Humanism (with either upper or lower case "h"), whether labelled a philosophy, life stance, worldview, movement or "religion", dates back to the ancient Greece and Rome of Eipicurus and Lucretius. After lying dormant for centuries it began to reawaken following the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the development of science. The Deism of Voltaire and Paine and Jefferson was a sort of proto-humanism. The 19th century growth of democracy, science, public education, and industry - aided by Darwin's breakthrough in science - spurred the advances of freethought and rationalism. The Ethical Society movement took off after the Civil War and Unitarian congregations moved leftward theologically toward naturalistic Humanism.
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