Dantes, Divine Comedy; Petrarchs reintroduction of the stoics; and Boccaccio’s realistic humanism which coincided with the emergence of the printing press and books to the masses all contributed to the freedom of thought and decline of Catholicism. Descartes, Kant, Liebniz, Newton and Bacon framed the way through which this new thinking would ultimately effect our collective relationship with our world. The Industrial Revolution was a natural consequence to monetize new ideas, by ambitious men who did not stop to consider the effect of such unbounded growth and material focus on the collective soul of humanity.
The untoward net effect of the Rennisance was to transfer our magical thinking from religion to technology and the products it bestows onto us. Like pretty trinkets, or shiny lures, they boggle us and unconsciously hold our focus, while the machine turns faster and faster promising ever greater magic to come. Meaning fades away as external experience is lauded above all else. As our understanding of human behavior expands, unconscious hooks and Behavioralists tricks, are employed by those whose job it is to convince us we need the next gadget.
It always comes back to our own deliberate internal critical thinking apparatus and our own ever-present awareness. We are responsible for our own thinking and expression and the most we can hope for is to help those we know and love who want more for themselves.