American Ethical Union

“A humanistic religious and educational movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of human life is working to create a more humane society.”

American Atheists

Founded in 1963 to labor “for the civil liberties of Atheists, and the total, absolute separation of government and religion” and has affiliated groups in more than 25 states.


Rationalism is a philosophical tradition that understands reason to be the foundation for all knowledge. Empiricism, or the idea that all knowledge comes from sense experience, is key to rationalism.

Humanist Community Project

The Humanist Community Project is an initiative of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard that seeks to research and resource the Humanist, skeptic, atheist, and not religious communities of America.

Ethical Culture Movement, The

The Ethical Culture Movement was founded in the late 19th century by Felix Adler and represents one of the first successful attempts to organize a community around secular values. Today, there are a network of Ethical Societies which stem from the Ethical Cultural Movement; in the United States, the American Ethical Union is a national organization with chapters around the country.

al-Razi, Abu Bakr

Abu Bakr al-Razi (865-926 CE) was a Persian doctor, philosopher, chemist, and humanitarian who, despite his agnosticism and belief that all religions were created by man, was well known and beloved in the early Muslim world.


Skeptics are people who question religion, religious tenets, or other truth claims.

religious humanism

Religious humanism draws upon the rites and communal aspects of religion while maintaining secular values and a rejection of theism and the supernatural. Oasis, a growing community in Houston, Texas is one example of “atheist churches” in the United States.

Ingersoll, Robert

Robert Ingersoll (1833–1899 CE) was a veteran of the American Civil War and famed orator whose defense of agnosticism came during “the golden age of freethought.”

Harris, Sam

Sam Harris (1967-) is a prolific author and co-founder and CEO of Project Reason. His most well known books include The End of Faith (2004), Letter to a Christian Nation (2006), The Moral Landscape (2010), and Free Will (2012). Harris was educated in philosophy at Stanford University and has a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA.

Center for Inquiry

An organization that aims to “foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.” Founded by Paul Kurtz and headquartered in Amherst, New York, CFI has branches across the United States and around the world.

Rose, Ernestine

Ernestine Rose (1810-1892 CE) was an abolitionist and atheist feminist, the daughter of a Polish rabbi. At the age of sixteen she won a case against her father who insisted that she marry a man he chose for her; after the ruling, she left Poland and lived in England then settled in the United States where she established herself as well known and major intellectual figure in the 19th century struggles for women’s rights.

The Origin of Species

A groundbreaking work on evolutionary biology published by Charles Darwin in 1859. It became—and remains—controversial among those who maintain a literal translation of the biblical seven-day creation myth.