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Keyword: enlightenment

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  • Repentance for a misspent youth

    08/25/2009 9:57:12 AM PDT · by Zionist Conspirator · 15 replies · 1,028+ views
    Jewish World Review ^ | 8/25/'09 | Jonathan Rosenblum
    The anti-clericalism of the leading Enlightenment thinkers contained within it the potential for a new clericalism more authoritarian and murderous than that which it superseded, with intellectuals as its priests. That the cult of the expert — itself an outgrowth of the Enlightenment's enthroning of human reason above all — should appeal to intellectual elites is unsurprising: It is a form of the revenge of the nerds whose superior qualities were unnoted by the pretty girls in high school. The assumption that "rationality" is a matter easily ascertained, at least by the brainy folks, underlies the preference for centrally planned...
  • God Talk (Part 1)

    05/19/2009 9:41:55 AM PDT · by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus · 1 replies · 215+ views
    New York Slimes (surprisingly) ^ | 3 May 2009 | Stanley Fish
    In the opening sentence of the last chapter of his new book, “Reason, Faith and Revolution,” the British critic Terry Eagleton asks, “Why are the most unlikely people, including myself, suddenly talking about God?” His answer, elaborated in prose that is alternately witty, scabrous and angry, is that the other candidates for guidance — science, reason, liberalism, capitalism — just don’t deliver what is ultimately needed. “What other symbolic form,” he queries, “has managed to forge such direct links between the most universal and absolute of truths and the everyday practices of countless millions of men and women?” Eagleton acknowledges...
  • Let’s Declare a Truce in the Culture War [Why are believers and atheists still bickering?]

    07/10/2008 11:31:50 AM PDT · by Uncle Ralph · 32 replies · 110+ views
    The American, A Magazine of Ideas ^ | June 16, 2008 | Peter J. Wallison
    Neither faith nor science can answer the most important questions. So why are believers and atheists still bickering? I went to a debate recently in New York between a rabbi and the famous polemicist Christopher Hitchens, on the question "Does God exist?" Hitchens was called on to speak first, and he won the debate with his first two sentences: "I don't know why I have to speak first. He has the burden of proof." The mostly secular ... audience heartily applauded this sally, which was based on the premise -- never challenged by the rabbi -- that science provides an...
  • Postmodernism (Plus Why Modernism Is Preferable To This Pillar Of Liberalism

    05/04/2008 11:48:46 AM PDT · by Laissez-faire capitalist · 9 replies · 126+ views
    Conservapedia ^ | April 28, 2008 | Staff
    Postmodernism is a worldview characterized by a belief in the lack of an objective truth, and wehich asserts that assertions of objective knowledge are essentially impossible. A strong part of postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from traditional approaches that had previously been dominant... Some postmodernist idea are: Truth is a "social construct," rather than objectively provable. There is no superior culture; Western culture is no better than any other (see cultural relativism)...
  • Muslim antisemitism is becoming our fetish

    11/21/2007 6:45:42 AM PST · by Zionist Conspirator · 1 replies · 60+ views
    The Jewish Chronicle ^ | 11/20/'07 | David Klinghoffer
    Setting priorities in keeping with your values is a daily task for us all. I may, for example, feel the need to spend two hours exercising every day. But if that conflicts with my family responsibilities, I have to consult an overall worldview, a scheme of values, to decide which imperative comes first. So it goes in public life no less than in private. The world Jewish community is united in few things, but a rough consensus has emerged that our greatest worry, our top priority in need of being addressed, is the threat posed by Muslim extremists. With some...
  • The Quest for a New Enlightenment

    04/06/2007 12:23:27 PM PDT · by G. Stolyarov II · 3 replies · 303+ views
    Associated Content ^ | April 5, 2007 | G. Stolyarov II
    The 18th-century Enlightenment was the single most important intellectual development in human history; it made possible the comfortable, prosperous, stable, and relatively free Western civilization that we enjoy today. Enlightenment thinkers believed in a single, knowable, absolute reality guided by rational natural laws. Individuals—said Enlightenment thinkers—had the faculty of reason, which enabled them to accurately understand the absolute reality. Using reason, individuals could understand not only the factual data of reality but a rational moral system which would instruct them on how they ought to behave. The Enlightenment cultivated the rights of every human being to his life, liberty, property,...
  • Faith and Terror: Where Some Agree with Osama

    02/25/2007 8:14:15 AM PST · by Zionist Conspirator · 2 replies · 249+ views
    The New York Post ^ | 2/25/'07 | David Klinghoffer
    THE ENEMY AT HOME: THE CULTURAL LEFT AND ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR 9/11 BY DINESH D'SOUZA DOUBLEDAY, 333 PAGES, $26.95 CONSERVATIVES are as deeply factionalized as any other domestic ideological group. But it's still surprising when one of our own writes a book that manages to make him not only the scourge of the Left but hardly more popular on the Right. Such a book is Dinesh D'Souza's "The Enemy at Home," which blames American left-liberals for provoking radical Muslims into committing the attacks of 9/11. From folks on the Right, D'Souza has evoked responses ranging from pure hysteria (e.g. Bruce...
  • Legacy of the 18th-Century Enlightenment Movement for Today's Problems

    01/02/2007 11:48:57 AM PST · by G. Stolyarov II · 2 replies · 398+ views ^ | December 23, 2006 | G. Stolyarov II
    The 18th-century Enlightenment was the single most important intellectual development in human history; it made possible the comfortable, prosperous, stable, and relatively free Western civilization that we enjoy today. Enlightenment thinkers believed in a single, knowable, absolute reality guided by rational natural laws. Individuals—said Enlightenment thinkers—had the faculty of reason, which enabled them to accurately understand the absolute reality. Using reason, individuals could understand not only the factual data of reality but a rational moral system which would instruct them on how they ought to behave. The Enlightenment cultivated the rights of every human being to his life, liberty, property,...
  • Losing the Enlightenment [Editorial]

    11/29/2006 12:24:05 PM PST · by bnelson44 · 47 replies · 1,217+ views
    WSJ ^ | 11/29/06 | Victor Davis Hanson
    Losing the Enlightenment [A civilization that has lost confidence in itself cannot confront the Islamists.] Our current crisis is not yet a catastrophe, but a real loss of confidence of the spirit. The hard-won effort of the Western Enlightenment of some 2,500 years that, along with Judeo-Christian benevolence, is the foundation of our material progress, common decency, and scientific excellence, is at risk in this new millennium. But our newest foes of Reason are not the enraged Athenian democrats who tried and executed Socrates. And they are not the Christian zealots of the medieval church who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity....
  • Losing the Enlightenment: Remarks at the Claremont Institute's annual Churchill Dinner (VDH)

    11/23/2006 1:08:22 AM PST · by Stoat · 12 replies · 1,279+ views
    The Claremont Institute ^ | November 20, 2006 | Victor Davis Hanson
    Losing the Enlightenment Remarks at the Claremont Institute's annual Churchill Dinner By Victor Davis HansonPosted November 20, 2006These remarks were delivered on November 10, 2006 at the Claremont Institute's annual dinner in honor of Sir Winston Churchill. (To applause.) Good evening, and thank you very much for the honor of the Statesmanship Award at this annual Claremont Institute dinner in memory of Sir Winston Churchill—a tribute conceived in the name of a great man, bestowed by a great institute, and honored by great past recipients. Tonight I would like to talk of our current crisis—not yet a catastrophe, but...
  • The Dark Ages -- Live From the Middle East!

    10/25/2006 10:14:13 PM PDT · by ProtectOurFreedom · 36 replies · 1,118+ views
    Tribune Media Services c/o Real Politics ^ | 10/26/06 | Victor Davis Hanson
    The most frightening aspect of the present war is how easily our pre-modern enemies from the Middle East have brought a stunned postmodern world back into the Dark Ages. Students of history are sickened when they read of the long-ago, gruesome practice of beheading. ... And how lucky we thought we were to have evolved from such elemental barbarity. ... The 18th-century European Enlightenment gave people freedom to express views formerly censored by clerics and the state. Just imagine what life was like once upon a time when no one could write music, compose fiction or paint without court or...
  • Traitors to the Enlightenment - Europe turns its back on Socrates, Locke, et al.

    10/02/2006 6:28:07 PM PDT · by neverdem · 60 replies · 3,038+ views
    National Review Online ^ | October 02, 2006 | Victor Davis Hanson
    October 02, 2006, 6:02 a.m. Traitors to the EnlightenmentEurope turns its back on Socrates, Locke, et al. By Victor Davis Hanson The first Western Enlightenment of the Greek fifth-century B.C. sought to explain natural phenomena through reason rather than superstition alone. Ethics were to be discussed in the realm of logic as well as religion. Much of what Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and the Sophists thought may today seem self-evident, if not at times nonsensical. But that century was the beginning of the uniquely Western attempt to bring to the human experience empiricism, self-criticism, irony, and tolerance in thinking. The...
  • It is a legacy of the Enlightenment that we find it so hard to deal with madness and fanaticism

    08/15/2006 11:45:47 AM PDT · by NutCrackerBoy · 35 replies · 1,060+ views
    National Review Online ^ | August 15, 2006 | Emanuele Ottolenghi
    Scholars of the Enlightenment should be in high demand these days. For the political and media responses to the plot to bomb up to ten U.S. airliners in mid air above the Atlantic reflect its two-faced intellectual and philosophical heritage. There is that great optimism in human nature, the belief in rationality and science, the conviction that everything has an explanation and that every problem has a solution. There is the unbending belief that “all men are created equals,” that we are entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Then there is the dark side, not of Locke...
  • How Voltaire praised the 'enlightened despot' Catherine the Great

    06/03/2006 10:52:24 AM PDT · by lizol · 13 replies · 789+ views
    Guardian ^ | Friday June 2, 2006 | Nick Paton Walsh
    How Voltaire praised the 'enlightened despot' Catherine the Great Satirist's heartfelt letters to the woman he admired are bought for Russia Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow Friday June 2, 2006 The Guardian They are the heartfelt correspondence from the great acerbic wit of the European Enlightenment to the last Russian empress, in which he praises her authoritarian style and mocks the extravagances of her French counterparts. For years, the letters from Voltaire to Catherine the Great have been hidden away in a private collection - the contents a mystery. But now, courtesy of a Moscow art dealer, they will be...
  • The collapse of reason

    05/30/2006 2:47:08 PM PDT · by jexus · 27 replies · 1,174+ views
    The collapse of reason By Cathy Young  |  May 29, 2006 AT A TIME when conservatives dominate all three branches of government and hold an increasingly large share of the Fourth Estate, the academy remains the last liberal stronghold. You would think, then, that liberal intellectuals would offer some thoughtful and productive critiques of conservative policies. But instead, argues one leading liberal intellectual, the academic left is making itself irrelevant by embracing ideological extremism and trying to purge its ranks of those who are not politically correct.
  • Europe at a crossroads

    05/24/2006 6:03:44 PM PDT · by sageb1 · 35 replies · 752+ views
    American University of Rome ^ | February 21, 2006 | Marcello Pera
    21 February 2006 Europe at a crossroads Address to the American University of Rome by Marcello Pera 1. A geopolitical continental drift The subject I intend to address today is the crisis of the West, and particularly of Europe. In my view this crisis is twofold, both geopolitical and spiritual, with the latter as the main cause of the former. The fact that the Old Continent is in a state of deep crisis has been upheld by many distinguished scholars, observers and a few – unfortunately just a few – political leaders in Europe. This was argued in most alarming...
  • In Arabic, 'Internet' Means 'Freedom' (BEST ARTICLE OF THE WEEK)

    03/03/2006 4:44:43 PM PST · by Dark Skies · 42 replies · 1,135+ views
    National Journal ^ | 3/3/2006 | Jonathan Rauch
    Odd though it may sound, somewhere in Baghdad a man is working in secrecy to edit new Arabic versions of Liberalism, by the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, and In Defense of Global Capitalism, by the Swedish economist Johan Norberg. He is doing this at some risk of kidnap, beating, and death, because he hopes that a new Arabic-language Web site, called -- in Arabic -- can change the world by publishing liberal classics. Odder still, he may be right. Interviewed by e-mail, he asks to be known by a pseudonym, H. Ali Kamil. A Shiite from Iraq's...
  • I've given up on trying to teach anyone here anything (They gave Socrates hemlock, now this guy.)

    02/12/2006 7:39:47 AM PST · by a true thinker · 336 replies · 7,739+ views
    There's no helping you. This site is now just a diversion -- like a train wreck. This site is inherently for and about raving egomaniacs, and Jim's site policies -- which amount to excluding reality and actual dialogue in favor of political/militaristic pornography -- is conducive to cognitive dissonance, which at the times your worldview is threatened leads you into psychotic breaks (on the political cognitive plane, that is, and just maybe in other realms too). Not to mention that your baseline politics is based in mythology about American demographics, science, economics, ethics etc. You spoonfeed each other in the...
  • Indigo Children claim special powers; skeptics abound

    02/02/2006 9:13:49 PM PST · by Coleus · 67 replies · 3,291+ views ^ | 02.02.06 | MAKEBA SCOTT HUNTER
    Jurate Cannara knew her daughter Laura was different when, as a toddler, she would stand out in the rain, her tiny hands outstretched toward the lightning. "Mama, I need energy," the little girl would tell her. As Laura Mikuseviciuje grew from toddler to child to teen to young woman, Cannara noticed that her daughter's eccentricities only increased with age. "I didn't understand my daughter," said Cannara, who lives in Verona, of her daughter's early expressions of intuition and odd, energetic behavior. According to some, Laura's tendencies are not odd at all; they even have a name. She and others like...
  • Neaderthals At It Again

    01/11/2006 8:42:47 PM PST · by TheClintons-STILLAnti-American · 71 replies · 1,893+ views
    Conservative Battleline Online ^ | January 11, 2006 | Donald Devine
    Neanderthals At It Again H.L. Mencken’s final report from the famous Scopes trial in Dayton Tennessee comes roaring down to us after 80 years as sharply edged as ever: "Let no one mistake [the trial] for comedy, farcical though it may be in all its details.  It serves notice on the country that Neanderthal man is organizing in these forlorn backwaters of the land, led by a fanatic, rid of sense and devoid of conscience.  Tennessee, challenging him too timorously and too late, now sees its courts converted into camp meetings and its Bill of Rights made a mock...