Pros And Cons Of The Enlightenment

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• During the Enlightenment there was a Scientific Revolution
• The enlightenment was also called the Age of Reason
• The chaos of the Reformation and wars of religion had shaken a belief system that had been accepted by society in the Middle Ages
• People began looking for natural law, the conditions that govern human behavior
• Thinkers began to believe that the problems of society could be solved through reasoning
• One of the first philosophers to search for the natural laws of government was England’s Thomas Hobbes.
• He believed that people by nature were bad and needed strong government
• He believed that people could avoid the nature of being bad by entering into a social contract
• This was an agreement to give up individual freedom to live in an organized society
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• Jean-Jacques Rousseau was another philosophe and he believed that human beings were born good but were spoiled by society
• Society set people against each other and made them unequal and unhappy
• The philosophe Denis Diderot did a lot to spread the ideas of the Enlightenment
• He created the Encyclopedie which filled 35 volumes
• Its articles encouraged freedom of expression, urged education for all, and criticized slavery and religion.
• This was one of the greatest accomplishments of the Enlightenment
C. The Enlightenment and Society
• Enlightenment ideas spread quickly
• Many of the philosophes knew each other personally and gathered in homes of the rich who supported the philosophers
• They believed in freedom and equality, even for women, but not equal to men
• Mary Wollstonecraft of Great Britain protested for equal rights to women
• She believed that women could become equal to men through education
• Governments and the Roman Catholic Church considered the new ideas a threat
• They practiced
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