Humanism: A New Religion

It is just as inaccurate to say that religion without the supernatural is not religion as it is to say that philosophy without metaphysics is not philosophy at all. – Charles Francis Potter

In 1929, Charles Francis Potter founded the First Humanist Society of New York, whose advisory board included Julian Huxley, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Mann. He was one of the original 34 signers of the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933.

All the original founders of modern Humanism thought of Humanism as a new religion. The Humanist Manifesto I makes this clear, “To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present.”

But when the American Humanist Association was formed in 1941, the goal was not to establish a religion as Potter had originally intended. They decided on an educational initiative instead. Potters vision was lost.

It is my intention to pick up Potter’s vision with the creation of Bodhidaoism. Much has changed since 1930 when Potter wrote his book Humanism: A New Religion. I have dropped the organizational focus and enlarged the tent to include an international scope.

Bodhidaoism is the only religion that is born with an international focus. Bodhi is the Pali language word of India, dao is from the Chinese, and ism is a suffix derived from the Greek language. And Bodhidaoism is now an English word. No other religion can say that even its name is international.

Published by

Jay N. Forrest

Zen Humanist Teacher.