Values are preferences for particular forms of behaviour which combine into a system of principles by which we conduct our lives.
On reaching adulthood, one has acquired a hierarchy of values from the mundane to the most significant, some of which, like free speech, might inspire some to give up their lives to preserve.This hierarchy of values can include social, political, economic, aesthetic, ethical, religious, philosophical and others which are founded in our belief system. Many values are not new and they may even apply to varying degrees to all peoples. If one believes in humans as being inherently self-centred, then one is drawn to seek protection from exploitation. If one sees humans as inherently sinful, then one is drawn to the need for prayer, for punishment or reward in the next life and/or to follow moral edicts from ancient times. It is essential also that these are not seen as orthodox unalterable expressions. They should always be subject to revision & change.
Values are an integral part of personality. They are embedded in the needs and belief systems that give meaning and coherence to one’s life, sustaining one’s identity.
Humanism encourages free-thinking and enquiry that seeks to describe, understand and appreciate the universe and the diversity and complexity of life.
The acceptance that solutions to problems lie in the imagination and ingenuity of humankind.
Explanation must be based on reason and verifiable evidence and not on superstition or religious ideology.
Democracy and human development are matters of right.
Self reliance and independence of thought, always with a realisation of our interdependence.
Respect for all humanity and other species and their environments. Promote and preserve eco-balance.
An approach which always seeks to engage with, understand and accept the beliefs and values of others, compatible with the rights of others.
A cooperative and problem solving approach to conflict of interest, with reasoned debate as opposed to dogmatic assertion.
Takes account of the complexity of modern living and that behaviour, unless in self defence, must harm no-one.
The inclusive democratic ideal with impartiality and equality regardless of belief, whether religious or not. Social attitudes and education centred in cooperative and tolerant living, which condemns exploitation and abuse.
Apply a humane approach in all matters affecting the non-human living world, including slaughter.
The creative artistic potential of humans increases the awareness of self, enabling freedom to experience the physical and mental joys of life and living.
Marking of happy, sad or life-stage events in ceremonies and gatherings, free from religion.