Humanism Information

Humanism is a worldview and a moral philosophy that considers humans to be of primary importance. It is a perspective common to a wide range of ethical stances that attaches importance to human dignity, concerns, and capabilities, particularly rationality. Although the word has many senses, its current philosophical meaning comes into focus when contrasted to the supernatural or to appeals to higher authority. Since the 19th century, humanism has been associated with an anti-clericalism inherited from the 18th-century Enlightenment philosophes. The term covers organized non-theistic religions, secular humanism, and a humanistic life stance.

The term "humanism" is ambiguous. Around 1806 Humanismus was used to describe the classical curriculum offered by German schools, and by 1836 "humanism" was lent to English in this sense. In 1856, the great German historian and philologist Georg Voigt used humanism to describe Renaissance Humanism, the movement that flourished in the Italian Renaissance to revive classical learning, a use which won wide acceptance among historians in many nations, especially Italy. This historical and literary use of the word "humanist" derives from the 15th-century Italian term umanista, meaning a teacher or scholar of Classical Greek and Latin literature and the ethical philosophy behind it.

But in the mid-18th century, a different use of the term began to emerge. In 1765, the author of an anonymous article in a French Enlightenment periodical spoke of "The general love of humanity . . . a virtue hitherto quite nameless among us, and which we will venture to call ‘humanism’, for the time has come to create a word for such a beautiful and necessary thing.” The latter part of the 18th and the early 19th centuries saw the creation of numerous grass-roots "philanthropic" and benevolent societies dedicated to human betterment and the spreading of knowledge . After the French Revolution, the idea that human virtue could be created by human reason alone independently from traditional religious institutions, attributed by opponents of the Revolution to Enlightenment philosophes such as Rousseau, was violently attacked by influential religious and political conservatives, such as Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre, as a deification or idolatry of man. Humanism began to acquire a negative sense. The Oxford English Dictionary records the use of the word "humanism" by an English clergyman in 1812 to indicate those who believe in the "mere humanity" of Christ, i.e., Unitarians and Deists. In this polarized atmosphere, in which established ecclesiastical bodies tended to circle the wagons and reflexively oppose political and social reforms like extending the franchise, universal schooling, and the like, liberal reformers and radicals embraced the idea of Humanism as an alternative religion of humanity. The anarchist Proudhon used the word "humanism" to describe a "culte, déification de l’humanité" and Ernest Renan in L’avenir de la science: pensées de 1848 , states: "It is my deep conviction that pure humanism will be the religion of the future, that is, the cult of all that pertains to man — all of life, sanctified and raised to the level of a moral value.“

Wikipedia, Humanism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism (as of Apr 1, 2010)

Humanism Books

Log in or join now now to suggest Humanism books.

Humanism Videos

Log in or join now now to suggest Humanism videos.
Loading...

Humanism Links

Humanism is in LifeKnot's Spirituality category. See more Spirituality activites.
Log in or join now now to suggest Humanism links.

Humanism Tweeps

Log in or join now now to suggest tweeps the tweet about Humanism.

Humanism Gear

Log in or join now now to suggest Humanism gear.

Humanism Gurus

gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Humanism guru.

LifeKnot members interested in Humanism

View even more people interested in Humanism

LifeKnot lists over 1,520 activities. Join now to perform advanced searches of all activities.



LifeKnot ∞ Meet people that share your interests.
Copyright © 2018 LifeKnot, LLC. All rights reserved.
find us on facebook ©
follow us on twitter
Process time: 0.0385 seconds.