Secular humanism is not a religion, but an ethical code used in place of religion. It is a code that states that you should do good unto others no matter how that will affect you in the hereafter. Secular humanists are generally either atheist or agnostic individuals, which simply means that they don’t have religion. They believe that humanity’s continued survival is something that we should all work towards, not a good outcome in the hereafter. Human dignity is an important concept to them, as they believe that human beings should be treated with respect unless a reason for them not to be treated with respect is given.
Secular humanism holds the view that moral codes generally come from the fact that humanity evolved socially. As social creatures, we have developed ways of rewarding those who do things for the good of our societies and punishing those who do things to the detriment of our societies, which transition from suggestion to norm to law as they become more accepted. This view on morality is reinforced by the fact that cultures with vastly different religious views almost always have very similar codes of morality, there have been no long-lasting societies that condoned unprovoked infringements on the society’s members’ rights to life, liberty, and property. Any loss of life, liberty, or property for the members of society would be a loss for the society as a whole, so it would be in the society’s best interest to avoid it.
Humanist philosophies are not a part of religion, and can exist with or without it. One example is the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which its most well-known proponent, Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes as “the essence of being human.” Ubuntu is the philosophy that doing good for others is doing good for yourself. As another proponent of it, Nelson Mandela said about it, “A traveler through a country would stop at a village and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?” Both of these men are Christians and also humanists. This shows that the humanist philosophy is just a moral code to use with or without religion. Secular humanism is simply humanism without using religion to justify having humanist views.