UU Humanist Responses to Humanist Manifesto III

Members of the duPage Humanists


Where I work, I helped found a Humanist club …  I can’t say that the club has converted anybody, but for some it has given them a name for what they already believed.  And the manifestos give it a structure and definition.  I didn’t come to Humanism that way, however …  I didn’t just say: “that’s what I believe.”  For me it was more a matter of: “Am I allowed to believe that?  Dare I believe that this world is all there is?  Will that be enough?”  After many discussions and much reading, I’ve answered those questions, “Yes.”  And because it rings so true to me, the real answer is that I must believe it.

Between 1999 and 2002, the American Humanist Association drafted and circulated widely for review, an update of the Humanist Manifesto.  Both previous versions (1933 and 1973), were brave and inevitably flawed attempts to state in terms both broad and specific, the widest possible view of humanist thought at the time.  The latest version was released to the public in April of 2003, signed by over one hundred public figures, including twenty-one Nobel Prize winners; it currently has nearly 2,000 endorsers, including several hundred who signed on at the AHA/HUUmanists table at General Assembly. 

On August 3 of this year, a dozen members of the DuPage Humanists presented a Sunday service to the DuPage UU Church, consisting of musical and spoken responses to HM III.  Portions of eight of those presentations are offered here, close to the order in which they were presented.  The range is from thoughtful to biographical to simply impassioned; they are neither learned critiques nor formally argued, but rather personal observations inspired by that document.