Humanism: Philosophy, Science or Religion?

  • S.A Ekanem

Abstract

Man, unarguably has been taken to be the measure of all things and the determinant of what is and what is not. Man is also said to possess divine intelligence that transcends the physical. Man is seen by some as the creator, and so, man is a complex being that cannot understand him. Naturally, man is endowed with inquisitive instinct or spirit. This natural endowment has made man to always ask questions and attempt to provide answers to his several and unending questions. The quest to understand and completely comprehend the several mysteries surrounding him has led man to invent several epistemological approaches. These are aimed at actualizing himself in the world he finds himself, which he cannot adequately explain. This desire for rational explanation of the complex world and the several mysteries that include many has led man into the discovery of philosophy, science and religions as paradigms of explanation. These have further produced other ideas and concepts such as humanism, existentialism, pragmatism among others. Of all these, new ideas, humanism seems the most challenging and confusing as it contains several elements that could make it philosophic, scientific and religious. This is more compounding, as we now have such concepts or ideas as literary Humanism, Renaissance Humanism, cultural Humanism, philosophical Humanism, Religious Humanism, Christian Humanism, modern Humanism or scientific Humanism, secular Humanism among others. So, is humanism, a philosophy, science or religion? This is the question this paper seeks to provide some clarifications or answers to.
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