Humanist Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old humanist quotes, humanist sayings, and humanist proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Hope is believing in something that eludes you. It's a desperate feeling in a desperate situation.     

Carroll Bryant

The true humanist maintains a just balance between sympathy and selection.     

Irving Babbitt

Three key humanist virtues are courage, cognition, and caring - not dependence, ignorance, or insensitivity to the needs of others.     

Paul Kurtz

Humanism is a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion.     

American Humanist Association

Humanism is a philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity, of application of new ideas of scientific progress for the benefit of all.     

Linus Pauling

Humanism is the commitment to the use of reason in human affairs, applied in the service of compassion.     

Hans Jürgen Eysenck

The real enemy is the secular humanist mindset which seeks to destroy everything that is good in this society.     

Paul Weyrich

We have a great history; we have a great humanist face to put forward to the world.     

Emmanuel Macron

From the failure of the humanist tradition to participate fully or to act decisively, civilizations may perhaps crumble or perish at the hands of barbarians. But unless the humanist tradition itself in some form survives, there can really be no civilization at all.     

Louis Kronenberger

Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.     

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Humanism involves far more than the negation of supernaturalism. It requires an affirmative philosophy...translated into a life devoted to one's own improvement and the service of all mankind.     

Corliss Lamont

We have to replace beauty, which is a cultural concept, with goodness, which is a humanist concept.     

Philippe Starck

Confucius was a humanist and an agnostic.     

Hu Shih

Humanists recognize that it is only when people feel free to think for themselves, using reason as their guide, that they are best capable of developing values that succeed in satisfying human needs and serving human interests.     

Isaac Asimov

This Humanist whom no beliefs constrained Grew so broad-minded he was scatter-brained.     

J. V. Cunningham

A person who has sympathy for mankind in the lump, faith in its future progress, and desire to serve the great cause of this progress, should be called not a humanist, but a humanitarian, and his creed may be designated as humanitarianism.     

Irving Babbit

What we need to do is to humanize the scientist and simonize the humanist.     

C.P. Snow

Humanism believes that the individual attains the good life by harmoniously combining personal satisfactions and continuous self-development with significant work and other activities that contribute to the welfare of the community.     

Corliss Lamont

Most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A humanist is someone who does the right thing even though she knows that no one is watching.     

Dick McMahan

Our humanist attitude should therefore throughout be to stress what we all have in common with each other and relegate quarrelsome religion to the private domain where it can do [less] harm.     

Hermann Bondi

Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.     

George Carlin

A humanist is anyone who rejects the attempt to describe or account for man wholly on the basis of physics, chemistry or animal behaviour.     

Joseph Wood Krutch

Humanists hold that ethical values are relative to human experience and need not be derived from theological or metaphysical foundations.     

Paul Kurtz

To be a believer does not make you superior to others; but to be a humanist does make it so!     

Mehmet Murat ildan

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.     

David Hume

The four characteristics of humanism are curiosity, a free mind, belief in good taste, and belief in the human race.     

E.M. Forster

Life has no meaning a priori. It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose.     

Jean-Paul Sartre

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.     

Charles Darwin

The Humanist view of life is progressive and optimistic, in awe of human potential, living without fear of judgement and death, finding enough purpose and meaning in life, love and leaving a good legacy.     

Polly Toynbee