Andrew Marr TV - Jordan Maxwell - Colin Blakemore - Kenneth Clark - Diarmaid MacCulloch - Steven Pinker - Richard Dawkins - David Hockney - J G Ballard - William Blake - Allan Bloom - jquarter online article -
We call it the Enlightenment: an age of reason. Andrew Marr’s History of the World VI: Revolution, BBC 2012
The implications of the Rising Sun are horrendous ... Much of the symbolism goes back to the prehistoric and ancient world. I don’t believe there’s ever been a symbol used more frequently and more widely used ... It is also a very important symbol in the occult societies of freemasonry ... To symbolise that coming of an Age of Enlightenment that would be dominated by the different various societies. Jordan Maxwell
For more than 1,500 years Christians saw the Bible as the primary source of knowledge. But in the seventeenth century a new movement emerged that challenged the Christian view of the world. What we now call science emerged about 400 years through the work of a group of European thinkers who discovered new ways of interpreting the world. They no longer relied on the delivered word of God. The scientific revolution put individual curiosity, enquiry, reason, and experiment above religious dogma. And to my mind science is quite simply the biggest challenge that Christianity will ever have to face. Professor Colin Blakemore, Christianity: A History s1e7: God and the Scientists, BBC 2009
The Vatican realised that Capurnicus’s speculations contradicted the Biblical view that the Earth is stationary. At the centre of the universe. But it was willing to tolerate his ideas for now. Capurnicus’s new theory soon pitted Christianity and science against itself. In the scientific revolution’s darkest hour. ibid.
Galileo Galilei was one of the most respected scientists. He helped the Vatican set up its first observatory in Rome and taught astronomy at the finest universities in the Catholic world. ibid.
Thinkers such as Isaac Newton and John Lock realised that the laws of the universe were there to be discovered not read about in the Bible. It was the Age of Enlightenment. Democracy, freedom and science replaced religion at the heart of society. For me the person who epitomises the Enlightenment is an American: Benjamin Franklin. ibid.
Adam Smith, David Hume, Joseph Black and James Watt: it’s a matter of historical fact that these were the men who soon after the year 1760 changed the whole current of European thought and life. Kenneth Clark, Civilisation 10/13, The Smile of Reason, BBC 1969
Doubt is a fundamental part of religion. The Bible is full of it. The Old Testament is shot through with doubt – though in its stories doubters tend to feel God’s wrath ... Doubt has chipped away at the very fabric of Christianity. Catholic and Protestant. At times threatening to dynamite its foundations. We can trace this scepticism back to a period called the Enlightenment. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, BBC 2009
But people began a fundamental questioning of the Church three centuries ago – the Age of Enlightenment. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, Sex and the Church III: Christianity v The West, BBC 2015
I think it may not be a coincidence that the rise of printing and book publication and literacy and the phenomenon of best-sellers all preceded the humanitarian reforms of the Enlightenment. Steven Pinker
For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment that we can savour – and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible. Steven Pinker
The Enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America. Richard Dawkins
I think the Enlightenment is leading us into a dark hole, really. David Hockney
The Enlightenment view of mankind is a complete myth. It leads us into thinking we’re sane and rational creatures most of the time, and we’re not. J G Ballard
With the development of industrial capitalism, a new and unanticipated system of injustice, it is libertarian socialism that has preserved and extended the radical humanist message of the Enlightenment and the classical liberal ideals that were perverted into an ideology to sustain the emerging social order. Noam Chomsky
Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life. William Blake
The problem of Enlightenment is not merely discovery of the truth but the conflict between the truth and the beliefs of men, which are incorporated into the law. Enlightenment begins from the tension between what men are compelled to believe by city and religion, on the one hand, and the quest for scientific truth on the other ... The innovation of the Enlightenment was the attempt to reduce that tension and to alter the philosopher’s relation to civil society ... The earlier thinkers accepted the tension and lived accordingly. Their knowledge was essentially for themselves, and they had a private life very different from their public life. They were themselves concerned with getting from the darkness to the light. Enlightenment was a daring attempt to shine that light on all men, partly for the sake of all men, partly for the sake of the progress of science ... Enlightenment was not only, or perhaps not even primarily, a scientific project but a political one. It began from the premise that the rulers could be educated, a premise not held by the Enlightenment’s ancient brethren. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind p257
The Lunar Society was a remarkable grouping of gifted polymaths who met every month in and around Birmingham on the Monday nearest the full moon (when there was most light to travel home by) from 1765 until 1813. To begin with, they called themselves the Lunar Circle, the more formal title ‘Lunar Society’ being adopted in 1775.
It has been written that, ‘The Lunar Society was second only to the Royal Society in its importance as a gathering place for scientists, inventors and natural philosophers during the second half of the eighteenth century’. In fact, it was more than that. These men were interested not merely in science, but especially in the application of science to manufacturing, mining, transportation, education, medicine and much else. They were, if you like, the revolutionary committee of that most far reaching of all the eighteenth century revolutions, the Industrial Revolution. Supremely confident, they were changing the world forever, and they knew it. They firmly believed that what they were doing would better the lot of mankind. They believed, as Jacob Bronowski put it, that ‘the good life is more than material decency, but the good life must be based on material decency’. They believed that by raising productive capacity they would be able to deliver material decency for all, and to a large extent, as far as the developed world is concerned, they have been proven right. Historians today talk of the ‘Midlands Enlightenment’, which was contemporaneous with the Parisian and Edinburgh enlightenments, but distinguished by its emphasis on going beyond thought, putting theory into practice and translating ideas into action. The Lunar Society was the heart of that Midlands Enlightenment. jquarter online article