Tuesday, April 23, 2013

are you a humanist?

“Humanism” arose in the Italian Renaissance, which recovered classical texts and artifacts, and revivified such pagan ideals as the creative and self-assertive individual. Later, humanism fed into other early modern conversations demanding individual liberty and representative government. Humanism has also been used in a variety of other ways, for instance, to encourage appreciation of Greek and Roman classics, written in an age allegedly superior to our own; to foster a love for what is specifically human; and to describe a virtuous way of life without reference to the supernatural. To be “humane” also came to mean caring not only for people in distress, but for animals as well.  

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