Humanism is a term that can refer to many things, but in its general sense in modern times, it is the emphasis on human value, human needs, human life, human interest, humanity, society, and living a good, joyous, and useful life. The general Humanist movement and philosophy is not necessarily part or not part of any other beliefs.

Since it is difficult to pinpoint what humanism is, it is also difficult to trace a history of it. Of course, throughout history, there have been many people that have emphasized a concern for one another and for human values, although not necessarily as far as taking it beyond religious beliefs. Many religions also preach a humanistic message.

Humanist Quotes

Old Testament (Scripture of Judaism and Christianity) Bible

… Love your neighbor as yourself… (Leviticus 19:18)

Mishnah (Text of Judaism)

Who is honored? He who honors mankind.

New Testament (Scripture of Christianity) Bible

Therefore in all things, whatsoever you would have others to do to you, you should also do so to them… (Matthew 7:12)

… Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 19:19, and also in Matthew 22:39)

… Love one another. (John 13:34)

Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good unto all people…(Galatians 6:10)

And as you would have others do to you, you should do to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)

And be kind to one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, (Ephesians 4:32)

… Elevate and encourage one another… (I Thessalonians 5:11)

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith people may elevate one another. (Romans 14:19)

Muslim Teachings based on Hadith (Recorded Acts & Sayings of Muhammad)

Make Peace between one another.

Aim for compassion, and avoid oppression and impurity. Compassion is grace, and a lack of it is disgrace.

A true Muslim does not slander or abuse others.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Scripture of Sikhism)

Treat others as you would be treated yourself.

Shinto Saying

The world is one great family.

Buddhist Teachings based on sayings of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama

Practice love, and give joy.

Be loving and kind.

In doing good, consider not just yourself, but also all of the universe’s beings.

Cultivate loving-kindness.

Jaina Teachings / Scripture Passages

Have benevolence towards all living things. (Tattvartha Sutra)

Consider the family of humankind one.

Zoroastrian Teachings / Scripture Passages

Doing good to others is not a duty—it is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.

Be good, be kind, be humane, and be charitable; love others, console the afflicted, and pardon those who have done you wrong.

That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good unto its own itself.

Writings of the Baha’i prophet Baha’u’llah

The Earth is but one country, and mankind is its citizens.

The well being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.

Blessed and happy is he that arises to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindred of the Earth.

Jonathan Swift

(1667-1745) Irish writer of Gulliver’s Travels and other books

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

Voltaire a.k.a. Francois Marie Arouet

(1694-1778) French writer and philosopher

I know of no great men except those who have rendered great service to the human race.

William Pitt

(1708-1778) English statesman

We need a religion of humanity. The only true divinity is humanity.

Thomas Paine

(1737-1809) Influential English-American writer

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

Red Jacket a.k.a. Segoyewatha

(Lived in 1700s and 1800s) Native American Seneca leader and orator

We also have a religion that was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us their children. It teaches us to be thankful, to be united, and to love one another. We never quarrel about religion.

Friedrich Nietzsche

(1844-1900) Influential German scholar and philosopher

Since humanity came into existence, man has enjoyed himself too little. That alone is our original sin.

(Swami) Vivekananda

(1863-1902) Indian humanist and spiritual leader who tried to combine Indian spirituality with Western culture

The only God to worship is the human soul in the human body.

(Swami) Sivananda

(1887-1963) Indian yoga master

Doing good to others is the highest religion.

Adlai Stevenson

(1900-1965) American politician and Presidential candidate who also confounded the United Nations

The human race is a family. Men are brothers. All wars are civil wars.

Katherine Hepburn

(1907-2003) American actress

I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people. (Ladies Home Journal October 1991)

Sun Myung Moon

(1920-) Korean religious leader who founded the Unification Church

I look at all the major world religions of the world as one big family.