Center for Inquiry Statement on Paris Attacks: “Humanity is Better Than This”

November 14, 2015

The international community of the Center for Inquiry stands with the people of France.

The Center for Inquiry has branches and affiliates in countries around the world, from the U.S. to Uganda, from Canada to Argentina, from Kenya to Pakistan. As we advocate for science, reason, and secular values in public life, we do so guided by the principles of humanism, a philosophy that values peace, equality, free expression, and the right of each individual human being to find their purpose and peacefully pursue their passions. 

The attacks in Paris are an inhuman and grotesque assault on the foundations of our global civilization. Too often, a hateful few have used their loathing of these humanist values as justification for unthinkable violence. From the campaign of murder with impunity against secular writers and activists on the streets of Bangladesh, to the now multiple mass-slaughters in Paris that shock the conscience of the planet, it is our fundamental conceptions of society itself that have been targeted, hacked away at with each chop of a machete, with each spray of gunfire, with each detonation of a suicide bomb. Innocent human lives become disposable props in a ghastly exhibition of an archaic, backward, and tyrannical ideology. 

It is a madness that must end. There is no ideology, no creed, no theological argument that is sufficient to justify these acts of terror. 

Humanity is better than this. The ideals of freedom embraced by the vast majority of us, and enshrined in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, represent a bright and shining refutation of the ideology of the terrorists. These attacks remind us that there are religious and ideological fanatics who reject these ideals, but if we stand together, they cannot, they will not prevail.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.