What is the Importance of Humanism for Society?
Humanism emphatically accepts joys and beauties, the braveries and idealism of existence of this earth. It believes in the beauty of love and the love of beauty. The Humanist’s emphasis is always affirmative and positive.
He stands for the greater and more frequent enjoyment of earthly goods by all human beings everywhere and unendingly thus his ethics stands for buoyant this-worldliness and it rejects ascetic other-worldliness.
It is in favor of high standards in relation between the sexes, but it does not think that sexual emotions as evil in themselves. It does not want any supernatural explanation or sanctions at any ethical point.
In solving any ethical problem, the Humanist relies upon reason based on the method of science. He does not depend upon any religious revelation or any kind of authority or intuition. He thinks that no human act is good or bad by itself.
Its goodness or badness is to be judged in terms of its results for the individual and society. Thus he draws his guiding principles from human experience and wants to test them in human experience. The Humanist thinks that from the stand-point of human happiness today is just as important as tomorrow and the current year important as any twenty years after.
Humanism stands for modification and socialization of human motives. Hence human nature has to be reconditioned and reshaped. This is possible because human nature is essentially flexible and educable. The reconditioning and reshaping of human nature should take continuously throughout the whole, i.e., from birth till old age.
Thus Humanism does not believe in the dictum that “You cannot change human nature.” The reconditioning, reshaping and transformation of human nature has to be directed towards the good of the individual and society.
Humanism defines man as what he does and likes to do. The Humanist concept of human personality rejects the false antithesis of the individual and society. So Humanism wants to carry out a systematic and skilful programme of training human motives and emotions in order that the social and sympathetic propensities and impulses of human beings may be encouraged. It does not want to encourage the egoistic tendencies of man.
Humanism stands for an abundant life for the individual. It thinks that no human happiness is possible without good economic conditions. Hence the tremendous potentialities of modern technology must be utilized for ensuring abundance for man. It is on the basis of this utilization that the good of the individual and of the society can be guaranteed.
Humanism is afraid of the current danger of a third world war in which atom bombs, rockets, hydrogen bombs and bacteriological devices are likely to create alarming situations. But even in the face of this impending danger Humanism stands firm in its vision of the good of the entire humanity.
Its note is always optimistic and positive as regards human welfare. Therefore, it advocates social co-operation for expending the possibilities of individual fulfillment. So its altitude is one of activism and not passivity.
For the fulfillment of his goal of human welfare, the Humanist wants that the individual must renounce some of his desires and he must observe some strict control over himself in the interest of ensuring human happiness on this earth.