Humanism – For the Sake of Reason & Humanity
- an undogmatic movement in the tradition of Humanism and the Enlightenment. Our theory and practice have their roots in the Classical Age and have developed steadily since. Humanism and enlightenment have left a distinct mark on the past centuries, often against state and Church resistance or against the absolutistic claims found in ideologies of all sorts.
- nondenominational free-thinkers; our community enjoys the same rights under constitutional law as the Christian churches have. We offer a secular, enlightened, and contemporary alternative to the services offered by the Christian churches and other communities.
- an active, nation-wide society with around 20,000 members in twelve German states. The Humanist Association of Germany (HVD) also sponsors children’s day-care centers, schools, humanistic life skills curricula, social counseling, the German Federal Agency for Advance Directive, as well as hospices, e.g., in Berlin and Bayern.
- a member of Humanists International and the European Humanist Federation (EHF) which advocate the interests of nonreligious persons before the United Nations and European Union.
“Human living means settling ourselves in as best we can for a short guest appearance on a speck of dust in the cosmos; being active with sense and purpose, with decency and dignity, with humor and wit; and finally bidding it all farewell, forever. (Joachim Kahl, PhD, DD; member of HVD-Hessen)
What we seek is that…
- people see themselves as a community across cultures, traditions, and nations,
- all people can lead autonomous lives based on universally enforced human rights,
- all people can be actively involved in political and societal processes,
- fair economic and social systems are established that allow all humans to lead a life in dignity,
- science and technology develop along rational and humane lines,
- all religions and worldly philosophies are treated equally by a secular state. We specifically demand abolishing church taxes and special privileges granted to churches,
- the discriminatory employment laws in Christian charity organizations be substituted with employee-friendly and neutral, nondenominational guidelines,
- the overly protective observance of religious holidays, as on Good Friday, be abandoned.
“We respect other cultures, world philosophies, religions, and opinions; and we wish for an outspoken and fair discourse in the interest of peaceful coexistence.” (Joachim Grebe, member of HVD-Hessen)
What we offer in Hessen:
- We keep up our sense of community with regular get-togethers, cultural events, and celebrations.
- We encourage open discourse by scheduling lectures and presentations, informational events, and discussion rounds.
- We offer an alternative, secular culture of celebration for important life events like births, coming-of-age (youth celebrations: JugendFEIER), weddings, transition into retirement, and funerals.
- We endorse and demand self-determined choice for the final phase of life, advise and counsel in questions about advance directives, and advocate end-of-life care.
- We represent the interests of nondenominational people in the media and politics.
- We assist refugees on their arrival and in integration into German society.
- We recommend a nondenominational curriculum in Ethics for all school-age students.
- We would like to expand our volunteer and professional services in charitable, social-political and educational sectors.
“We decided on a humanist wedding celebration through the HVD because we, too, as atheists saw no reason to go without a fine ceremony.” (Florian and Jennifer Zimmermann, members of HVD-Hessen)
We want humanism to be duly recognized as a formative, worldly influence in our society. Independent of their religious affiliation, over half of the German population guide themselves along humanistic values and about a third are without religious affiliation.
What we stand for:
Heedfulness in conducting one’s one and only life
We lead a conscious and self-determined life in all phases of this one life we have. We fully enjoy our feelings in love and sexuality, in aesthetic appreciation, in nature, and in the project of humanizing the world we live in. We consider dealing with loss, accidents, illnesses, pain, dying, and the final death to be an essential part of our human existence.
Direct compassion and solidarity
We offer support to people in need of love and solidarity. In our eyes, empathy, human compassion, and solidarity are essential to coexistence and shared responsibility in a globalized world, in ecological equilibrium, and in peaceful solutions to conflicts.
Skepticism, rationality, and self-defined meaning
How we look at the world is guided by science – especially how we conceive the origin of the universe, the evolution of species, social- and cultural history, and human psychology. Everything has its place in the world – without any dabbling from a higher or lower power, with no otherworldly meaning nor predesigned fate. We humans ourselves give our lives meaning through our actions and our ability to reflect.
If you’d like to learn more about our activities and programs, or if you’re interested in becoming a member, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be pleased to welcome you into our circle!
BIC: GENODEF1ETK (Ethikbank Eisenberg, Germany)
We are approved by the German tax authorities as a nonprofit organization.
Donations are tax-deductible.