Renaissance And Reformation Of Humanism

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Renaissance and Reformation of Humanism

Humanism is an attitude of thought which gives primary importance to human beings, and its outstanding historical example was the period of Renaissance Humanism from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries; rediscovered and developed by European scholars of classical Latin and Greek texts. During that time, much of the wisdom of the ancient world was lost or destroyed, in which intellectual life was dominated by religion and theology. It is often called the “Dark Ages” for this reason. In opposition to the religious authoritarianism of Medieval Catholicism, strong emphasize was placed on human dignity, beauty, potential, and every aspect of culture in Europe, including philosophy, music and the arts.
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A few enlightened rulers, such as Frederick the Great of Prussia, were patrons of radical writers and thinkers, fostering the growth of new ideas. Notable figures like the radical philosopher and campaigner, Thomas Paine, influenced the French and American revolutions that took place at the end of the century, and Mary Wollstonecraft pioneered feminist ideas in her writings. Atheism was uncommon and persecuted, but criticism of organized religion and traditional religious beliefs was widespread, often coupled with radical political ideas. Religious skepticism became more common in eighteenth century as a consequence of the development of a more scientific view of the universe. The Scottish philosopher, David Hume wrote very critically about miracles and religion. In France, a group of radical and free-thinking philosophers, who were highly influential, expressed their liberal, materialist, empiricist and naturalist ideas, and their skeptical attitude to religion. Their ideas influenced the course of the French Revolution. In Germany, the philosopher Immanuel Kant revolutionized the studies of metaphysics and ethics…show more content…
Many scientists were and are humanists. Some, such as Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1995), Scottish scientist and anthropologist J B S Haldane, Sigmund Freud, Sir Julian Huxley, and John Maynard Smith did much in the 20th century to spread understanding of science, of human nature and of evolution. Albert Einstein, who worked out the theory of relativity and one of the greatest achievements of the human intellect, was essentially a humanist. Scientific and medical progress has produced new ethical dilemmas, and traditional religious teachings have not always been able to rise to the challenge . It is extremely important for us to believe in the dynamic nature of humanism that takes curiosity, creativity, learning and pursuing knowledge at the forefront of the human experience. We see technology as a remarkable work of human endeavour that makes our life easier, more meaningful, efficient, conscience, and full of variety. We live in a world where we can enrich our lives with variety of our own creation. Such a world can only exist when people are free; where freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom of choosing life are open to
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