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6. Enlightenment
Written by Messiah   
Thursday, 06 July 2006

We have all heard about the so called Enlightenment period in history. This was the 18th century European intellectual movement marked by a belief in universal human progress and the sovereignty of reason and an emphasis on empirical research in the sciences. It was the age of revolutions, were brave individuals dared to counteract the Church power over history, truth and the human mind. The American, French and other revolutions were justified by Enlightenment principles of human natural rights. Among the revolutionaries one can find names like: Voltaire, Condorcet, Gotthold Lessing, J J Rousseau and Denis Diderot. They along with many others were Enlightenment thinkers who believed in a new social progress and in the liberating possibilities of rational and scientific knowledge. Religion was equal to the human mind behind bars. So what is “Enlightenment”? Well, it’s just a word describing enhanced understanding. But, do not mix up understanding with knowledge. That is the biggest mistakes you can do if you are trying to enlighten your self. You can read and memorize loads of books, but still have no understanding of the purpose of the books.

- “Knowledge is to memorize a book.”

- “Understanding is to think like the one who wrote the book.”

During the Enlightenment period, old writings became of great interest. These were writings that had been guarded as treasures thru history. In history leaders with other ideals burnt such writings as soon as they were able to, as they were seen as threat against their own ideals and leadership. Today it does not matter who destroyed those old writings. What’s matter is that some of them did survive. But it wasn’t the contents itself; it was the ideals and the visions of the old masters which were important. Today, many years after especially old Greek philosophers most countries in the western world lives after the principals described in these old writings. Much of our present structure of society has its fundament there.



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