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 Definition A group of ethical theories that place the human being at the center of our moral concern. Also, an intellectual trend towards such ethical theories that occurred in the Western Renaissance and Reformation. [d] [e]
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The term "humanism" also refers to the Early Modern (or Renaissance) European study of literature, etc. (as opposed to astronomy, "natural philosophy," etc.), which was much less critical of religion than some of the other movements to which the word has been applied. The current article takes little note of that. Perhaps there should be a disambiguation page distinguishing the kind of humanism referred to in the current article; the movement that specifically calls itself "Secular Humanism"; and the Early Modern European version often distinguished as "Christian humanism." (OK, raise your hands: Anybody recognize the name of Prof. Cyrus Jackson Lee Culpepper?] Bruce M.Tindall 22:28, 19 May 2008 (CDT)

  • Ah, but there are plenty of Humanists today who do not identify themselves as belonging to the Secular Humanist movement - eg. the sort of humanists who might be a member of the American Humanist Association or the British Humanist Association. Therefore, if we are dicing up humanism, we should have something like 'Renaissance movement', 'modern movement' and 'ethical theory'. You can subscribe to humanism as an ethical philosophy by simply believing that the interests of human beings are the key point of our ethical concerns (as opposed to, say, some environmentalists who would see nature more generally or humans plus intelligent non-human animals with a capacity to suffer - or perhaps those who think that the spiritual realm is more important in ethics than the human species, or even some who would say that there are only specific kinds of humans who are to be considered in our ethics - a specific race or gender - you get the drift). Does this seem like a fair distinction? Obviously, there is some overlap between these areas. --Tom Morris 12:16, 20 May 2008 (CDT)