Imagine a world without technology – no phones, no laptops, no TV’s, nothing. Most of us can’t even survive a day without logging into Facebook, or texting with our friends. If it weren’t for humanism, that’s the kind of world we would be living in right now. We wouldn’t have any airplanes, and we wouldn’t have the Internet. We certainly wouldn’t have been able to land a man on the Moon. We would be living in an isolated world, and most of what we have invented in the past few centuries wouldn’t even exist. Scary thought, right?
When we listen to a song on an iPod, or play on the Xbox 360, we never actually think about the countless hours of development and testing that’s involved. One of the key components of most of what we use today is electricity. Electricity was first put to use by Thomas Edison, a man who invented the first light-bulb. How do you think Thomas Edison was able to accomplish this goal? Well, with a little bit of luck and intuition, he was able to change the world. Most of what he knew came from two key individuals – Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton. Leonardo Da Vinci was an Italian polymath, who came up with many ideas, some of which are being used in our world right now. Isaac Newton made large contributions in the areas of calculus, and is considered the father of mechanics.
Our way of thinking has been refined and developed from a way of thinking during a very important time period – the Renaissance. The Renaissance, meaning rebirth, was a time that succeeded the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages were a time where nothing but bad happened. Events like the Black Death severely reduced the population of the world. There weren’t any significant inventions either. The Renaissance was a time where many thinkers emerged. There were many debates at the time, and rational thought was everywhere. Humanism resurfaced at the time, and many people began looking back at history and studying human nature. These individuals helped the world leave the Dark Ages, and eventually led the world to where we are right now.
Had it not been for humanism, our world would be lacking many things. We wouldn’t have the art, technology, and way of thinking that we presently have. We, as a race, would lack the grace and character that we possess. Our rational thought and creativity allows us to excel and continue to further our abilities. We owe it to the individuals who lived before us, as they have contributed to the world as we know it.
“The Humanism of the Renaissance.” Humanism and the Renaissance. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.all-about-renaissance-faires.com/renaissance_info/renaissance_and_humanism.htm>.
“Isaac Newton’s Life.” Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.newton.ac.uk/newtlife.html>.
Brooks, David. “The New Humanism.” NYTimes. The New York Times, Mar.-Apr. 2011. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/opinion/08brooks.html?_r=1>.