Go to the British Humanist Association website and you will read this: Roughly speaking, the word humanist has come to mean someone who:
- trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic)
- makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals
- believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.
You will also find a useful questionnaire there to help you decide if you are really
a simply unthinking and confused,
b A supernaturalist theist,
c. An unthinking selfish bar steward
d. A good, moral, altruistic, humanist either agnostic or atheist.
An interesting set of options.
Generally the Humanist tradition is a product of the European Enlightenment of the 18th Century and of the Liberal and scientific thinking that engendered in the work of a series of thinkers culminating in the 19th Century in John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin.