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Nonfiction Essay

750 words - 3 pages

In the 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress, International Humanist and Ethical Union established “The Amsterdam Declaration 2002.” This declaration defined Humanism as perfecting every human being through science, creativity and education for the good of humanity. IHEU’s modern definition of Humanism embodies the Renaissance ideas of pursuit of knowledge and secularism.
IHEU communicated the importance of science and human thought in perfecting both himself and society. In its second statement, IHEU explains how “Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action.”(2) This models IHEU’s interpretation of Humanists as individuals who seek for knowledge and utilize their reason. Renaissance agreed with IHEU’s emphasis on knowledge. Vittornio de Feltre was an Italian Humanist who studied Ancient Greek and Roman works. More importantly, he used his knowledge of the past to create a school known as La Casa Giosia. In his school, his students learned grammar, mathematics, logic, music, astronomy, history and religion to become well-rounded scholars. Before Renaissance, the church was the sole authority that limited education to only church-approved ideas. The church used education to prevent people questioning its authority in order to perpetuate its power, not to teach. Feltre solved this problem of corrupt education of the church by establishing the new form of education in which students are taught both Humanistic, religious and physical knowledge. IHEU emphasized that perfect human studies the past to develop new ideas that either contradict or agree with past works. It states “...reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process of observation, evaluation and revision.”(5) This demonstrates the process of an individual improve from knowledge by analyzing the pre-existing idea to discover more knowledge. During Middle Age, people believed the Ancient Greek and Roman works as the universal truth. However, from Renaissance, scientists began to challenge and correct the classical ideas. Nicholas Copernicus studied Ptolemy who argued that Earth is the center of the universe. Then, he questioned Ptolemy’s geocentric theory which was accepted as the truth and developed the heliocentric theory that contradicted Ptolemaic system. He discovered that Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun, center of the universe. Copernicus used science to...

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