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A Secular Humanist Declaration

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A Secular Humanist Declaration was an argument for and statement of belief in democratic secular Humanism. The document was issued in 1980 by The Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism ("CODESH"), now the Council for Secular Humanism ("CSH"). Compiled by Paul Kurtz, it is largely a restatement of the content of the American Humanist Association's 1973 Humanist Manifesto II, of which he was co-author with Edwin H. Wilson. Both Wilson and Kurtz had served as editors of THE HUMANIST, from which Kurtz departed in 1979 and thereafter set about establishing his own movement and his own periodical. His Secular Humanist Declaration was the starting point for these enterprises.

Table of Contents

  1. Free Inquiry
  2. Separation Of Church And State
  3. The Ideal Of Freedom
  4. Ethics Based On Critical Intelligence
  5. Moral Education
  6. Religious Skepticism
  7. Reason
  8. Science And Technology
  9. Evolution
  10. Education


Before the list of signatories, the declaration has the following disclaimer: "Although we who endorse this declaration may not agree with all its specific provisions, we nevertheless support its general purposes and direction and believe that it is important that they be enunciated and implemented. We call upon all men and women of good will who agree with us to join in helping to keep alive the commitment to the principles of free inquiry and the secular humanist outlook. We submit that the decline of these values could have ominous implications for the future of civilization on this planet."

United States



Great Britain (i.e. United Kingdom)


  • B. Shah (president, Indian Secular Society; director, Institute for the Study of Indian Traditions)
  • V. M. Tarkunde (Supreme Court Judge, chairman, Indian Radical Humanist Association)


  • Shulamit Aloni (lawyer, member of Knesset, head of Citizens Rights Movement)



  • Milovan Djilas (author, former vice president of Yugoslavia)
  • M. Markovic (professor of philosophy, Serbian Academy of Sciences & Arts and University of Belgrade)
  • Svet. Stojanovic (professor of philosophy, University of Belgrade)

See also

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