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How do we know what is right and wrong?

How do we know what is right and wrong? Watch a collection of humanists answer the question.
I think humanism tells us a couple of things about what’s right and what’s wrong. One of them is that we do, as a society, as individuals, have a capability to figure out moral questions. Maybe not instantly and maybe not perfectly but that is within our capability, but the other thing is it tells us we should never stop examining these things. I think that being a humanist, which means that you don’t believe in God or you don’t believe in kind of morals or scriptures from on high or rules written down in books telling you how to behave, is actually a really freeing and much more moral way to look at things.
No matter what I think is a good thing to do and the right thing to do I’ll always doubt myself, I’ll always really think is that really the right thing to do, and it’s that questioning that humanism has that I really like. I think it’s fantastic that right and wrong is something that we’re constantly testing and we’re constantly talking about. Humanism gives a really good framework for how to live our lives because it’s based on the golden rule of how you should treat other people. Treat other people well, as you would want to be treated and if you follow that rule you can’t go too far wrong.
So when you’re a Humanist deciding between right and wrong is, is not always the easiest thing to do. You use shared human experience to figure out generally what humans probably want using empathy, using understanding. Humanism is all about human-centered ethics, so what are the consequences for humans? That doesn’t rule out adding other animals into the mix but basically we’re looking at the consequences for humans and deciding what’s good and what’s bad for them. You’re going to think about the consequences to people and to the environment and to try to come up with a solution that’s best for everybody.

Take a look at the video of different humanists answering the question, ‘How do we know what is right and wrong?’

Look out for similarities and differences between the humanist responses and consider where you agree and where you disagree.

Question: How can we know what’s right and wrong?

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Introducing Humanism: Non-religious Approaches to Life, with Sandi Toksvig

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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