Phidippides: "What do they call themselves?"
Strepsiades: "I do not know exactly, but they are deep thinkers and most admirable people."
"The Clouds" of Aristophanes
At the dawn of the Renaissance, a Humanist was a scholarly Christian interested in reviving classical philosophy and literature. Since then the title has undergone a sea change. People who call themselves "humanists" nowadays generally have a vague but smiling faith in human progress, an awed respect for natural science and psychology, and a strong conviction that man can get along in this world without God.
Lately some humanists have felt an urge to formalize their beliefs. Last week, in...