”
If you would like to tell us about your Journey to Humanism, submit it to us at thehumanist.com/journey. You might see it in an upcoming issue of the digital newsletter or even the magazine! We hope that you enjoy the stories featured here. We hope that you’ll join us on our journey and we’d love to hear about your path to humanism.