Humanism

Any attitude that gives priority to human endeavors, values, capacities, worth, interests, needs, and welfare, rather than to those of the gods, the spirits, the animals, or any other non-human thing. Also, the study of the humanities. The term is frequently qualified, as in "Renaissance humanism," which is characterized by a love of the achievements of the Greco-Roman world, an optimism that humans are inherently endowed with the skills necessary to reshape the world according to their own needs, and a belief in inherent human dignity. While the Renaissance humanists did not see their enlightened self-interest as a contradiction of their Christianity, a few recent demagogues identify "secular humanism" as a tacitly atheistic preoccupation with human affairs.





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