Presentation on theme: "A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. --Oscar Wilde. I may disapprove of what you say, but I will die for your right to say it. --Francois-Marie."— Presentation transcript:
A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. --Oscar Wilde. I may disapprove of what you say, but I will die for your right to say it. --Francois-Marie Voltaire.
Enlightenment and the making of Modernity 1.Reformation: two crises 2.Forerunner of Enlightenment: Rene Descartes 3.Select figures of the Enlightenment: Voltaire, Hume & Kant 4.Major characteristics of the Enlightenment 5.Modernity’s heroes: Feuerbach, Freud, Darwin 6.How can Christian theism be defended today?
Reformation: two crises 1. Crisis of the certainty of salvation –Lifted up the notion of individual faith & conscience 2. Crisis of the authority of the Church –Created the possibility for social change –Caused religious wars in Europe –Relationship between faith & reason reconsidered.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) French philosopher, father of rationalism Radical skepticism Cogito ergo sum Searched for one method that will yield certain knowledge Autonomous self as the source of certain knowledge Major writings: Discourse on Method (1637) & Meditations (1647)
Voltaire (1694-1778): Christianity is immoral French philosopher Criticized Christianity for superstition, ignorance, false piety & hypocrisy Criticized religious intolerance Advocated the freedom of speech.
David Hume (1711-1776): Christianity is irrational Scottish philosopher, father of agnosticism Argued against: –Miracles –Proofs of God’s existence –Providence.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): morality independent from religion German philosopher, father of objective idealism All empirical reality is mind- constructed Wrote Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone Reduced Christianity to ethics of duty.
Major characteristics of the Enlightenment ‘Age of Reason’ Autonomous self v. traditional beliefs Numerous challenges to traditional Christianity –Moral criticism –Criticism of Christianity’s intellectual core –Attempts to fit Christianity into emerging patterns of rationality Not uniformly anti-religious.
Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872): An alternative theory of religion German philosopher Reduced theology to anthropology: claimed that God was a projection of human ideal.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1936): An a lternative theory of human nature Father of psychoanalysis Religion is an illusion God is an expression of the fundamental human need for care and protection.
Charles Darwin (1809-1882): An alternative theory of human origins British naturalist Major work: The Origin of Species (1859) Non-theistic evolution: random mutation of genes + natural selection (i.e., death) Denied intelligent design.
Karl Marx (1818-1883): An alternative interpretation of history German political philosopher Major writing: The Capital Interpreted human history as the struggle of classes Religion is the ‘opium for the people.’