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"Enlightenment" - offensive term?

innomen
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8/27/2010 11:12:35 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
This is really aimed toward fundamentalists. This morning i was having a discussion with someone about history, and i referred to the period in the mid 1700's as the enlightenment. He took some mild offense to the term and characterized it as an atheist's label. I really had never even questioned the term before, nor even thought of it referring to the relationship between man and God, as much as the relationship between man and man, and what rights are considered inherent and just. It does throw the concept of divine right out the window, but why would that be offensive to a fundamentalist. I asked him what it should be called, and he had a few terms that really didn't speak much to the actual movement of the time. He was particularly offended by the idea that the framers, or that i said that the framers, were part of the enlightenment in America.

So, can someone help me understand if this is a term that is intended to subvert religion in anyway, or is a term that denotes a secularization of the west? Honestly it seems like a paranoid stretch.
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 11:23:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
well... when you think of it in the context of it's being an Enlightened period...in relation to The Dark Ages...

and when you think of what characterized the thought of each... I think it makes sense that he might find the word a little offensive.

The Dark Ages are characterized by Religious Philosophy... Reading/trying to correctly interpret the bible... and submitting to God.. being a good christian..

and the Enlightenment is characterized by thinking for yourself... and learning new things.. and developing new ways of doing things.

Calling The one Dark and the other Enlightened... is seemingly expressing a positive valuation on thinking for yourself... and a negative valuation on simply submitting to what's already been said (though they also tried to come to a better understanding of God/bible...)
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cerebral_Narcissist
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8/27/2010 11:24:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The enlightenment does refer to the challenging of blind faith and it's replacement with science, so it is an attack on a very old form of religion. Only the extremists could be offended. It was still a religious age, scientists were still probing the nature of God's creation, they were just doing it with intelligence.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 11:34:27 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think Pope's Essay on Man gives a good example someone who would find the term "enlightenment" rather out of place.

Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against providence;
Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much:
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet cry, If man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If man alone ingross not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the God of God.
In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels men rebel:
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of order, sins against th' eternal cause.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
innomen
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8/27/2010 11:42:08 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
in reas'ning pride, our error lies;

I could see the point if he were irritated by it being called he age of reason, which is the other term for the period, but as C_N suggests it really wasn't a deviation from faith, maybe a different understanding of it. Neither of the two of you knew it to be offensive to some, so I'm guessing this is either something new, or not so widespread. In some ways it may have refined the belief in God, or even changed man's relationship with God, but only as a default of understanding man's relationship with his fellow man (imho).
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 11:49:43 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 11:42:08 AM, innomen wrote:
in reas'ning pride, our error lies;

I could see the point if he were irritated by it being called he age of reason, which is the other term for the period, but as C_N suggests it really wasn't a deviation from faith, maybe a different understanding of it. Neither of the two of you knew it to be offensive to some, so I'm guessing this is either something new, or not so widespread. In some ways it may have refined the belief in God, or even changed man's relationship with God, but only as a default of understanding man's relationship with his fellow man (imho).

he was IN it... and he didn't like it..

all the reasoning from your own perspective nonsense.

We call it the enlightenment because of the ideas which all that reasoning came up with...

and we call the dark ages Dark b/c they didn't really come up with many new or good ideas about things... except maybe trying to prove god a bit... and a couple guys who liked math b/c they thought it was godly.

"Providence" is the way people in the "dark ages" looked at the world.

"Reason" was the way that people looked at the happenings of the world in the Enlightenment.

This is what Pope was talking about... and These are the reasons they're called dark and light.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 12:01:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 11:34:27 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Pope's Essay on Man

it's an awesome poem... and I think it should strike a chord well with you... He's catholic too!

he's got an interesting notion of God too... and our place in The Great Chain of Being!
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/27/2010 12:07:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 11:49:43 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 8/27/2010 11:42:08 AM, innomen wrote:
in reas'ning pride, our error lies;

I could see the point if he were irritated by it being called he age of reason, which is the other term for the period, but as C_N suggests it really wasn't a deviation from faith, maybe a different understanding of it. Neither of the two of you knew it to be offensive to some, so I'm guessing this is either something new, or not so widespread. In some ways it may have refined the belief in God, or even changed man's relationship with God, but only as a default of understanding man's relationship with his fellow man (imho).

he was IN it... and he didn't like it..

all the reasoning from your own perspective nonsense.

We call it the enlightenment because of the ideas which all that reasoning came up with...

and we call the dark ages Dark b/c they didn't really come up with many new or good ideas about things... except maybe trying to prove god a bit... and a couple guys who liked math b/c they thought it was godly.

"Providence" is the way people in the "dark ages" looked at the world.

"Reason" was the way that people looked at the happenings of the world in the Enlightenment.

This is what Pope was talking about... and These are the reasons they're called dark and light.

Although i don't know that the idea of providence completely evaporated, i do fully understand why the term came to be. I don't know when it was labeled as such, or by whom, but i never gave it a thought. I'm not sure which came first, the questioning of man's relationship with God, or man's political relationship with his leaders. I'm guessing the former caused the latter. I'm wondering if the reformation had similar political repercussions, and i don't think so. Divine right continued, and essentially the political status quo in man's relationship to his king remained.
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 12:15:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 12:01:29 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 8/27/2010 11:34:27 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Pope's Essay on Man

it's an awesome poem... and I think it should strike a chord well with you... He's catholic too!

he's got an interesting notion of God too... and our place in The Great Chain of Being!

I actually think he's quite right on a bunch of things... like our only being able to reason from what we know... and that we ought not reason Beyond our sphere.

However I think He himself is guilty of that one with his whole belief in God and all...

He prolly was one of the first writers that opened me up to Daoism!... he just had some additional beliefs... and perspectives.. and the like which I don't think are merited.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/27/2010 12:20:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 12:15:28 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 8/27/2010 12:01:29 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 8/27/2010 11:34:27 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Pope's Essay on Man

it's an awesome poem... and I think it should strike a chord well with you... He's catholic too!

he's got an interesting notion of God too... and our place in The Great Chain of Being!

I actually think he's quite right on a bunch of things... like our only being able to reason from what we know... and that we ought not reason Beyond our sphere.

However I think He himself is guilty of that one with his whole belief in God and all...

He prolly was one of the first writers that opened me up to Daoism!... he just had some additional beliefs... and perspectives.. and the like which I don't think are merited.

I know of Pope, i had to read him in college (Catholic), but i honestly don't remember much. I'll check him out some more, God knows i've got the time.
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 12:20:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
here's another bit:

From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning springs;
Account for moral as for natural things:
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right is to submit.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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8/27/2010 12:25:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
also....

I think he'd say the Devil's sin was Prideful Reasoning...

Why's God God?

what makes god's will Right?

why is God The Ultimate... why isn't he limited?

Is he the ultimate in such matters?... Satan saw no reason to think so... he had opinions too... and didn't lay his own down in submission to God's.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/27/2010 12:30:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 12:25:49 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
also....

I think he'd say the Devil's sin was Prideful Reasoning...

Why's God God?

what makes god's will Right?

why is God The Ultimate... why isn't he limited?

Is he the ultimate in such matters?... Satan saw no reason to think so... he had opinions too... and didn't lay his own down in submission to God's.

Eh, rebellion against the biblical god has less interest to me. The historic value though does interest me.
mattrodstrom
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8/27/2010 12:31:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think Alexhanson's response in this thread http://www.debate.org... exemplifies the submission that Pope would prize...

the submission that occurred in the Middle Ages...

At 8/27/2010 4:20:25 AM, alex_hanson911 wrote:
Really, we are to say what is moral and what isn't, against the creator which is an all knowing-powerful-good God?

This submission was turned on it's head in the Enlightenment.

People either disowned or Revised their idea of God based upon Their Own opinions... Pope was outraged.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/27/2010 12:42:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/27/2010 12:31:36 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I think Alexhanson's response in this thread http://www.debate.org... exemplifies the submission that Pope would prize...

the submission that occurred in the Middle Ages...

At 8/27/2010 4:20:25 AM, alex_hanson911 wrote:
Really, we are to say what is moral and what isn't, against the creator which is an all knowing-powerful-good God?


This submission was turned on it's head in the Enlightenment.

People either disowned or Revised their idea of God based upon Their Own opinions... Pope was outraged.

That's fine. The argument over a god that is made in man's image is kind of silly to me.