What is secularism?
"Secular" means that something doesn't have anything to do with religion - it doesn't mean opposition to religion. The "secular community" refers to people who live without religion, particularly those who participate in atheist, free though, humanist, and similar groups in person and online. However, when we talk about secularism as a movement, we're talking about keeping faith-based ideas, superstition, and religious ideology out of government. That doesn't mean evangelizing for atheism, but it does mean recognizing that people's rights are best protected and government is fairest when religion and myth are not the basis of public policy. Instead, secularists want public policy to be based on evidence, science, and reason. A person can be religious and still believe that a secular government is fairest since it guarantees religious freedom for all, favoring no one religion over another - or over non belief. (CFI On Campus)
What is secular humanism?
Secular humanism is a nonreligious worldview rooted in science, philosophical naturalism (rather than supernaturalism), and humanist ethics. Instead of relying on faith, doctrine, or mysticism, secular humanists use reason, compassion, and human experience to find solutions to human problems. Secular humanists promote values including integrity, benevolence, fairness, and responsibility, and believe that with reason, good will, and the free exchange of ideas, we can build a better world for ourselves and for future generations. (CFI On Campus)
What is freethought?
Freethought is a way of thinking and problem-solving that is free from appeals to tradition, authority, and dogma. Instead, freethinkers base their beliefs on evidence and reason. The freethought movement traces back to the Enlightenment and primarily describes people who are not religious, as there is not enough evidence to support religious and supernatural claims. Some of history's greatest reformers were freethinkers - including Thomas Paine, Margaret Sanger, and A. Philip Randolph - because free thought allows people to be free from the limiting effects of traditions that value conformity and compliance over free inquiry and free expression. (CFI On Campus)
What is skepticism?
Skepticism can refer to many things, but having a skeptical worldview means asking questions and looking for scientific evidence from reputable sources to figure out the truth behind extraordinary claims. Don't confuse skeptics with cynics. Cynics are distrusting or inclined to disagree with people and ideas without being committed to actually finding the truth. Skeptics have traditionally investigated pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, and paranormal or supernatural claims, but skepticism can be used to analyze claims in many different fields including politics, economics, and health.
(CFI On Campus)
(CFI On Campus)
What is atheism?
Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. That's it. Despite common stereotypes, atheists aren't necessarily anti-religion, nor do they "worship" themselves instead of a god. And atheists don't "hate God" - it's impossible to hate something if you don't believe it exists! Atheism indicates what someone does not believe, but it says nothing about what someone does believe. For that, other terms like naturalist, secular humanist, and even Pastafarian connote a rejection of religion while also defining the substance of an individual's philosophy or worldview. (CFI On Campus)
What is agnosticism?
An agnostic is a person who believes that the existence of a greater power, such as a god, cannot be proven or disproved; therefore an agnostic wallows in the complexity of the existence of higher beings. Agnostics will often question the existence of a supreme power because a lot of modern religious beliefs have no basis in modern logic; therefore blind following of popular religions is viewed as an easy out for people who chose not to think for themselves. The realization of knowing that “we cannot know everything” is the backbone of the agnostic belief. (Source)