Humanist Manifesto II

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The second Humanist Manifesto was written in 1973 by humanists Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, and was intended to update the previous Humanist Manifesto (1933). It begins with a statement that the excesses of National Socialism and world war had made the first seem too optimistic, and indicated a more hardheaded and realistic approach in its seventeen-point statement, which was much longer and more elaborate than the previous version. Nevertheless, much of the optimism of the first remained, expressing hope that war and poverty would be eliminated.

Many of the proposals in the document, such as opposition to racism, opposition to weapons of mass destruction, support of human rights, and a proposition of an international court are fairly uncontroversial and are widely accepted today in the Western world. However, in addition to its absolute rejection of theism and deism, various controversial stances are strongly supported, notably the right to unrestricted abortion and contraception.

Initially published with a small number of signatures, the document was circulated and gained thousands more, and indeed the American Humanist Association's website encourages visitors to add their own name. A provision at the end states that the signators do "not necessarily endorse every detail" of the document, but only its broad vision, no doubt helped many overcome reservations about attaching their name.

One of the oft-quoted lines that comes from this manifesto is, "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves."

The Humanist Manifesto II first appeared in The Humanist September / October, 1973, when Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson were editor and editor emeritus , respectively.


The 120 original signatories to the manifesto included the following:[1]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]


Soviet Union[edit]



External links[edit]