Monday, June 02, 2014

HOPE FOR ENLIGHTENMENT?

More than 200 years ago Immanuel Kant wrote: “If we are asked, Do we now live in an enlightened age?, the answer is: No, but we do live in an age of enlightenment. As things now stand, we still have a long way to go before men can be or can easily become capable of correctly using their own reason in religious matters with assurance, without outside guidance. But we do have clear indications that the way is now being cleared for men to work freely in this direction, and that the obstacles to general enlightenment, to man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity, are gradually becoming fewer.” More than two centuries have gone by since those words were written. Since then we (I am speaking of the human race, not of a particular country or society) have gained much new knowledge, multiplied our powers over nature, and acquired tremendous abilities and capabilities. But in respect of what Kant had in view in writing those words – in respect of enlightenment – have we taken a step forward or have we slid back? The question is at least debatable — and again I point out that I am speaking of mall humanity, not of any particular region or people or society.

1 Comments:

Blogger tim candler said...

I think that's an excellent Question. I also think it's a question that will continue to be asked for a very long time into the future. Who was it who said, and I have to paraphrase, 'after we are gone all that remains is our charity, the knowledge we leave behind and the tears of a child.'

8:37 AM  

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