Since as early as 17th century – the era of René Descartes and Benedict De Spinoza – opposition to the church and faith in “logic” was starting to be the new fashion.  Later on, in an era of revolutions during the 1789-1848 period, the reaction to the secular powers became synonym to reaction to the church as well, since the latter had been closely related to the first for so long.  Finally and after many “battles”, science finally seemed to have “won”. Everyone cheered. Together with the democratization of the world, the rise of atomism and the obviation of the privileges of the few, the church was defeated. The masses had – at last – a saying in how things were going to be in the world. And it was going to be a “logical” world at last!
Was the Enlightenment enlightenment or just a… blackout? How many times had the masses the correct answer to ANY philosophical problem? What will we see if we look at the history of human civilization? Did the world “suddenly” progress in the 19th century or did we progress thousands of year ago and ever since we are in a constant decay?
Ancient Greece: Man started to wonder about his existence. Philosophy was born, along with theatre, tragedy, arts, geometry. Man questions and tries to answer big metaphysical questions. Nature is in the center of human thought. Man simply participates in the marvel of existence.
33 A.C. A man died for the sins of all people. The world seemed to change. Love appeared for the first time at the very core of a new philosophical system. Man can be God. A new era seemed to emerge.
Temporarily. The years that followed humans forgot the teaching of this Man. And the world became darker and darker every passing minute… Rome fall from the barbarians. Constantinople fell from the barbarians. And later on was completely destroyed from the other barbarians of the East.
The remains of Christianism were strong enough to act as foundation of the European civilization , but not strong enough to withhold the tide of darkness stemming from the inner soul of the barbarians. The barbarians who never stopped worshiping the moon or the sun, instead of the light within our soul. A few enlightened (with the true meaning of the word) men continued to spread and live by the teachings of Jesus but few paid attention.
17th century. While science and logic were on the rise, few people noticed the deafening silence of one of the wisest thinkers of that time. Pascal [Blaise Pascal] stood silent and troubled  next to the hordes of people enthusiastically screaming “rationalism” with no one paying attention. The masses had already decided on the path they would follow…
18th century. The world’s first freemasons’ Grand Lodge was established.  The new religion without God demanded space.  Some enlightened people still advocated the logic of believing in God (e.g. Newton) but the many were already too excited to listen. Some few suggested there were limits to the all mighty logic (e.g. Kant) but even fewer listened. Philosophers keep talking about how everything must be based on logic and not faith. While science and logic set the foundations of their imperium, many cheered when Rousseau [Jean-Jacques Rousseau] talked against the church but few paid much attention when the same man spoke against science, as if it were the greatest evil of all times.  (this is why wise people should talk simply to the stupid, because the latter will use whatever they like and throw away the rest) Man was now considered as tabula rasa and should be taught nihilism, should be made to understand that he is just a gear in the vast mechanism of the soulless universe.
19th century. The era of revolutions against the establishment, part of which was the church. The era of optimism. The era of communism. The era of logic. Nietzsche [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche] wrote that God is dead and everyone cheered. Few people understood that the great thinker wrote that phrase as a sad conclusion  and not as a triumphant cry for science, which he hated as much as he hated rationalism (he was the founder of irrationalism after all).
For sure the church made mistakes. But the mistakes were due to NOT following the teachings of Jesus and not because it did! Unfortunately few noticed that and the hordes of barbarians found saw a great opportunity to express their hatred and the “My arm aches, let’s cut the head” mentality prevailed. The City [Κωνσταντινούπολη] had fallen. The barbarians won. Now they were just solidifying their power. The poems of Marx to Satan and the image of Lucifer on the cover of the first Encyclopedia of Diderot clearly show the character of a heavily anti-Christianic era. The massive eugenics experiments of the West ling before Hitler (experiments which are actually continued until today), show that the barbarians have won. And the participation of the Clinton’s head campaign manager for the 2016 elections in satanistic dinners along with other prominent members of society, no matter how the establishment tries to disguise them as “art“, show that this era of darkness is here too stay. People is the new power. And the new power wants anything old destroyed. Not because it is wrong. But simply because it is old. God, the One, society are dead. Now the individual (or nature) is the new god.
Belief in the ability of human to control things. This was the main premise of magic. This is the main premise of science. The distance from Romanticism  to Marxism  is so small. When people can have more cars, why even bother listening to “crazy” people like Kierkegaard [Søren Aabye Kierkegaard] or Shestov [Lev Isaakovich Shestov]? The ideological victory of communism  established the destruction of the church and Christianity which so many regard as the “absolute evil”, while in fact it was the basis of the western civilization. Magic and the faith in imaginary things (e.g. parallel universes, fields  etc) won over the pure, primitive and all honest acceptance of one’s empirical data  (seeing the resurrection, experiencing miracles, feeling God, feeling that I exist as a conscious being, knowing that I have free will et cetera). Belief in a new system of ethics rose. A new system of ethics where man as an individual is the new god. The good of society or the cosmos seem irrelevant to the “freedom” of the individual. And of course with no one setting the foundations, each and every one sets his own. Belief in Logic returned. But people had forgotten that logic as founded by Aristotle supported the existence of a First Mover. Having forgotten how Christianity helped create universities as we know them today (part of which were many atheists, like Adam Weishaupt) and was the basis of Humanism in Europe, people “started” believing in the freedom of different opinion for the sake of… difference. But only if the different opinion was non-Christian. [read Religion and Science Unification – Towards religional science, Harmonia Philosophica for the fake cases of Hypatia and Galileo] The world started becoming more logical and we forgot that the most important things – love, emotions, fantasy, inspiration, acceptance, forgiveness, axioms, art, (autoanaphorical) consciousness, ethics, life itself – are not based on logic.
Everybody think that enlightenment showed the way to progress (a Christian idea by the way) through the return to the ancient Greek philosophers but no one wondered for the obvious: if the ancient Greeks had all the answers, then why did they have so much discrimination, oppression and problems? (not to mention… religion) Everybody think that enlightenment showed the way to freedom of the individual, but no one wondered for the obvious: freedom of which individual and from what? We are all part of the cosmos (One, God). How can we be free from Him? Everybody think that enlightenment showed the way to light. But since when does the lights of stars at night have logic? Everybody think that enlightenment rationalized everything. But what is the rationale behind a tear of love? Everybody thought that enlightenment proved to be the end of the “disease” of faith. But isn’t that what drives a scientist believe in the axioms he uses? And how bad is faith in your fellow human and in love? How much “proof” do we need to believe in it? The evolution of thought is a good thing. However, it should be gradual and controlled, under the rule of reason and good sense and not under the shouts of hatred of a social group (anti-Christians) against the others.
The masses won. And they imposed their own illogical logic as the only true logic. The world became cold again as it was in the beginning of civilization. In a forest illuminated by the moon again, man is free to do whatever he wants – but he is already dead inside.
Darkness engulfed the light.
And stole its name…
- Science and Religion – Some historical perspectives, John Hedley Brooke, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
- The era of revolutions 1789-1848, E.J. Hobsbawm, National Bank Cultural Foundation, Athens, 2008. [p. 308-329]
- Middle Ages – An era of light! [Harmonia Philosophica]
- Papanoutsos, “Philosophical Problems”, Ikaros editions, second edition, Athens, Greece, 1978 [p. 213-215]
- Philosophy Wire: Science, Prometheus, Rousseau
- Romanticism – An illustration guide, Duncan Heath and Judy Boreham, Icon Books, 1999.
- Marxism – An illustration guide, Rupert Woodfin and Oscar Zarate, Icon Books, 2004.
- Why Communism WON after all… Why are YOU here today? Do you feel God? [Harmonia Philosophica]
- Zeus exists, so do atoms… [Harmonia Philosophica]
- Religion and Science Unification – Towards religional science [Harmonia Philosophica]
- Βυζάντιο – Η Χιλιόχρονη Ελληνική Αυτοκρατορία [Harmonia Philosophica]
- Freemasonry, Wikipedia
- The age of Enlightenment and Freemasonry, by W. Bro. Ronald Paul Ng
Important note: Even though it is true that generalizations are to be avoided, they are usually the only possible tool to use when one wishes to analyze and understand a field as broad as the evolution of human philosophical intellect regarding belief in God. Most of the times, the tree makes you lose sight of the forest. Anyone wishing to go deeper into specifics can start his quest from the Religion and Science unification – Towards religional science article or from the List of Articles of Harmonia Philosophica here and here.
Photos, inspiration and other information at…
- Η Διαλεκτική της Πολιτικής Ορθότητας
- Συντηρητισμός και Διαφωτισμός: Δυνάμεις Αντίθετες;
- Η κενότητα της Δύσεως
- The Dark Side of the Enlightenment, Prof. Massimo Pigliucci