PresentationThe development of civilizations throughout history has not been a linear process, but rather new civilizations have emerged as the preceding ones deteriorated. The study of the historical process tells us that humanity today finds itself at one of those crossroads of history.
The deeply human and social crisis confronting today’s world and emerging in all areas, necessarily demands that we stop and think about how we wish to move forward.
The world has changed and continues to do so at a dizzily fast pace. Many beliefs, values and ideologies developed at an earlier time are no longer capable of responding to current problems much less provide solutions that can open up new horizons for the future. We do not believe that this situation must necessarily be seen as catastrophic, but rather it may serve to recognise this historic moment as the end of an epoch and a culture. The crisis is creating the necessary vacuum for the birth of something new.
This crisis offers us the opportunity to take a leap forward in the history of human evolution. We are beginning to feel a profound change, and a new global sensitivity is appearing amongst the contemporary turbulence. It is looking to the future with conscious optimism, carrying with it a whole conception of the human being, and therefore of society and progress.
However, this new civilization will not arise automatically but it will need a creative and intentional choice to build their new foundations.
The acknowledgment of the human being as central value and concern, the recognition of the equality of all human beings, respect for personal and cultural diversity, the affirmation of the freedom of ideas and beliefs, the development of knowledge beyond what is accepted as the absolute truth and the rejection of violence in all its form, are certainly the key points around which this new sensibility can gather as part of a new civilization: the first planetary civilization in history.
This New Humanism, continuation of the best creative aspirations that preceded us, does not belong to any culture and it cannot become crystallized in any historical moment. Humanism is present in all cultures under different names and forms. It flows towards renewed meanings just as the human species travels its dynamic journey from determinism to freedom.
This New Humanism, by definition pluralistic and inclusive, does not intend a uniform world or a single way of thinking, but the convergence, dialogue and joint action of all those who identify with this new sensibility.
Affirming the need for a New Humanism also entails affirming the search for a transcendental Meaning that justifies human existence beyond the provisional quality of our transit. A Meaning found in the depths of every human being which, when glimpsed, translates itself into a way of seeing and feeling that leads to valid actions in the interpersonal and social world.
Those of us who are part of the World Centre of Humanist Studies believe that the new world will be as we build it, and in this spirit we invite everyone to participate in the Third World Symposium "A New Humanism for a New Civilization."