Humanism is a philosophical stream that is based on a belief that the life of human beings and their development can be and should be improved through gaining empirical knowledge and learning. Basically, humanism is about exploring and moving forward. Humanists deny the fact that some established set of rules can remain unchanged through the generations of people. Humanism is a progressive movement that sees a human as a part of the universe around.
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The affirmation I have selected for this work is the one that says: “Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change” (Humanist Manifesto III, 2014).
The first suggestions that some of the animals could derive from other animals started to appear in ancient Greece. This idea has travelled though centuries without gaining any significant recognition, it finally started to attract attention in the eighteenth century and in the nineteenth century it became an officially accepted theory of the development of human beings as organisms. These days this theory has been supported by multiple archeological findings, yet the religious views remain unchanged. The church strictly denies the idea of unguided evolutionary development of any living beings, humans included.
The Renaissance started in the fourteenth century in Europe. That was the era of higher interest towards education and knowledge. The life and people started to be studied from the perspective of science, not from the religious point of view. Exploration and learning attracted more minds than the established norms of unchangeable religion.
The age of the Renaissance started the chain reaction that lasted for centuries. Humanist views on the world and knowledge started to affect all spheres of human life and social ideas. The growing influence became so strong that it started to impact the church in Western Europe. This led to the Age of Reformation. The doubt of traditional thought started by the philosophers and scientists of the Renaissance resulted in multiple questions of religious traditions of Christianity and Roman Catholic Church.
The practice of selling indulgences was one of the religious norms of that time that had to be cancelled. The strength of progressive humanist thought has proved that even conservative and old-fashioned norms of medieval Christianity could be reformed.
The age of Enlightenment was the era of massive metamorphoses in the field of educational theory. This was the period when the meaning and power of critical thinking started to be appreciated. Humanist views on cognition started to be used widely. This age began in the eighteenth century and became the age of application of reason. The society started to believe that by application of critical thinking they could significantly improve their lives and themselves. Finally, this was the time when theory of evolution gained its popularity and power, and the humans started to be officially named as a part of nature and studied inherently within the natural processes, happenings and physical reactions.
Humanism gave a serious and necessary push to the science and education and drove the process of empirical cognition that shaped the modern education and the development of science in present days; it served the basis for forming progressive and revolutionary views, independent from the religious doctrine. These days, just like centuries ago, the truths of the Script and the affirmations of humanists disagree with each other and exist as two completely separate sets of beliefs stating mainly absolutely different opinions and perspectives.
Humanist Manifesto III. (2014). ProQuest. Web.