Basic Orientation
Book1: R-E Living & "Homo Rationalis"
Book2: Mind-Body Problem
Book3: Humanianity
Introduction: Humanianity 2020
Philosophico-Religious Issues
Psycho-Socio-Cultural Issues
The Twelve Articles
Relevant Autobiography








This document is offered as a thorough general presentation of the concept of Humanianity, as understood by this one Humanian as of November 2020. It is actually a reproduction of an updating chapter in Book3: Humanianity, The Religion for Humanity: The Most Important Religious Movement, originally written in 2013, and also available free at this website (, under PHILOSOPHY.


What does the expression, “HUMANIANITY: THE RELIGION FOR HUMANITY,” mean?

It does NOT mean that “Humanianity” is a new religion that is competing with the other religions in the world.

“Religion” has many definitions, and here it is being used to refer to the set of social entities and activities the function of which is to enable working together on learning how to live and have a good life, i.e., how to be good and happy people, i.e., what we should do in order to accomplish that, i.e., ethics.

By “ethics” is meant beliefs about what should and should not be done, that cultures, human and non-human, induce in their members, and in the case of humans, includes the linguistic modeling (putting into words) of those ethical beliefs in what are called ethical principles and rules of conduct. (And in this presentation, as is often true in general, there is no distinction being made between “ethics” and “morals.”)

Therefore, the word “Humanianity” is a label for just a very early movement manifesting itself in many of our religions, and our species in general, a movement toward becoming the ethically mature human species we can be (by which is mostly meant that we stop doing almost all of the awful things we hear about in the media and witness in our daily lives, resulting in so much pain, suffering, disability, and early death, or PSDED).

What does it mean if you say you are “a Humanian”?

The only requirement (by definition) to consider yourself a Humanian is the commitment to try to live in rational consistency with the Humanian Ultimate Ethical Principle (HUEP) defined here as:


So, now what follows is the effort to make this concept, and some of its implications (at least in the mind of this Humanian) as clear as possible, with the hope that such increased clarity will result in an increased basic understanding of what many of us are trying to do in many different ways, and therefore will result in an increased strength of motivation on the part of an increasing number of people (including the reader) to participate more fully in this extremely important effort, along with some suggestions as to how to do so.

Humanianity is the currently very early, but probably exponential, human-species-wide change from the naturally-occurring authoritarian ethics (based upon obedience to the most powerful, e.g., parent, leader, culture, or deity, about which species-wide agreement has been impossible) to rational ethics based upon the above Humanian Ultimate Ethical Principle.

By "rational" is meant “consistent with the use, where possible, of the rules of logic and the rules of evidence.”

The rules of logic are used to assure consistency (non-contradiction) within a set of propositions, or sentences, in this case that are linguistic models (statements) of beliefs. (The rules of logic enable only internal consistency within a system of beliefs; they do not have to do with the accuracy of those beliefs.)

The rules of evidence are the rules for conducting, and interpreting the results of, experiments or observations, so that the maximum accuracy of resulting conclusions (beliefs) can be obtained. (The use of the rules of logic and the rules of evidence, to an extreme, are what constitute the scientific methods, or the “scientific method.”)

So Humanianity is “Religion” (but not currently a religion or denomination) in the descriptively accurate sense that it is human activity the primary purpose (or function) of which is to help individuals formulate, understand, and apply fundamental principles regarding the best way to live their lives, i.e., a basic ethical philosophy (set of beliefs about what the right things to do are and why).

(There is unfortunately a current, widespread tendency to define “Religion” by its belief-content, e.g., “belief in a God, or gods,” rather than its function, whereas other social activities are defined by their function, or functions. For instance, Science is not ”belief in black holes,” but instead activities the function of which is that of increasing the accuracy of beliefs.)

Thus, neither implied nor denied here by "Religion" are theistic beliefs, various specific "supernatural" beliefs, or beliefs maintained by faith or obedience, these being absent in some entities recognized as religions, and not necessarily maintained by all individuals currently involved in many recognized religious organizations and activities. And note that some individuals and organizations engage in religious activity as here defined, but do not label their activity as "religious," sometimes because of current negative attitudes toward, or concern about negative attitudes toward, "religion" as it is often (differently) thought of.

Now, becoming a little more specific, Humanianity, as defined above, is currently only an early movement within Religion (within many specific religions, to varying extents) and within the human species in general, away from authoritarian ethics toward rational ethics, and specifically toward rational ethics based upon the above HUEP (or some ultimate ethical principle very much like it).

The next two paragraphs will clarify and elaborate on the terms "authoritarian ethics" and “rational ethics.”

(1) "Authoritarian ethics" as used here refers to the legitimization, meaning reason(s) for acceptance, of any ethical belief, rule of conduct, or principle by showing that it is consistent with whatever X wants, X being whoever or whatever is most powerful (able to cause pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death, and/or able to offer major, desired reward), thus allowing for non-rational and even logically inconsistent legitimizations, depending on the nature and/or mood of X. "X" may refer to parent, group, leader, culture, or deity (or representatives thereof). Authoritarian ethics is the ethics that exists in all (social) animals that manifest some sort of dominance-hierarchy-phenomena (entailing thereby behaviors that can be characterized as "rewarding," "punishing," "obeying," "disobeying," "struggling for dominance," etc.). It is thus the ethics that we all start out with in life, though we may later move in the direction of rational ethics. It is the ethics that we have built into us as hominids. It is natural and normal, but it is the source of much suffering and tragedy. We humans, because of our symbolic language and science/technology, can do better and are starting to do so.

(2) "Rational ethics" as used here refers to the legitimization of any stated ethical belief, rule of conduct, or principle by showing that it is logically consistent with a higher level (more general) ethical belief, rule of conduct, or principle and certain existential beliefs (beliefs about what exists, has existed, or will exist, and how it works, as opposed to ethical beliefs). Implied, therefore, is that there is an ultimate, or highest level, or most general, ethical principle (“ultimate” ethical principle), which cannot be legitimized in this way (there being no higher level ethical principle with which to do so), but is simply wanted for whatever reason(s). (Thus, different ultimate ethical principles will lead to different ethical belief systems, and the HUEP is just one of those possibilities. However, it is proposed that the HUEP would be desired by almost everyone, given adequate thought, and that finding another that was significantly preferred would be quite unlikely.)

Now, in what ways is this movement, Humanianity, manifesting itself more specifically?

This movement is manifesting itself especially (but not only) in an increasing effort to replace some of our natural tendencies to engage in dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) behaviors (many of which can at times cause tremendous amounts of PSDED) with behaviors consistent with the social contract by everyone for the benefit of everyone.

It will be important to clarify these two concepts, “dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) behaviors” and “social contract.“

Dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) behaviors are one component of dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) phenomena in general, as outlined in the next four paragraphs.

(1) "Dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) phenomena" as used here refers to all of those components ("DHR behaviors" and "DHR emotions") of our basic hominid nature involved in the development and maintenance of hierarchical social organization, as well as, in the case of humans, the more complex cultural management (e.g., ethical, governmental, political, legal, religious) of such DHR emotions and behaviors.

(2) For humans, DHR behaviors include competing, demonstration of prowess, play-fighting, actual fighting, threatening, cursing, scolding, punishing, shaming, ridiculing, laughing at, smirking, arching of the eyebrow, ignoring, yelling at, interrupting, shouting down, refusing to speak, putting down, mocking, pejorative labeling, apologizing, staring or glowering, lowering the gaze, bowing, complimenting, bullying, cyber-bullying, needless horn-blowing, teasing, annoying, tormenting, showing off, territoriality, passive aggression, triangling (alignment with one against another), vandalizing, desecrating, protesting, obstructing, disobeying, obeying, etc.

(3) For humans, DHR emotions (motivating such behavior and resulting from it) include joy, affection, admiration, looking up to, excitement, pride, looking down upon, fear, anger, outrage, envy, jealousy, depression (even suicidal), guilt, shame, feeling superior, feeling looked up to, feeling inferior, feeling looked down upon, hatred, self-hatred, etc.

(4) For humans, DHR complex cultural phenomena (the manifesting and managing of DHR phenomena within a culture) include class, property, money, wealth, capitalism, tribalism, racism, loyalty, slavery, fashion, grading (educational and other), sports, child rearing, law enforcement (including incarceration, solitary confinement, torture, and execution), war, genocide, terrorism, authoritarian ethics, authoritarian-ethical religions, dehumanization, discrimination, subjugation (e.g., of women), harassment (sexual and other), etc.

Next, we need to clarify, in the next three paragraphs, the term “social contract.”

(1) The "social contract" consists of an agreement to a set of decision-making procedures by all of those to whom the decisions apply, with cooperative agreement among themselves to adhere to such procedures, and with the goal of achieving that which is beneficial to everyone in that group of individuals. This set of agreements becomes, therefore, a set of (non-authoritarian) ethical principles and rules of conduct. (Such procedures may consist of something as simple as mutual grooming and equal sharing, among even non-humans, to something as complex as international government.) Of course the procedures decided upon, in areas involving complex decision-making, will most likely include the establishment of an "authority structure" that assigns decision-making responsibility or roles to certain individuals because of the prediction of most optimal functioning thereby (due to those individuals having exceptional knowledge and/or skill in certain areas). But this will have been decided upon by procedures agreed upon by the group, not imposed on the group by those individuals or by others from outside the group. This way of engaging in social organization (i.e., by social contract) is significantly different than the ways produced by our DHR phenomena, which can lead sometimes, through struggling for dominance and through being dominated, to so much PSDED.

(2) If one evaluates a specific example of a social organization to determine to what extent it is operating according to an authoritarian-ethical model versus a social contract model, one is most likely to find a mixture of both, especially the larger the social organization is. The reason for this is that since authoritarian-ethical social organization is much more in tune with our basic hominid nature, the maintenance, instead, of a social contract (by all, for all) requires a more complex and difficult-to-accomplish ethics and is therefore achievable by much fewer groups of people currently. Nevertheless, we see a growing effort throughout our species to move in that direction, resulting in, for instance, political phenomena that are "democratic" in nature, including the developing United Nations organization as an alternative to worldwide organization determined by repetitive war, with dominance by the most powerful. And this movement within our species will result in, and be promoted by, newer, much-higher-skilled child rearing, drastically different from our normal, natural, standard (strongly authoritarian) model of child rearing. (This change in child rearing model, from authoritarian to rational-ethical, is presented in the chapter on “Rational-Ethical Child Rearing in Book1, Rational-Ethical Living and the Emergence of ‘Homo Rationalis’, available free on the website, under PHILOSOPHY.

(3) The social contract has probably always existed as a phenomenon among humans, and probably other social animals, as mutually agreed-upon cooperative behavior for the benefit of those involved, not behavior required by an external, dominating entity. (Such agreement does not have to be in words; it can be arrived at by individuals suggesting, through their behavior, what they are wanting and whether they feel good or bad about what is happening.) But this phenomenon has generally been limited to a very small number of individuals, usually only two (often referred to as “peers”). Also, such phenomena very easily convert into relationships in which there is a struggle for dominance, leading to relationship breakdown or to a relationship in which the most powerful in the relationship compel(s) the other(s) to obey, thus making the ethics of the relationship authoritarian, rather than that of the social contract. In the social contract, the ethical sense (motivation to do what one believes one should do) is produced, not by fear of punishment or wish for reward, but by the recognition of the importance of doing what one has agreed to do, by virtue of the anticipated undesired consequences of one’s failing to do so (e.g., the failure to achieve a mutually-desired goal, or the awareness of others’ disappointment in the context of wishing everyone to feel good).

Hopefully the above successfully clarifies the two concepts, “dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) behaviors” and “social contract.“

So, again, Humanian ethics is based rationally upon the above HUEP, not upon obediently-maintained beliefs, e.g. theistic, about which there currently can be no wide-spread, increasing agreement, despite such agreement being increasingly desperately needed by our species with regard to our ethics.

The assignment of a name (“Humanianity”) to this movement is only an effort by this Humanian to clarify and thus help promote the movement, with the hope of thereby bringing about its somewhat faster growth (especially in response to an increasing sense of urgency).

Humanianity is thus not an organized religion or even an organization. There of course will probably (hopefully) develop Humanian organizations with functions including studying Humanian thought, advocating for Humanianity, and engaging in projects and activities consistent with the HUEP, but to be Humanian does not require joining or identifying with any group.

Humanianity, as already stated, is not something to replace or compete with any group or group activity. For the individual, Humanianity is a personal orientation (a commitment to try to live rationally according to the HUEP) that any member of any group can decide to have, an orientation that may indeed result in that individual attempting to help his or her group(s) improve in certain ways, such as to become more Humanian.

Therefore, in order to be a Humanian, there is, by definition, no required set of beliefs other than (1) the HUEP, which is an ethical belief (i.e., about what we should or should not do), and (2) the ethical belief that we should try to make all our other ethical beliefs, and therefore our actions (whatever thoughts, feelings, and behavior that we seem to have any voluntary control over), rationally consistent with the HUEP.

So, you can be a Humanian and still be a member of any specific religious organization, identify with any specific religious tradition, or have no other religious identification at all. (Perhaps most people come from a specific religious tradition.) Therefore, you can be a Christian Humanian, a Jewish Humanian, an Islamic Humanian, a Buddhist Humanian, a Hindu Humanian, a Sikh Humanian, a Pagan Humanian, a Bright Humanian, a Humanistic Humanian, an atheistic Humanian, an Ethical Cultural Humanian, etc., or just a Humanian.

And, since "Humanian" can be an adjective as well as a noun, you can therefore be a Humanian Christian, Humanian Muslim, Humanian Humanist, Humanian Atheist, etc.

Since Humanianity is a "movement" within Religion, or religious thought and practice as defined above, it can be said to be present to a certain degree, rather than being simply absent or present, and therefore any particular religious (or other) group may be said to be "Humanian" to a certain degree. Most religious groups consist of individuals who are becoming "Humanian" to various extents, with progressive change expectable over time, such that the various religious groups (and for that matter, any groups of humans) can be said to vary with regard to how "Humanian" they have become so far. And indeed, any individual can be said to be Humanian to a certain degree, that can vary from not at all to extremely so, as in "that person is very Humanian," referring to how committed the person is to living in rational consistency with the HUEP.

Humanianity, then, can be conceptualized by a metaphoric image that consists of a somewhat conically-shaped mountain, the vertical dimension representing time. Around the bottom of, and at varying distances from the bottom of, the mountain are worm-like entities seemingly crawling up the mountain but actually growing at the top end and atrophying at the bottom end, each of these entities representing a specific religion (or similar cultural activity not necessarily labeled a "religion") that is becoming more "progressive" (self-analytic, self-reformative, and self-expansive) at the top end and that is giving up outdated components at the bottom end. As this movement within these entities occurs, and the entities eventually approach the top of the mountain and therefore come closer to each other, they will tend to merge, and when all of them have done so, they will finally become “Humanianity, the Religion for Humanity.” Currently, however, Humanianity consists only of the movement, or growth process (toward the top of the mountain), within these entities ("religions" and other similar entities). Thus, Humanianity currently is not just another "worm" on the mountain, but instead is the process going on in the worms that is producing their movement up the mountain, the atrophying at the bottom end and growth at the top end. (Thus, the expression “Humanianity, the Religion for Humanity,” represents a goal to work toward and perhaps achieve, not a current reality.)

So, what, more specifically, would result in a religion being considered to some degree Humanian? As an analogy, a small child has much "growing up" to do and may manifest significant "behavior problems" that must be overcome in order to become a well-functioning, productive, and happy individual who makes his or her world a better place. Ethically, our species is still just a toddler (compared to how we may become), itself manifesting many behavior problems that cause PSDED, but having significant potential to behave far better (as evidenced by the wide range of behaviors manifested by individuals within our species). Each of our religions, cooperative efforts to learn to become more mature ethically, is still quite young and in need of overcoming various behavior problems that still remain (especially those caused by authoritarian ethics and other tendencies built into our species by evolution, e.g., tribalism, fighting, greed, etc.), and each of those religions always has the potential for further improvement. That growth process is the movement labeled “Humanianity.” Of course, our species does not have a parent to guide it and serve as a model, so it has to figure out how to do it on its own. We, within our religions (and other similar activities not necessarily labeled "religious"), have to do it ourselves, using our best (linguistic, rational, and technical) skills as we observe the effects of the behavior of our species' individuals and groups on their own and others’ well-being. And to the extent that those in a religion engage in that effort, to that extent the religion can be described as Humanian.


If indeed this movement will result in a far better life for all of us on this planet, why are we not all aware of it and doing our parts in bringing it about as soon as possible?

We need to look at the most problematic set of tendencies of our species—a set of tendencies that holds us back and makes it so difficult to do that which seems so obviously needed.

Humanianity, as an emerging new way of cooperation, would seem to require all individuals being committed to increasing mutual understanding of each other and therefore to the continual sharing and comparing of beliefs in increasing depth, with the goal of finally achieving agreement to that which seems most rational and optimal (consistent with the HUEP), but always with the welcoming of new challenges to currently accepted beliefs.

Such commitment to conjoint study is, however, drastically different than what has always tended to be the ultimate response to difference of opinion (belief) with regard to relatively fundamental ethical issues, namely: refusing to continue discussion; attainment of psychological, social, and physical distance from those who disagree; developing anger and engaging in hostile behavior toward those who believe differently; and at times engaging in violence toward the "other" that can be as extreme as murder, war, and genocide.

So, what are some of the main reasons for this unfortunate, non-optimal response to difference of opinion (belief)? What is this problematic set of tendencies?

First, our hominid species is tribalistic, involving loyalty to the group and reduced empathy for and concern about, and even a tendency to fight and attempt to dominate or eliminate, those outside of the group. And for us humans, since we developed language and the ability to communicate belief systems (sets of interrelated and interconnected beliefs), this loyalty extends to the maintenance of belief systems that the group considers part of the group’s identity.

Second, even between members of the same group (or “tribe”), it is very easy for such individuals to feel that concluding that one is wrong and the other right represents submission, as in “losing the argument,” thus causing motivation to engage in a struggle for dominance (not “giving in”), that can easily cause escalation of that struggle (to “win” the argument), with the appearance of increasing anger and hostile behavior.

Third, it is well known that what we believe influences how we feel, and that some beliefs are comforting, or even inspiring, to have, so that giving them up results in significant suffering, occasionally enough even to the extent of resulting suicide. (Examples are beliefs that are optimistic or that make one feel accepted, valued, or admired.)

Fourth, any specific belief is generally a part of a larger system of beliefs, which may be important to the individual as described in the last paragraph, so that the giving up of that one specific belief may result in the discomforting conclusion that since something is wrong with this part of the belief system, then maybe the whole, important belief system is defective or wrong.

Nevertheless, if the predicted results of such cooperative behavior are as good as here maintained, why is the importance of such commitment to conjoint study, despite the above four problems, not more obvious?

The reason is related to the fact that Humanianity is not a sudden, new phenomenon, but instead a probably exponential movement that has been occurring to some extent since an indefinite time in the past. ("Exponential" means starting very slowly, perhaps undetectably, but gradually accelerating till quite striking in its growth, ultimately resulting in drastic, obvious change.) But since this movement is still very early in its growth, it is therefore hard to see. And because it has not become obvious that this significant change is occurring, many people disregard such an idea as “idealistic,” and not worthy of consideration and effort. People say, “That’s just not the way we are.” (And if there is no reason to pursue the understanding of Humanianity, then that is one less thing one may feel obligated to devote time to and is certainly not a reason to question the comfortable belief that the most important things have already been figured out sufficiently for one’s own purposes.)

But what actual difference(s) in living does all of this mean for you and me?


Since Humanianity is a movement in the ethics of our species that is still quite early, then a Humanian is going to be living a different kind of life, in some respects, than what is currently normal. So what are some of the implications regarding the influence on the daily life of an individual who is becoming Humanian? (What follows is one Humanian’s answer.)

In general, to be a Humanian entails a lifetime of effort. A Humanian should:







Why study? We humans do wonderful things and awful things, to ourselves, others, and the environment, causing much JCA but also much PSDED. In order to stop causing so much PSDED, and in order to increase JCA, we have to understand what it is that we do that is not optimal, and what we should do instead. Such study is working on a basic ethical philosophy. And the more each of us studies, the more others are likely to join in and do so also.

Why learn? Since we are not optimal in our functioning so far, we have to bring about change in our brains, such that the behavioral output is different and better. This involves our learning about ourselves, and especially about those parts of our basic hominid nature that contribute to our human-induced PSDED (like our tendency to develop anger and to “fight,” with looks, words, fists, weapons, and money). And again, the more each of us learns, the more others are likely to join in and do so also.

Why practice? Any new behavioral tendency that we bring about in our brains is weak in comparison to that which comes naturally to us or that which we have been accustomed to doing, and it is through conscious, purposeful, effortful repetition ("exercise") that we strengthen the later, newer behavioral tendencies, until these new tendencies become more “automatized” (likely to occur without thinking). And again, the more each of us practices, the more others are likely to join in and do so also.

Why improve? Throughout our lives we are frequently being confronted with new situations that involve complex judgements about uncertain situations, and it is therefore always possible and even likely that whatever we do, we could have done something even better, achieving an even closer approximation to perfection and thus living even more consistently with the HUEP. And the more each of us improves, the more others are likely to also.

Why model? If indeed we are behaving increasingly consistently with the HUEP, then we can help others to recognize the benefit of doing so, and help them to understand how to do so, by setting a model for them for imitation and identification, one of the most important ways in which all of us learn to do new things.

Why advocate? Others are more likely to join the effort if they become aware of the possibility of doing so, by virtue of their attention being drawn to that possibility, and the more of us that do indeed join the effort, the faster we will reduce the terrible amount of suffering and tragedy that we have been bringing upon ourselves so far.

Each of the above efforts is in behalf of trying to make the world a better place, within our spheres of influence and within the limits of our capabilities.

"Making the world a better place" is defined here as bringing about more joy, contentment, and appreciation (JCA) and less pain, suffering, disability, and early death (PSDED), for everyone, now and in the future.

For each of us, our "sphere of influence" is defined here as all of those individuals (including ourselves) upon whom what we do has some effect. The outer boundary of one's sphere of influence is indistinct and unknown. The more influence one has on an individual, the closer that individual can be said to be to the center of one's sphere of influence. The self is therefore the center of that sphere.

What we do to and for ourselves (often referred to as "life-style") is important in determining our capabilities for making the world a better place for others. Also, other things being equal, higher priority should be given to acting in behalf of those closer to the center of one's sphere of influence (because of the degree of potential impact, positive or negative). But of course there would be other considerations also, such as the likely amount of benefit that might be produced, and the number of individuals that might be affected. And there probably never can be complete certainty about any such decisions. All any of us can do is try our best to do what we believe will make the world a better place, based upon conscientious thought, thus increasing the probability of being successful.

So, in order to live consistently with the HUEP, the Humanian will seek to develop and live by a basic ethical philosophy that consists of ethical principles and ethical rules of conduct that are derived rationally from the HUEP and from existential beliefs (about what exists, has existed, or will exist, and how it works) that are as accurate as possible.

Is there likely, then, to be any similarity among the basic ethical philosophies of Humanians?

There are ideas (existential beliefs) that, through a lifetime of experience, almost everyone with sufficient thought would agree with, referred to here as "facts" (which of course still can change with further experience). Sometimes, however, these ideas may not have been thought about such as to see their significance, which may even be profound. The following are examples of some perhaps profoundly significant ones that are relevant to Humanianity. They would seem to be true, but are of course open to discussion and debate, as should be any proposed beliefs.

Proposed Fundamental Facts Relevant To Humanianity:

  • There is not a single thing that we can have that does not require others having done their part.
  • There is not a single thing that we can do (beyond the extremely trivial) that does not require others having done their part.
  • There is no individual, and there never has been, who knows how to make (completely) anything you see around you.
  • Without others doing their part, you and I die.
  • The more people do their part, the more everyone benefits.
  • What we believe is an important determinant of what we do.
  • If our beliefs are not accurate, we are more prone to make mistakes.
  • If we agree to that which is inaccurate, we can sometimes make really big mistakes, causing enormous PSDED.
  • The seeking of accurate beliefs to which we all can agree is crucial to the quality of our lives and our survival as a species.
  • We humans can believe almost anything.
  • We accomplish nothing without some degree of agreement.
  • Agreement of everyone with regard to a belief does not guarantee that the belief is accurate.
  • One of the best ways to increase the accuracy of our beliefs is through friendly debate (sharing and comparing of beliefs), an extremely difficult skill, often rejected.
  • Our tools for making the world a better place are our bodies, our brains, our minds, and our possessions (overlapping concepts).
  • We have the choice of taking care of our tools or not.

In addition to this (incomplete) set of fundamental “facts” relevant to Humanianity is a set (incomplete) of fundamental values that would seem to be consistent with the HUEP. The following values (possible ethical beliefs) would seem to follow (in the mind of at least this Humanian) from the HUEP and the relevant fundamental facts just stated. However, any of these values are open to question and friendly debate. "Value" is here defined as what is wanted or not wanted. Humanian ethical values would be those things we should want or not want (and therefore should strive for or try to avoid) in order to live according to the HUEP. Please note that whereas it might be very easy to agree with each of these values, it is quite strikingly obvious that many of our species live according to them only to a very small extent.

What We Should Want:

  • Doing our part to make the world a better place, within our spheres of influence and within the limits of our capabilities.
  • Self-improvement, relationship improvement, improvement of our religions, societies, and cultures.
  • Dialogue, sharing and comparing of beliefs, friendly debate, understanding of self and others.
  • Accuracy of belief, education, science, communication technology.
  • Empathy for all beings that can suffer.
  • Cooperation, effort toward agreement regarding accurate beliefs.
  • Personal good health, mental hygiene, maintenance of capacity for joy.
  • Organization, efficiency, creativity, capacity for new insight.
  • Freedom to engage in harmless pleasure.

What We Should Not Want:

  • Lack of empathy, imperviousness to suffering.
  • Unresolved relationship discontent, chronic anger, wishes for bad fortune for others.
  • Hostility, antisocial behavior, predatory behavior, violence, terrorism, war.
  • Avoidable (natural and human-caused) hardship, disaster, disease, poverty.
  • Religious and ideological alienation and persecution.
  • Cultural victimization, discrimination.
  • Ignorance, superstition.
  • Denial of harmless freedom.

Despite what appear to be the probably fairly obvious facts and values listed above, we can all make the observation that there is an enormous amount of PSDED, at times to a tragic extent, brought about by what we, the members of our species, as individuals and as groups, decide to do:

Things We Do Causing PSDED:

  • Unhealthy lifestyle behavior (uninformed, unconcerned, and addictive) resulting in poor and even fatal physical and mental health for the self and consequent emotional and financial hardship for others.
  • Careless risk-taking behavior leading to accidents and illness, that result in enormous amounts of physical and mental suffering, disability, and early death, for the self and others.
  • Hostile interactive behavior leading to relationship breakdown, from the interpersonal to the international, including parent-child relationships, friendships, employer-employee relationships, primary significant other relationships, societal subgroup (e.g., racial, sexual, religious) relationships, and international relationships, often referred to as "fighting."
  • Unempathetic exploitative behavior to even a criminal extent, producing not only sorrow and at times agony and even death, but also widespread, painful and disabling distrust in our fellow humans. (We are our most feared predator.)
  • Destructive consumptive behavior that has been increasingly ruining the environment upon which our comfort and health, and even our very lives, depend.
  • Non-optimal governmental behavior leading to social problems such as poverty, inaccessible healthcare, inaccessible education, and excessive, unnecessary, harmful incarceration.
  • Victimizing cultural behavior consisting of painful and even fatal intolerance, discrimination, and aggression toward harmlessly non-conforming ("different") individuals and groups, by individuals and groups (including mob behavior, terrorism, and genocide).

Our basic hominid nature has been formed by the processes of natural selection, which have to do with survival of the species, not quality of life, so we have built into us some tendencies that make life better and some that make life worse. With our development of language, and then science and technology, and through much cooperation based upon accurate belief, thoughtful agreement, and ethical motivation, our species has accomplished truly wonderful things, enabling a far better and longer life than had been true closer to our beginning. But that accomplishment has remained marred by our continuing tendencies listed above, and many believe there is a growing sense of urgency about the fate of our species at our own hands (because of our now enormous capabilities). The Humanian Life is one dedicated to doing one’s part in overcoming one’s own such tendencies and in working with others to reduce those tendencies within our species.

So far, all of the above presentation of THE HUMANIAN LIFE has been a fairly general description of ways that an individual can work on becoming a "better" person (behaving ever more consistently with the HUEP). What follows is some more specific ways you can do so, that also include doing your part to advocate for such participation by others. (And what applies to you, of course, applies to all of us humans, within our spheres of influence and within the limits of our capabilities.)

First, with regard to studying and learning, we are most able and likely to change our "programming," our habitual ways of doing things, if we are members of a group of individuals who are likewise attempting to change in the desired direction, so participation in such groups should be of considerable help and opportunity. Therefore, if you are able to participate in groups that in any way have as a function that of becoming better people, your participation should be relevant and helpful, to you and others. Religious organizations are, of course, specifically for such purpose, but there are many organizations that do not identify themselves as religious organizations that are also for this purpose to a greater or lesser extent. And of course your membership in such a group allows for the opportunity of advocating (calling others’ attention to the Humanianity concept as possibly consistent with the goals of the group or organization).

With regard to practicing, improving, and modeling, it is quite possible that the attempt, within a group or with another individual, to share and compare beliefs that are central to how best to live life will lead to phenomena described above under “THE CHALLENGE WE FACE” (i.e., hostile interactive behavior), and your attempts to respond optimally in such situations will help you to improve in the same way our species should improve to reduce human-induced PSDED. There is a specific, recommended study tool to help, namely, the chapter on Rational-Ethical Anger Prevention in Book1, Rational-Ethical Living and the Emergence of ‘Homo Rationalis’ available free on the website, under PHILOSOPHY.

Of course, your studying does not have to be in a group (or with another person). You can devote time to reading literature, viewing presentations, and thinking intensively about certain ethical issues, possibly as a form of meditation (e.g., while walking). This includes intensive review of interactions with others in which something seems to have “gone wrong,” or in which you have the feeling that you did not make a correct choice.

Regarding the study of literature, religious literature may be specifically helpful, if read with a specific outlook. Our religious literature of the past, rather than being looked at as commandments from an authoritarian entity, can be considered part of our species' diary, and can be studied to get perspective, i.e., a clearer picture of how we have been in the past, how far we have come since then, and what we can aim for in the future.

Speaking of religious literature, there is a specific study tool on the website that has significant potential for the promotion of progressive ethical thought. It is the Humanian Belief Manual, and is described in detail on the HOME section, under the TOOLS page. The Belief Manual itself allows you and anyone else in the world (currently that speaks English) to construct a basic ethical philosophy, consisting of a list of proposed existential and ethical beliefs, accompanied by definitions, and to see to what extent other participants agree or disagree with each of them. The Belief Manual allows you to agree or disagree with any of the proposed beliefs, and allows you to enter your own beliefs and accompanying definitions, to be evaluated by other participants. Also, your group can be registered (by a group member) in the Belief Manual such that the group has its own Belief Manual, consisting of those proposed beliefs that 90% or more of the group agree with. You can therefore suggest to friends, significant others, and group members that they also participate, so that you and they can compare beliefs, seeing what agreement or disagreement there is. Also, there is a FORUM for any participants to discuss their reasoning with each other regarding the proposed beliefs, allowing for ever deepening exploration of concepts.

And another tool for studying is the set of recorded Humanianity Conversations on the website, the viewing of which can promote deeper thought about various issues by allowing you to see diverse viewpoints presented to perhaps an unusual degree of depth.

Some individuals engage in “prayer” as a way of practicing thinking about certain things, and it is conceivable that it might be of value to you to say the proposed Humanian Prayer one or more times a day:

The Humanian Prayer

In all that I do, I, (your name), wish to do, and intend to try to do, when possible within my sphere of influence, that which will promote not only the survival of our species but also as much joy, contentment, and appreciation as possible and as little pain, suffering, disability, and early death as possible, for everyone, now and in the future--so help me everyone, please, to do this (or, for theists, “…so help me God and everyone, please, to do this”).

All of the above-described effort, THE HUMANIAN LIFE, is that of increasingly putting into words the ethical principles and rules of conduct that you live by, improving them, and increasing the strength of the motivation to live by them (the “ethical sense”), by virtue of your practicing thinking about them and by virtue of your openness to others that that is how you are living, so that you always can get feedback from others that may help you to improve your ethical belief system, or basic ethical philosophy.


Purpose of Science: To optimize existential beliefs (about existence and how it works).

Purpose of Religion: To optimize ethical beliefs (about what should and should not be done).

Science without Religion is dangerous. (Science can enable us to do remarkably good and bad things.)

Religion without Science is dangerous. (Religion can motivate us to do remarkably good and bad things.)

Bad Science is dangerous. (We can do terribly bad things due to beliefs based on faulty, non-rational, scientific methods.)

Bad Religion is dangerous. (We can do terribly bad things due to beliefs based on coercive, authoritarian-ethical, non-rational religious methods.)

Good Science is rational. (It helps prevent doing bad things due to mistaken beliefs.)

Good Religion is rational-ethical and Humanian. (It helps prevent wanting to do bad things due to mistaken beliefs or bad motivational states and behavioral tendencies.)

"Authoritarian ethics": based on obedience to the most powerful (e.g., parent, leader, culture, deity).

"Rational ethics": based on rationality (consistency with rules of logic and rules of evidence), and an agreed-upon ultimate ethical principle.

"Good" here means "resulting in increased JCA and/or reduced PSDED."

"Bad" here means "resulting in reduced JCA and/or increased PSDED."

"JCA" means "joy, contentment, and appreciation." "PSDED" means "pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death."

"Humanianity" is "the emerging movement (especially in Religion) from authoritarian ethics toward rational ethics and the HUEP."

"My Humanianity" means "my commitment to try to live in rational consistency with the HUEP."

"HUEP" means "Humanian Ultimate Ethical Principle," verbalized here as, "We should do that which will promote not only the survival of our species, but also as much JCA as possible and as little PSDED as possible, for everyone, now and in the future."

General statements about the Emergence of "Humanianity":

  • Possible because of: Our species’ first two exponential, psychosocial changes, namely, symbolic language and rationality (rules of logic and rules of evidence, ultimately science/technology).
  • Probably exponential: At first unnoticed, but accelerating, to finally become a drastic (third exponential) change, perhaps describable as a new "emergent."
  • Very early: Currently unnoticed and unidentified by almost everyone, relatively uninfluential, easily dismissed, hard to grasp.
  • Based primarily upon: Rationally constructed social contract for the benefit of all (as opposed to dominance by the most powerful).
  • Exemplified by: "Human rights" (cf. citizenship); "democracy" (cf. dictatorship); decline of authoritarian theism; non-theistically based ethics.
  • Requiring: Openness of mind; willingness to study, debate, advocate; valuing of critiquing, being questioned, accuracy of belief, agreement.
  • Involving: Conscious, ethical inhibition of some natural tendencies (e.g., discrimination, anger, fighting), and enhancement of others (e.g., empathy, nurturing, cooperation).
  • Affecting: Personal ethics, relationship ethics, environmental ethics, lifestyle, child rearing, societal organization, culture.
  • Not guaranteed: Will occur only if understood, valued, and worked for by an increasing proportion of our species.
  • Severely needed: In face of increasing threats to our species caused by our extreme capabilities and non-optimal natural tendencies.
  • Personally rewarding: Satisfaction from living by a much more consistent, well-thought-out, and effective ethics benefiting self and others.
  • Generally beneficial: Making the world a much better place, for everyone, now and in the future.


(Please join the effort!)

Humanianity is the emergence of an improvement in our species' ethics, which if it does successfully occur to a much greater extent will lead to a far better way of life on this planet than we have ever known so far. This document, or book, is just one more effort to promote that continuing emergence, perhaps making its ultimate success a little more likely and its rate of emergence a little more rapid.

So participation can be for two purposes, (1) to benefit oneself and those close to oneself and (2) to provide a sense of satisfaction and enthusiasm in knowing that one is participating currently in something very, very important for the future of our species.

With regard to this second purpose, if you wish to have any part in our effort to promote not only the survival of our species but also more joy, contentment, and appreciation and far, far less human-caused pain, suffering, disability, and early death, for everyone, now and in the future, then the first question is whether such is possible. It may or may not be possible, and if possible, the odds may be great or small. If it is possible, but you believe the odds are low, you will have to decide whether, even if it fails, you wish to be one of those who tried, and, if it does come about, you wish to be one of those who helped to bring it about.

We do know that for it to succeed, more and more people will have to make the decision to join the effort, and for them to do so, they will tend to have to see that others are deciding to do so, this being the process sometimes referred to as a "movement." So your participation, in any way, helps promote that movement.

You must try to decide wisely how to spend the minutes of your life. You know that many efforts of this sort have been flawed and unsuccessful, so you should continuously evaluate critically any and all ideas that you come across. But in addition, if something doesn't seem right, it would be best to make an effort to subject such concern to the critiquing of others, recognizing that it is easy for us to be mistaken, and that the best way to correct misunderstanding is to subject one's ideas to evaluation by others who believe differently, with the specific effort to understand why such difference in opinion exists, so as to identify anything that one may have overlooked or been prone to avoid recognizing.

And if the Humanianity project is ultimately successful, and if by virtue of your participation this third exponential change for our species occurs just a few minutes earlier than it would have, then your participation will most likely have saved quite a few lives and prevented quite a bit of tragedy over the course of the future of our species. Whether or not that does occur, working on your own basic ethical philosophy should be of significant value to you and those relatively close to you.

So, let us work together toward finally becoming empathetically identified, not only with our group(s), but with our species globally, with a strong and effective ethical concern for the benefit of everyone, now and yet to come, while working on being the best we can be to ourselves and each other, right now.


So, will you join the effort? (Involves studying, learning, practicing, improving, modeling, advocating--individually and with others.)