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Humanism or Renaissance humanism is the cultural movement in Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, that revived the language (in particular the Greek language), science, and poetry of classical antiquity (mainly Ancient Greece).

The term refers to several other belief systems and worldviews, including Secular humanism, Religious humanism, and Christian humanism. Because the writings of Pre-Socratic philosophers were translated by Renaissance scholars, they and those who agree with them are sometimes called humanists. Finally, the word is sometimes, but probably incorrectly, used either to describe humanities scholars (particularly classicists) or as a synonym for "humanitarianism".

It was charactized by an attitude and way of life centered on human interests or values, stressing an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason and other human skills.

Modern humanism tends to reject supernaturalism, although some religious people consider themselves humanists. Many humanists believe they have developed their moral values in the absence of influence of judeo-christian tradition. In fact however, they would have a difficult time determining from where their ethical and moral views otherwise developed. Some humanists disdain Christianity, even though it is more likely than not that Christianity is the wellspring of their western values. This is simply a matter of probability, since the people with whom they associate, and the caretakers of their own children, are probably faithful Christians. The problem presented by the humanist is somewhat like the "free-rider" principle in economics, where there is no contribution made by the free-riding individual, but that particular individual still benefits from the constibutions of the rest of society. The quest for Christian compassion, dignity and human rights, clearly these are not attributes with which people are born. Scientific proof of this fact is indisputable, since feral children demonstrate that humans are not innately good.

See also: rationalism, secular humanism, religious (spiritual) humanism, New Humanism, humanistic psychology, social psychology

List of humanists

External links