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The Enligentment

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on 1 November 2014

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Transcript of The Enligentment

The Enlightenment (Rationalism and Christianity)
The End of Confessionalism (mid to late 17th c.)
Secular Rulers no longer demand Citizens to submit to the Confessions
Hanover (1651); Saxony (1697)

"Religious Wars" end by 1690

Internationalism: Intellectual Writing, Diplomacy

Witch Hunting receives less and less support

Neo-Scholasticism is on a steady decline
The Enlightenment
Hallmarks of the Enlightenment
1. Autonomy from Authority (Tradition, Revelation and Dogma)
Not Against Religion and Belief
Appeal to Reason to Establish Religion
2. Rationalism and Objectivity (Ockham's Nominalism as precursor)
3. Elitist Movement in Western Europe
4. Cosmopolitan
5. Sin = Ignorance
6. The Inevitability of Progress

Leading Figures of the Enlightenment
John Locke
The Reasonableness of Christianity
2. Montesquieu (1689-1755):
The Spirit of the Laws (1748)
Dictionnaire Philosophique
4. David Hume (1711-76):
Human Nature, Essays on Miracles, etc.
Immanuel Kant
Critique of Pure Reason (1781), etc.

Responses to Orthodoxy (Confessionalism)
Enlightenment (Rational Response)
Optional Source Document: John Locke,
The Reasonableness of Christianity
Diversity within Enlightenment in Europe and America
(See Henry F. May)
(Newton [d. 1727] to Locke; Moderation and Balance)
[mid 17th c. Voltaire (France), Hume (England)
[Rousseau, Paine; Construction of New Heaven/Earth]
Opposed Skepticism and Revolutionary; Selective and Constructive use of Enlightenment Philosophy

Pietism / Spiritualism

(Inward/Experiential Response)
Primary Source Document: Nicolas Ludwig von Zizendorf,
Der Deutsche Zokrates
John Locke, Reasonableness of Christianity (1695)
John Locke: British Philosopher | Oxford

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689)
Limits of Human Understanding

The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695)
Gospel written to assist humanity into believing that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, which is requisite for salvation

Revelation demands a response of faith, but not all of Scripture needs to be believed as part of the Law of Faith

God gave humanity Reason and Law

Plain and Intelligible Proposition: God sent a Messiah

John Toland,
Christianity is not Mysterious (1696)
Natural Reason (not revelation) with Reason is basis of Christian Dogmas

Matthew Tindal,
Christianity as Old as the Creation (1730)
Religion as Universal, Eternal, Simple and Perfect
Religion based on Reason
Deism = Religion of Nature

French Enlightenment Philosopher

Criticized Persecution and War in the name of Religion

The Philosophical Dictionary
(1764, Many Editons)
Alphabetical Order (Enlightenment Approach)

Optional Primary Source Document: "Religion" from
The Philosophical Dictionary (1764)

Optional Primary Source Document: "Superstition" from
The Philosophical Dictionary (1764)

David Hume (1711-1776) shares many of Voltaire's sentiments
"Of Superstition and Enthusiasm" (essay)
Religion degrades into superstition (priestcraft) and enthusiasm (radicalism)

Charles Dupuis (1742-1809)
French philosopher

Optional Primary Source Document:
Origin of All Cults, or Universal Religion (1795)
Apex of the Rationalist critique of organized religion during the French Revolution (1789-1799)
Thesis: All religions grow out of one another in a progression of culturally adapted mythologies

Dupuis did not have a high command of ancient religions and history, but his ideas were influential into the 19th century
John Locke, 1632-1704
Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet), 1694-1778
Voltaire, 1694-1778
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
Prussian Philosopher
Pietist | German Lutheranism

Three Major Works
Critique of Pure Reason (1781)
Response to Crisis of the Enlightenment
Reason can support Science (Newton) & Religion
Transcendental Idealism
Humans only experience Appearances
Space and Time = Sensible Intuition
Space and Time = Empirically Real
Critique of Practical Reason (1788)
Critique of Judgment (1790)

Kant, 1724-1804
Fundamental Structure of the Mind
Time and Space (
a priori
Twelve Categories (e.g. Cause, Existence)
Mind & Structure organize Sensations

No Knowledge of “Things in Themselves”
Ding an sich
Knowledge is accessed by
(Physical World)

If a Thing cannot be known, such as God, then on what grounds can one assert doctrinal claims?

What is the Basis of Religion if not Doctrinal?

Critique of Practical Reason (1788)
One cannot prove existence of God
Ethics = Practical Reason = God (Highest Good)
Actions should correspond to Universal Rule
Morality and Freedom in Reciprocal Relationship

Religion within the Bounds of Reason Alone (1793)
Questions Institutional Religion
Ethics based on Jesus Christ as an Example
Humanity as Good and Free
Doctrine is not Essential for the Ethical Community
Immanuel Kant
"Our age is the age of criticism, to which everything must submit. Religion through its holiness and legislation through its majesty commonly seek to exempt themselves
from it. But in this way they excite a just suspicion against themselves, and cannot lay claim to that unfeigned respect that reason grants only to that which has been able to withstand its free and public examination."
Critique of Pure Reason, 1781
"There is absolutely no salvation for human beings except in the innermost adoption of genuine moral principles in their disposition, and that to interfere with this adoption is surely not the so often blamed sensibility but a certain self-incurred perversity, or as we might otherwise call this wickedness, fraud. This is a corruption that lies in all human beings and cannot be overcome except through the idea of a moral good in its absolute purity."
Religion within the Bounds of Pure Reason Alone
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