Humanism is defined as a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasises the value of human beings, individually and collectively. Derived from the Latin word ‘Humanitas’ which means benevolence and kindness towards one’s fellow human beings. During the Italian Renaissance, teachers and scholars of Greek and Latin grammar, rhetoric, philosophy and poetry were called “Humanists”.
Therefore, the word ‘Humanitas’ and its modern equivalent Humanism, can and does refer to both humanitarian kindness and benevolence and to a method of study and debate.
According to Wikipedia, the first Humanist manifesto was issued by a conference held at the University of Chicago in 1933. Signatories included the philosopher John Dewey, but the majority were ministers and theologians. They identified Humanism as an ideology that espouses reason, ethics, and social and economic justice. In addition, they called for science to replace dogma and the supernatural as the basis of morality and decision-making.