SIXTH WORLD ATHEIST
At this time of momentous challenges and difficulties for our planet, this gathering
of Atheists, Humanists and Rationalists from around India and the world understands
that concerted efforts from all people of good will are needed to bring about
real change. The problems of climate warming, population pressure, growing inequalities
and the resurgence of religions and ethnic hatred respect no boundaries: all
of us are affected.
Planetary problems require planetary
solutions and these solutions must be based on our shared values common to all
- - We affirm the worth, dignity
and autonomy of every individual, and the right of everyone to the greatest
possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. We support democracy,
human rights and the rule of law, and aim at the fullest possible development
of every human being.
- We recognize our duty of care to all of humanity including future generations
and our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world.
- We affirm the equality of men and women. All persons regardless of race,
origin, caste, religion or belief, language, gender, sexual orientation or
ability must have equal treatment before the law.
- We affirm the right of everyone to adopt and follow a religion or belief
of their chossing. But the beliefs of any group must not be used to limit
the rights of others.
- We uphold secularism, holding that the state must remain neutral in matters
of religion and belief, favouring none and discriminating against none.
- We hold that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility.
We seek to create a fair society based on reason and compassion, in which
every citizen is enabled to play their full part.
- We uphold both tolerance and freedom of expression.
- We affirm the right of everyone to open and comprehensive education.
- We reject intimidation, violence and incitement of violence in the furtherance
of disputes, and hold that conflicts must be resolved through peaceful negotiation
and by legal means.
- We uphold freedom of inquiry in every sphere of human life and the application
of science in the service of human welfare.
Inspired and reinvigorated by meeting people of like mind from all corners of
the Earth, each participant in this conference resolves to renew their efforts
to create a better world.
Vijayawada, India, 7. January 2007