A Humanist Manifesto, also known as Humanist Manifesto I to distinguish it from later Humanist Manifestos in the series, was written in 1933 primarily by Raymond Bragg and published with 34 signers. Unlike the later manifestos, this first talks of a new religion and refers to humanism as a religious movement meant to transcend and replace previous, deity-based systems. Nevertheless, it is careful not to express a creed or dogma. The document outlines fifteen affirmations on cosmology, biological and cultural evolution, human nature, epistemology, ethics, religion, self-fulfillment, and the quest for freedom and social justice. This latter, stated in article fourteen, proved to be the most controversial, even among humanists, in its opposition to “acquisitive and profit-motivated society” and its demand for an egalitarian world community based on voluntary mutual cooperation. The document’s release was reported by the mainstream media on May 1, simultaneous with its publication in the May/June 1933 issue of the New Humanist.
Two manifestos followed: Humanist Manifesto II in 1973 and Humanism and Its Aspirations in 2003.