The Age of Enlightenment and Rebellion against Authority Essay

The Age of Enlightenment and Rebellion against Authority Essay

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The Age of Enlightenment saw many great changes in Western Europe. It was an age of reason and philosophes. During this age, changes the likes of which had not been seen since ancient times took place. Such change affected evert pore of Western European society. Many might argue that the Enlightenment really did not bring any real change, however, there exists and overwhelming amount of facts which prove, without question, that the spirit of the Enlightenment was one of change-specifically change which went against the previous teachings of the Catholic Church. Such change is apparent in the ideas, questions, and philosophies of the time, in the study of science, and throughout the monarchial system.

Previously, the Catholic Church had professed to the entire medieval world that faith in God was absolute. Indeed, the medieval world was truly an age of faith. As such, ideas that went against the teachings of God were ignored and their preachers subsequently murdered. After the Crusades brought back old Aristotelian learning from the middle east, all this changed. Advances in Geography were made with the introduction of Ptolemaic Geography. More importantly than the rediscovery of ancient geography was the beginning of skepticism in Western Europe. No longer would the Church's word be taken on faith. The idea that the physical world could be understood through the use of empiricism-analytical thought-was also introduced. René Descartes even began to doubt his own existence until coming to the conclusion: "I think, therefore, I am." In this age we see the rise of deism. No longer is a priest's cryptic and dogmatic preachings the sole explanation for weather, personal failure, and scientific phenomena such as electricity. With deis...


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...narch be removed if he was a representative of God? With the separation of God and the state, the idea that the monarch also had to obey all of the laws of the land were also introduced. Such was a great change from the ways of the past and embodied the spirit of the Enlightenment.

As can be seen from it effects on the philosophies of the time, the idea of science, and the monarchial system of Absolutism, the spirit of the Enlightenment was one of change and a rebellion against authority. This change was grand, indeed, for they have lasted through until the Modern Age and the 21st Century. Today's system of government is simply an evolution of the revolution which took place during the Enlightenment. Perhaps, without the spirit of change brought on by the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, we would not have many of the advantages that man, today, enjoys.

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