Sentientism: Evidence, reason and compassion

Sentientism is a philosophy or worldview – a way of thinking about what to believe and what we should care about.

Sentientists use evidence and reason to work out what to believe in, so we reject supernatural beliefs.

Sentientists also have compassion for all sentient beings – any being capable of suffering. That’s mostly human and non-human animals.

This site has video, audio and writing about sentientism, but if that’s a bit too dull, you might like to read some of the personal messages people are leaving on our “Wall of Sentientists”. See if you can spot the “celebrities”. You can even add yourself if the philosophy fits.

There’s a global movement starting to grow up around Sentientism.

The commitment to evidence and reason means that Sentientism, like secular humanism, rejects supernatural beliefs. Having compassion for all sentient beings means sentientists see causing harm or death to a sentient as morally negative.

Sentient beings (or sentients), are those that can experience – both suffering and flourishing.  Sentient beings today include humans and non-human animals – the clear priorities. However, sentient beings could potentially include artificial and alien intelligences should we create or encounter them.

If Sentientism sounds interesting, come and join our friendly, global community here. Anyone interested is welcome, whether or not you count yourself as a sentientist. We have people from around 70 countries involved to date – a mix of academics, activists, writers, policy people and interested lay people like me.

If you’d like to find out more you can read some magazine articles on Sentientism here , watch video here and listen to some the podcasts that have interviews about Sentientism here. Please let me know what you think – in comments below or on one of our community groups.

Once you’ve learned about Sentientism, you might consider yourself a sentientist. If you do, visit our “I’m a Sentientist!” page and add yourself to our wall. No detail needed – you can just leave your first name or add some thoughts depending on what you’re comfortable with.

Sentientism might feel like a fairly niche idea, but it has far reaching implications. This piece sets out some ideas about what might disappear in a sentientist world.

Here’s another piece that compares sentientism to some related philosophies and movements.  Hopefully this helps to clarify why I think it is distinctive and valuable. The following slides show some of those comparisons and set out where Sentientism came from.

Where did sentientism come from intellectually?

This is a short read covering my thoughts re: “Is Humanism good enough” and pointing out where sentientism is an improvement.

This piece argues we should integrate animal, human and even artificial or alien intelligence rights into sentient rights. Here, I’ve set out what a Universal Declaration of Sentient Rights might look like.

To date, there’s little mention of sentientism outside of philosophical circles. Given its importance — I feel that’s odd. If you’re interested in talking about the topics raised or finding out more, we run a range of online forums you can find here. Anyone interested is welcome, you don’t need to consider yourself a sentientist.

If you think sentientism is important and would like to help raise awareness of the idea, I’ve written some ideas about how you could help here.

There’s a Sentientism Wikipedia page, a Simple English Wikipedia page and an Animawiki one – feel free to help improve them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two + sixteen =