Author Topic: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?  (Read 3937 times)

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Online Justin Kissel

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What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« on: September 04, 2013, 11:19:14 PM »
Many times over the years I have seen negative comments about "the Enlightenment." So, I'm curious, for those who have said such things, or even just hold to a similar viewpoint: what/who/when/where in particular are you thinking of, and why is it considered bad? What damage was done, what damage is being done, and what is the better alternative?
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 11:19:22 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 11:29:14 PM »
For one thing, where it led to
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 11:59:39 PM »
The Enlightenment is really when people like Voltaire who made fun of everything he didn't like and did what he wanted to, become famous.

It's really individualism and skepticism leading to no social or moral foundation. Things were essentially subjective, and it has led into the nihilist, hedonistic relativistic culture that we now know and love.

I hope I was clear enough, maybe read Voltaire for yourself. I did.

He's interesting, but pompous, selfish and ill-willed as well.

What's a better alternative? How about humility? The Enlightenment led to the lack of humility and overbearing pride, lusts and irrationalism that has permeated this society.

Seen a Pagan Pride parade? Probably because of the Enlightenment. There is no objective truth or rational discussion here, it's just Free Thought, Fight the Power stuff.

In a nutshell, the Enlightenment is the Protestant Reformation without God and the Bible to keep them from going insane through pursuing self-fulfillment.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:30:35 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Online Justin Kissel

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 01:25:38 AM »
I'm surprised that you are against capitalism, ialmisry, I would have thought you'd be a supporter  ???

And I must admit that I will have to chew over your post xO, pompous and selfish don't sound good, but skeptical and subjective do. Hmm...

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 01:55:59 AM »
I'm surprised that you are against capitalism, ialmisry, I would have thought you'd be a supporter  ???
I'm not an uncritical supporter.

Did you recognize the chimneys?

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 01:59:31 AM »
The Enlightenment is really when people like Voltaire who made fun of everything he didn't like and did what he wanted to, become famous.

It's really individualism and skepticism leading to no social or moral foundation. Things were essentially subjective, and it has led into the nihilist, hedonistic relativistic culture that we now know and love.

I hope I was clear enough, maybe read Voltaire for yourself. I did.

He's interesting, but pompous, selfish and ill-willed as well.

What's a better alternative? How about humility? The Enlightenment led to the lack of humility and overbearing pride, lusts and irrationalism that has permeated this society.

Seen a Pagan Pride parade? Probably because of the Enlightenment. There is no objective truth or rational discussion here, it's just Free Thought, Fight the Power stuff.

In a nutshell, the Enlightenment is the Protestant Reformation without God and the Bible to keep them from going insane through pursuing self-fulfillment.
It is emblematic of Voltaire and his ilk that they depended on "enlightened despots,' not the masses, for support.

The "Enlightenment" has a real responsibility problem, owning up to what havoc it has wrought. I had it out with Greeki over his undesired progeny of his pet movement over and over again.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Gorazd

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 03:34:21 AM »
The enlightenment should not be reduced to Voltaire. There were several different important figures. Let us not forget Kant, for example.

Btw, what the heck does Auschwitz have to do with the enlightenment?

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 05:00:32 AM »
The Enlightenment is really when people like Voltaire who made fun of everything he didn't like and did what he wanted to, become famous.

It's really individualism and skepticism leading to no social or moral foundation. Things were essentially subjective, and it has led into the nihilist, hedonistic relativistic culture that we now know and love.



Nothing new under the sun...
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aurum omnes victa iam pietate colunt.
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Offline Napoletani

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 09:46:49 AM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :



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Offline Napoletani

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 09:49:09 AM »
Many times over the years I have seen negative comments about "the Enlightenment." So, I'm curious, for those who have said such things, or even just hold to a similar viewpoint: what/who/when/where in particular are you thinking of, and why is it considered bad? What damage was done, what damage is being done, and what is the better alternative?

Better alternative: Orthodox Christian Enlightenment. With a King of Emperor who will become a Saint. If possible all Romanian for us to rule over all the world at last.

Damage done: homosexuality, abortion, transexuals, pedophilia, immorality, dechristianisation, massacres, etc etc etc.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 10:16:59 AM »
Many times over the years I have seen negative comments about "the Enlightenment." So, I'm curious, for those who have said such things, or even just hold to a similar viewpoint: what/who/when/where in particular are you thinking of, and why is it considered bad? What damage was done, what damage is being done, and what is the better alternative?

Better alternative: Orthodox Christian Enlightenment.

That's what the Kollyvades did: St. Athanasios of Paros, St. Makarios of Corinth, St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite, St. Kosmas of Aetolia, St. Paisii Velichkovsky. Some of them even compiled manuals for teaching mathematics and natural sciences, founded schools, etc. St. Kosmas' first advice to poor Orthodox parents was: "Send your children to Greek schools."   

Offline Ansgar

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 10:29:35 AM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :





Actually, there were a great deal of people, both liberals and conservatives, who were outraged by the mass-executions commited by the french revolutionaries. One of the main causes, for which many in the Enlightenment Movement fought for, was the abolishment of capital punishment.
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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 10:33:34 AM »
The "Enlighteners" were into historical revisionism. I don't like people who promote historical revisionism.
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Offline Napoletani

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 10:36:53 AM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :





Actually, there were a great deal of people, both liberals and conservatives, who were outraged by the mass-executions commited by the french revolutionaries. One of the main causes, for which many in the Enlightenment Movement fought for, was the abolishment of capital punishment.

It does not matter, Robespierre was adoring the "REASON God", and as someone said "God is dead, everything is allowed". What matters is the cause-consequence concept, not that some didnt agree etc.
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Offline Ansgar

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2013, 10:45:17 AM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :





Actually, there were a great deal of people, both liberals and conservatives, who were outraged by the mass-executions commited by the french revolutionaries. One of the main causes, for which many in the Enlightenment Movement fought for, was the abolishment of capital punishment.

It does not matter, Robespierre was adoring the "REASON God", and as someone said "God is dead, everything is allowed". What matters is the cause-consequence concept, not that some didnt agree etc.

Actually, it does. You implied that the mass slaughtering in France was widely considered an act of enlightenment, and I pointed out that many Enlightenent thinkers were greatly opposed to those actions. The question about God and reason is an entirely different matter.

Besides, don't you think that massacres, abortions and the desecration of holy ground took place before the Enlightement?
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Offline Napoletani

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2013, 10:56:21 AM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :





Actually, there were a great deal of people, both liberals and conservatives, who were outraged by the mass-executions commited by the french revolutionaries. One of the main causes, for which many in the Enlightenment Movement fought for, was the abolishment of capital punishment.

It does not matter, Robespierre was adoring the "REASON God", and as someone said "God is dead, everything is allowed". What matters is the cause-consequence concept, not that some didnt agree etc.

Actually, it does. You implied that the mass slaughtering in France was widely considered an act of enlightenment, and I pointed out that many Enlightenent thinkers were greatly opposed to those actions. The question about God and reason is an entirely different matter.

Besides, don't you think that massacres, abortions and the desecration of holy ground took place before the Enlightement?

It does not, because in communit regimes you will also find "communists" saying killing people is bad. But it was nevertheless the result of communist doctrine. The main issue here was the Enlightement wich is an ideas movement, especially about God and reason.

For your second point, It did, because of Man's fallen nature, that Enlightement denies and supports( even without knowing it). The main vessel to it was the free masonery, and it is still the case now, with its anti christian habit.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 10:57:57 AM by Napoletani »
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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2013, 10:57:08 AM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2013, 11:00:15 AM »
Many times over the years I have seen negative comments about "the Enlightenment." So, I'm curious, for those who have said such things, or even just hold to a similar viewpoint: what/who/when/where in particular are you thinking of, and why is it considered bad? What damage was done, what damage is being done, and what is the better alternative?

Better alternative: Orthodox Christian Enlightenment.

That's what the Kollyvades did: St. Athanasios of Paros, St. Makarios of Corinth, St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite, St. Kosmas of Aetolia, St. Paisii Velichkovsky. Some of them even compiled manuals for teaching mathematics and natural sciences, founded schools, etc. St. Kosmas' first advice to poor Orthodox parents was: "Send your children to Greek schools."   

I think this is an important point- the Orthodox Church during the same period did not take a reactionary role, nor did it conform to the rising "Enlightenment" current, but propagated a renaissance on its own terms.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2013, 11:44:32 AM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

Post of the Month. Post of the Forever. Succinct and potent.

Kudos on coining Freethinking Conformist, if it's yours.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 11:47:03 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2013, 12:02:14 PM »
The French Revolution caused great consternation and soul searching among the American founding fathers, as Jefferson found it hard to let go of his affection for the French revolutionaries, even when the Marquis de Lafayette was forced to flee France ahead of the guillotine and subsequently spent five years in an Austrian prison.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:03:05 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline Ansgar

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2013, 12:08:54 PM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :





Actually, there were a great deal of people, both liberals and conservatives, who were outraged by the mass-executions commited by the french revolutionaries. One of the main causes, for which many in the Enlightenment Movement fought for, was the abolishment of capital punishment.

It does not matter, Robespierre was adoring the "REASON God", and as someone said "God is dead, everything is allowed". What matters is the cause-consequence concept, not that some didnt agree etc.

Actually, it does. You implied that the mass slaughtering in France was widely considered an act of enlightenment, and I pointed out that many Enlightenent thinkers were greatly opposed to those actions. The question about God and reason is an entirely different matter.

Besides, don't you think that massacres, abortions and the desecration of holy ground took place before the Enlightement?

It does not, because in communit regimes you will also find "communists" saying killing people is bad. But it was nevertheless the result of communist doctrine. The main issue here was the Enlightement wich is an ideas movement, especially about God and reason.

For your second point, It did, because of Man's fallen nature, that Enlightement denies and supports( even without knowing it). The main vessel to it was the free masonery, and it is still the case now, with its anti christian habit.

You said, and I quote:

Quote
That was considered enlightenment :





And I explained that these actions were not considered enlightened by the majority of people living at that time. The mass-killings were, in fact, part of a power struggle between different political factions.

And your analogy about the communist regimes doesn't make sense. There were many christian nations who killed and tortured countless people in the name of their faith. According to your logic, those acts of violence were, therefore, a direct consequence of Christianity.

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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2013, 12:10:43 PM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

Post of the Month. Post of the Forever. Succinct and potent.

Kudos on coining Freethinking Conformist, if it's yours.

Interestingly enough, it think it is fair to say that De Toucqueville anticipated much of what Iconodule references in his famous observations of the nascient American republic in the early 19th century.  

As a rule, I don't like to cite Wiki quotes, but this one is appropos:

"Tocqueville warned that modern democracy may be adept at inventing new forms of tyranny, because radical equality could lead to the materialism of an expanding bourgeoisie and to the selfishness of individualism. In such conditions we lose interest in the future of our descendents...and meekly allow ourselves to be led in ignorance by a despotic force all the more powerful because it does not resemble one. Tocqueville worried that if despotism were to take root in a modern democracy, it would be a much more dangerous version than the oppression under the Roman emperors or tyrants of the past who could only exert a pernicious influence on a small group of people at a time. In contrast, a despotism under a democracy could see "a multitude of men", uniformly alike, equal, "constantly circling for petty pleasures", unaware of fellow citizens, and subject to the will of a powerful state which exerted an "immense protective power".Tocqueville compared a potentially despotic democratic government to a protective parent who wants to keep its citizens (children) as "perpetual children", and which doesn't break men's wills but rather guides it, and presides over people in the same way as a shepherd looking after a "flock of timid animals"." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville

He remains controversial, a century and a half past his death.

Offline augustin717

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2013, 12:13:02 PM »
The excesses if you will of the French Revolution didn't just happen because of some reaction in the chain of ideas, inherent to the Enlightenment philosophy . It had way more mundane causes. The terrible opposition the French revolutionary govt faced from England, Prussia and basically all Europe. Seige bears many atrocities.

Offline Ansgar

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2013, 12:15:22 PM »
The excesses if you will of the French Revolution didn't just happen because of some reaction in the chain of ideas, inherent to the Enlightenment philosophy . It had way more mundane causes. The terrible opposition the French revolutionary govt faced from England, Prussia and basically all Europe. Seige bears many atrocities.

That is true, but I would still say that the atrocities commited by the revolutionaries were far from justifiable, even when considering the political landscape at the time.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:17:36 PM by Ansgar »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2013, 12:20:30 PM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

Post of the Month. Post of the Forever. Succinct and potent.

Kudos on coining Freethinking Conformist, if it's yours.
+1
I knew Iconodule and I agreed on something.
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Offline Alpo

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2013, 12:20:52 PM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

Post of the Month. Post of the Forever. Succinct and potent.

Kudos on coining Freethinking Conformist, if it's yours.

+1

Also, I must admit I'm somewhat suprised this was written by Iconodule since I've been thinking him as a liberal leftist*. A fine example how people should not make any conclusions about other people based on internet forums.

*Please don't insert American politics into this. This is descriptive, not polemics.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:21:39 PM by Alpo »
The user should probably be sleeping by now.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2013, 12:21:55 PM »
The excesses if you will of the French Revolution didn't just happen because of some reaction in the chain of ideas, inherent to the Enlightenment philosophy . It had way more mundane causes. The terrible opposition the French revolutionary govt faced from England, Prussia and basically all Europe. Seige bears many atrocities.
Who was besieging Romania when it built the Danube-Black Sea canal?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2013, 12:22:53 PM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

Post of the Month. Post of the Forever. Succinct and potent.

Kudos on coining Freethinking Conformist, if it's yours.

Interestingly enough, it think it is fair to say that De Toucqueville anticipated much of what Iconodule references in his famous observations of the nascient American republic in the early 19th century.  

As a rule, I don't like to cite Wiki quotes, but this one is appropos:

"Tocqueville warned that modern democracy may be adept at inventing new forms of tyranny, because radical equality could lead to the materialism of an expanding bourgeoisie and to the selfishness of individualism. In such conditions we lose interest in the future of our descendents...and meekly allow ourselves to be led in ignorance by a despotic force all the more powerful because it does not resemble one. Tocqueville worried that if despotism were to take root in a modern democracy, it would be a much more dangerous version than the oppression under the Roman emperors or tyrants of the past who could only exert a pernicious influence on a small group of people at a time. In contrast, a despotism under a democracy could see "a multitude of men", uniformly alike, equal, "constantly circling for petty pleasures", unaware of fellow citizens, and subject to the will of a powerful state which exerted an "immense protective power".Tocqueville compared a potentially despotic democratic government to a protective parent who wants to keep its citizens (children) as "perpetual children", and which doesn't break men's wills but rather guides it, and presides over people in the same way as a shepherd looking after a "flock of timid animals"." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville

He remains controversial, a century and a half past his death.
he also remains right.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline mike

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2013, 12:23:55 PM »
Better alternative: Orthodox Christian Enlightenment. With a King of Emperor who will become a Saint.

Lord forbid.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:24:07 PM by Michał Kalina »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2013, 12:24:06 PM »
The excesses if you will of the French Revolution didn't just happen because of some reaction in the chain of ideas, inherent to the Enlightenment philosophy . It had way more mundane causes. The terrible opposition the French revolutionary govt faced from England, Prussia and basically all Europe. Seige bears many atrocities.
Who was besieging Romania when it built the Danube-Black Sea canal?
Imperialism

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2013, 12:25:26 PM »
The enlightenment should not be reduced to Voltaire. There were several different important figures. Let us not forget Kant, for example.

Btw, what the heck does Auschwitz have to do with the enlightenment?
It doesn't because you find Auschwitz distasteful?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2013, 12:25:50 PM »
The excesses if you will of the French Revolution didn't just happen because of some reaction in the chain of ideas, inherent to the Enlightenment philosophy . It had way more mundane causes. The terrible opposition the French revolutionary govt faced from England, Prussia and basically all Europe. Seige bears many atrocities.
Who was besieging Romania when it built the Danube-Black Sea canal?
Imperialism
your uncle Joe.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2013, 12:26:41 PM »
Better alternative: Orthodox Christian Enlightenment. With a King of Emperor who will become a Saint.

Lord forbid.


she was in with the Voltaire crowd.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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Offline augustin717

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2013, 12:30:29 PM »
Well anyways some of you here react as if large scale executions for political reasons only started with the French Revolution bc of its atheist underpinnings . As far as I remember all those peasant revolts in the Middle Ages had no strong ideological basis- I mean certainly not so compared to the modern revolutions- yet they still resulted in bloody reprisals . On both sides, but especially from the winning aristocratic side.
So is there something inherently murderous in the ideologies that supported monarchy or feudalism? Hope you see the logical jump some of you make.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 12:32:03 PM by augustin717 »

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2013, 12:41:11 PM »
We can discuss the various actions commited by different groups from now on till Judgement Day, without it leading anywhere. Everybody did something at some point The only question we should be asking is: Where they right or wrong? 
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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2013, 01:04:19 PM »
I will summarize my objections which are generally applicable to the various ideologies and philosophies that emerged from the "Enlightenment."

1. An exaltation of individual reasoning, and the accompanying progressive improvement and emendation of ideas, rejecting tradition and revelation as having any binding authority. Diacritical reasoning is considered man's highest faculty and any spiritual faculties are ignored, dismissed, or given lip-service. The reification of the individual as arbiter of truth.

2. A reductive, narrow approach to the natural world, in varying shades of dualism, empiricism, or materialism. A blanket exaltation of "science" and a degradation of "superstition" including any sense of wonder or mythos. A sometimes mechanistic conception of nature and ultimately of man.

3. The conviction that man, by his own will and reason, can make himself, society, and the world perfect, with the various utopian ideologies that result; the belief that, where individuals are free to exercise public reason, the truth will inevitably emerge.

Really, to identify the basic problems with the Enlightenment, one need look no further than Kant's essay "What is Enlightenment?" His answer: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed tutelage"- such self-imposed tutelage includes any doctrine or tradition which contradicts an individual's personal reasoning and experience. Dogmas are considered fetters to be thrown off in favor of a supposedly free inquiry into the truth.

I think history has well enough demonstrated the limitations and dangers of these ideas- nay, dogmas- which emanate from the enlightenment, but the same old cliches continue to be disseminated through the schools, the media, and the average "freethinking" conformist.

Well put and I commend the author of this response.

The Enlightenment took place during Christ's earthly mission. This other bore many fruit, the ideology leading to many things that I shudder to contemplate, when you put aside God and elevate Man then all things are possible and the evil that stemmed that period is legion. One chap in discussion tried to tell me that you cannot make an omelette without cracking eggs, just as others said the same of bloody social engineering. None were the originator's of the pathetic tragedy of such an answer. Nor is it anything but disingenuous to try separate the philosophy from the bloody acts that that same philosophy inspired.

If today one tried to separate Nazi political ideology from its' fruits you would rightly earn the scorn of many. One product of the pseudo-Enlightenment, was followed by the enforced sterilisation of the handicapped and those deemed socially inadequate or undesirable. Examples include Canada and Sweden alongside Nazi Germany. The killings in the Soviet Union, including the sealing off and deliberate starving of Ukrainian farmers in unbelievable numbers, in Nazi Germany, the People's Republic of China and Cambodia among too many others were the product of the pseudo-Enlightenment.

Marx wrote of the necessity to kill some ten per cent as a necessary precursor to changing society.

And in the West it's fruits were to reach down to the present day. Man no longer needs God, he or she is God. Or they reconstruct God according to their own image.


Offline Alpo

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2013, 01:08:45 PM »
Marx wrote of the necessity to kill some ten per cent as a necessary precursor to changing society.

He did? Where?
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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2013, 05:02:40 PM »
I'm somewhat suprised this was written by Iconodule since I've been thinking him as a liberal leftist*

The left and the right are equally indebted to the Enlightenment; however, my sympathies tend to place me in the left camp but often with different reasons and purposes than the typical leftists. That said, some interesting, if not altogether correct, critiques of the enlightenment, modernity, etc. come from the left (e.g. Adorno).

I think pining for a return to monarchy, confessional states, or anything of that sort is a dead end. That system also had plenty of failures and good riddance to it.

Some things which were encouraged by the Enlightenment are undoubtedly good, though not for the projected reasons. Among these, I include especially free speech and religious toleration. Of course the Enlightenment thinkers tended to believe these would bring about a general spirit of honest inquiry in society that would bring everyone nearer the Truth- that hasn't really happened. But it has kept a lot of people from being killed or imprisoned needlessly.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 05:03:45 PM by Iconodule »

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2013, 05:51:31 PM »
I'm somewhat suprised this was written by Iconodule since I've been thinking him as a liberal leftist*

The left and the right are equally indebted to the Enlightenment; however, my sympathies tend to place me in the left camp but often with different reasons and purposes than the typical leftists. That said, some interesting, if not altogether correct, critiques of the enlightenment, modernity, etc. come from the left (e.g. Adorno).

I think pining for a return to monarchy, confessional states, or anything of that sort is a dead end. That system also had plenty of failures and good riddance to it.

Some things which were encouraged by the Enlightenment are undoubtedly good, though not for the projected reasons. Among these, I include especially free speech and religious toleration. Of course the Enlightenment thinkers tended to believe these would bring about a general spirit of honest inquiry in society that would bring everyone nearer the Truth- that hasn't really happened. But it has kept a lot of people from being killed or imprisoned needlessly.

+1
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Offline Napoletani

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2013, 06:08:21 PM »
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted. The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment :





Actually, there were a great deal of people, both liberals and conservatives, who were outraged by the mass-executions commited by the french revolutionaries. One of the main causes, for which many in the Enlightenment Movement fought for, was the abolishment of capital punishment.

It does not matter, Robespierre was adoring the "REASON God", and as someone said "God is dead, everything is allowed". What matters is the cause-consequence concept, not that some didnt agree etc.

Actually, it does. You implied that the mass slaughtering in France was widely considered an act of enlightenment, and I pointed out that many Enlightenent thinkers were greatly opposed to those actions. The question about God and reason is an entirely different matter.

Besides, don't you think that massacres, abortions and the desecration of holy ground took place before the Enlightement?

It does not, because in communit regimes you will also find "communists" saying killing people is bad. But it was nevertheless the result of communist doctrine. The main issue here was the Enlightement wich is an ideas movement, especially about God and reason.

For your second point, It did, because of Man's fallen nature, that Enlightement denies and supports( even without knowing it). The main vessel to it was the free masonery, and it is still the case now, with its anti christian habit.

You said, and I quote:

Quote
That was considered enlightenment :





And I explained that these actions were not considered enlightened by the majority of people living at that time. The mass-killings were, in fact, part of a power struggle between different political factions.

And your analogy about the communist regimes doesn't make sense. There were many christian nations who killed and tortured countless people in the name of their faith. According to your logic, those acts of violence were, therefore, a direct consequence of Christianity.



God forbis to kill innocent. Reason alone without God doesn't. So my analogy stands, yours falls.
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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2013, 06:19:43 PM »

God forbis to kill innocent. Reason alone without God doesn't. So my analogy stands, yours falls.

But that is not the point of this discussion. You claimed that it was widely regarded as enlightened and justifiable to massacre people. I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone". That is all nice, but it was not what we were talking about.

Please, be kind and proof to me that a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 06:20:12 PM by Ansgar »
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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2013, 06:27:38 PM »
Re: the mass state violence of the French revolution. As Augustin suggested, it was a new government swamped with bitter and powerful enemies, both internal and along all its borders. Most governments, "enlightened" or otherwise, rightly or wrongly, would have responded similarly to this situation.

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2013, 07:02:56 PM »

God forbis to kill innocent. Reason alone without God doesn't. So my analogy stands, yours falls.

But that is not the point of this discussion. You claimed that it was widely regarded as enlightened and justifiable to massacre people. I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone". That is all nice, but it was not what we were talking about.

Please, be kind and proof to me that a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.

I never claimed it, post my quote of me saying that, then we continue, because you are boring me. But i will spare your time, i said:

Quote
The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment

It is far from saying:

Quote
a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.

Then you say:

Quote
I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone".

But here is my first post you replied to:

Quote
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted.

So no i didnt change the subject, it has always been what i was talking about. Now learn how to read before trying to reply.
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Offline Ansgar

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2013, 07:10:50 PM »

God forbis to kill innocent. Reason alone without God doesn't. So my analogy stands, yours falls.

But that is not the point of this discussion. You claimed that it was widely regarded as enlightened and justifiable to massacre people. I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone". That is all nice, but it was not what we were talking about.

Please, be kind and proof to me that a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.

I never claimed it, post my quote of me saying that, then we continue, because you are boring me. But i will spare your time, i said:

Quote
The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment

It is far from saying:

Quote
a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.

Then you say:

Quote
I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone".

But here is my first post you replied to:

Quote
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted.

So no i didnt change the subject, it has always been what i was talking about. Now learn how to read before trying to reply.

When you are saying "That was considered enlightenment", end the sentence with a colon and then proceeds to post pictures showing mass executions and massacres, it is not me who made a mistake. You should reconsider how you build up your posts.
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Offline Napoletani

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Re: What's So Bad About the Enlightenment?
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2013, 07:12:49 PM »

God forbis to kill innocent. Reason alone without God doesn't. So my analogy stands, yours falls.

But that is not the point of this discussion. You claimed that it was widely regarded as enlightened and justifiable to massacre people. I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone". That is all nice, but it was not what we were talking about.

Please, be kind and proof to me that a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.

I never claimed it, post my quote of me saying that, then we continue, because you are boring me. But i will spare your time, i said:

Quote
The rest of its flaws come from it. That was considered enlightenment

It is far from saying:

Quote
a majority of enlightenment thinkers supported the mass slaughtering of the French Revolution, because that was what you claimed.

Then you say:

Quote
I disputed that statement and now, you keep changing the subject to questions about the ethical problems of "Reason Alone".

But here is my first post you replied to:

Quote
The main problem of enlightenment is its postulate that one does not need Christ and the Church to be enlighted.

So no i didnt change the subject, it has always been what i was talking about. Now learn how to read before trying to reply.

When you are saying "That was considered enlightenment", end the sentence with a colon and then proceeds to post pictures showing mass executions and massacres, it is not me who made a mistake. You should reconsider how you build up your posts.

I didnt say the majority of their thinkers approved it so you did make a mystake. You also made one saying i kept changing subject when it was my subject from the beggining. But i'll try to explain myself better next time, you are right and i apologize for the unnecesary hard words.
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