Ethical Culture / Ethical Humanism

Yesterday’s platform on the similarities and differences between Ethical Culture and Unitarian Universalism (audio recordings of recent platforms will be up on the podcast page soon) brought up again the issue of humanism, and more specifically the word “humanism.” I mentioned that although both groups have lots of self-described humanists in them, Ethical Culture overall embraces the term much more officially than does Unitarian Universalism, which tends to have periodic battles between humanist and other subgroups. Do you agree?

Some Ethical Culturists worry that using “humanist” in our official language–such as we recently added to our sign–implies that theists are not welcome here, while others believe that if our philosophy, practices, and majority of membership are humanist we might as well use the term, as it helps people understand better who we are. What do you think? Would you define yourself as an Ethical Humanist? Would you like the Ethical Society and/or our national movement to use the term humanist/ism more often or more officially? Or not?