“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” This brief quotation was spoken by the famous writer and philosopher Voltaire; I believe it vaguely points out that some people are full of absurd ideas, and for others to follow such nonsense is foolish. The quote is just a taste of Voltaire’s wisdom and knowledge of the world, during the Age of Reason. The Age of Reason or The Enlightenment is defined as a change in not just a way of thinking, but an establishment of values and rational actions. “Based on Immanuel Kant’s essay “What is Enlightenment?” it is the freedom to use one's own intelligence (Strathern 63). Enlightenment thinkers believed in the powers of humankind and saw themselves as part of a revolutionary development in history that would replace superstition and tired rituals and corrupt traditions with reason and productive energy. However, intelligence and freedom two words that express what I believe to be the main ideas of the Enlightenment and such ideas were recognized through two significant people Voltaire and Jefferson.
To begin, the first figure of the Enlightenment would be Francois Marie Arouet aka: Voltaire. He was born in Paris, and he was known as one of the greatest writers and philosophers for the French. However, the French during his time period did not wish it so, because Voltaire had a passion for philosophical rationalism and this passion was fueled after he was exiled from France and went to England. Previous the exile, he was also locked in the Bastille for insulting a French noble-man. Voltaire was a man of sharp wit and high valued opinions, because of this trait he often got into trouble.
However, it was because of this trait and a p...
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... was a complex movement, that is recognized in today’s world perspective as the source of our modern secular worldview; form our ideas of religious toleration, individual liberty and free speech to the practices of our representative government, and unregulated profitable development.
1. Brians, Paul. The Enlightenment. Washington State University, 2000. Web.
2. Coates, Robert Eyler. Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government. Jefferson
Parish, LA: University of Virginia, 1995. Web.
3. Gray, John. Voltaire: The Great Philosophers. New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.
4. Strathern, Paul. Kant in 90 Minutes. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1996. Print.
5. Staloff, Darren. Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson: The politics of the Enlightenment
And The American Founding. New York: Hill and Wang. 2005. Print.
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