Enlightening the Individual

Enlightening the Individual History has proved to us that what we know now is nothing compared to what Lies ahead in the future. In Europe, the people thought that absolutism was the way of the world, but they were soon to discover that each individual has Just as much power as the next. This new realization was coined the name the enlightenment.

It led to the division of religion and the Idea of a separated church and state. Religious division and political authority in Europe changed as a result between 1648 and 1789 because of individualism and the scientific revolution.Religious division changed immensely between 1648 and 1789 because of three main reasons. The first way that It changed was that the execution of faith separated from the king to the people. King Louis XIV previously executed all his power with an absolutism influence. The belief of the day was that kings were given the power and they were the “protector of the faith” and held more power than the Pope.

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With all of this control he could manipulate the church anyway he wanted. The people of the state were forced to practice Catholicism because that was the church of the land.Individualism was the key to dividing this power away from the king and giving it to the people. The people of Europe began to separate during the Protestant reformation but this was only the beginning. The Protestant Reformation gave the people the basic Ideas that they needed to be able to delve their own beliefs from the churches but it still was not enough to fully divide the church as a whole.

The enlightenment, however, made religion a personal decision that should not be trifled upon. The second way that religious division occurred was the new findings from the scientific revolution.Copernicus discovered how the planets revolved around the sun, which in turn, proved the godly holy universe incorrect. This idea had never even been thought of so It was hard for many people to believe what he said. Copernicus’ findings went directly against the church and The Council of Trend could not agree with him. He avoided religious persecution because he said that his heliocentric ideas were merely a hypothesis. People were now confused because if science explains so much about the natural world, than what does religion have to offer?To combat the new Ideas being aroused The Council of Trend filled churches with arouse art in an effort to increase attendance. All of the new art that was added to the churches can still be seen today, and you can just imagine the cost that was paid to have all of this work done on the churches.

This was Just one of many examples of the church having to Increase spending in order to counter the scientific revolution. After Copernicus’ death in 1 543, Galileo took the reigns of the eclectic revolution. Galilees writing, “The Starry Messenger, was the first piece of scientific research with a telescope.The writing contains the results of Galileo early observations of the non, hundreds of stars that were now visible, and the Median Stars that appeared to be circling Jupiter. All of this new Information led an even more structured discussion on the actual belief of the earth being the center of the universe. Galilees discoveries caused definite religious division. One way that it to accept these findings and in turn his writing was added to the prohibited readings list.

The church was under scrutiny from almost everyone now because the people were questioning who was actually right, Copernicus and Galileo or the church.The third reason that resulted in religion division during this time was new ratings that discussed the power of the individual. The first of these writings was David Hum’s, “On Miracles. ” David Hum believed that miracles do not exist in our world. “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined” (Hum 1). Hum applied this belief directly into religion.He explained that science can prove anything either right or wrong, and because of this Gods place in the world was challenged.

The people of Europe were now coming to a realization of individualism. They felt empowered because now they were learning that every person is Just as capable of understanding the world as the next. Another writing that provided the people with individualism concepts was Voltaire, “A Treatise on Toleration. ” His work explained that one religion holds no more truth than any other one. Not only is it extremely cruel to persecute in this brief life those who do not think the way we do, but I do not know if it might be too presumptuous to declare their eternal damnation” (Voltaire 2). After the release of this writing, the church began to slowly erode. The church was working even harder to try to eliminate writings like this from the general population. It had to do everything it good and spend countless dollars to counter act heresy.

People were unable to accept the previous ideas of religion because they were given this knowledge.With all of these works circling Europe, the people were convinced that religion should be their own choice. The enlightenment was giving people the power to separate from the church and devise their own beliefs in religion without the fear f being killed for what they think. The main result from these writings was that individualism was started to take hold, which in turn, resulted in a division of religion. Political authority was also extremely altered between 1648 and 1789.

The first way political authority was changed was by the elimination of absolutism.Before the scientific revolution, absolutism was the way that power should be divided. King Louis XIV was one of many absolute rulers that executed his power with ultimate authority. He owned the military, so if there was any sign of revolution he could stop t in its tracks, but the power of the person was soon to be discovered. A key player in combating absolutism was John Locke. He promoted the idea of a limited government. The people are deserved of the right to overthrow the government, so in essence revolution should be a right.He also said that the government must make a contract with the people to protect their basic rights.

These ideas were brand new to the people of Europe. Nobody ever would have imagined having rights at this time but with help of outspoken writers and philosophizers, they discovered their individual power. There were other writers that also aided in an alteration of political authority. Nonentities, a French political thinker, brought the people even more insight to how his time. His works defined a government that is very similar to ours today.The citizens of Europe were about to be informed about an idea for a government that was the complete opposite of their own.

In his writing, “The Spirit of the Laws,” he discusses that the government is not divinely ordained and that they cannot be in control of power. ” As all human things have an end, the state we are speaking of will SSE its liberty, it will perish. Have not Rome, Sparta, and Cartage perished? It will perish when the legislative power shall be more corrupted than the executive.It is not my business to examine whether the English actually enjoy this liberty, or not.

It is sufficient for my purpose to observe, that it is established by their laws; and I inquire no further” (Nonentities 4). This work was placed the churches list of banned books. “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may manse, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner” (Nonentities 1).With that idea in play he goes on to say that the citizens hold the power and the government revolves around them. This writing challenged many European governments during this time. People were now able to realize that they hold the key to alter the way the government operates. Another person that contributed to the change in political authority was Nicolas De Concrete. He was a French philosopher who describes ideas that seem to look onto the future.

He determined that the sciences would be the biggest contributor to the growth of a population.Educating the people will in turn give them the power to think on their own. In essence, he knew that the individual must be able to comprehend basic information in order to separate them from extreme political power. “But because, as the number of facts known increases, man learns to classify them, to reduce them to more general terms; because the instruments and the methods of observation and exact measurement are at the same time reaching a new precision” (Concrete 1). Concrete gave people new knowledge on advancing both intellectually and politically.

All of these writers were way ahead of their time, which resulted in a complete change of political authority. These new political ideas began to merge into religious ideas, which caused the ultimate separation of church and state. It was always believed that religion and state were supposed to be connected but this changed dramatically between 1648 and 1789. Previously, people were under complete control by the government. The king or divine ruler was the head of it all and what he said goes. They never had any say on what will happen within their country or between other countries.The king was in control of the church and the state so the people had no religion freedom.

If they were to commit heresy than they could be locked away or even burned at the stake. The protestant reformation started the separation of church and state but it failed to come up with answer to solve how to separate them. The Enlightenment introduced the population of Europe to ideas that they could not fail to appreciate.

The church and state had to separate to give the people the sights that they were taught by the philosophers.A change need to occur because for of this change was the scientific revolution because it gave proof to back up the ideas that were discovered. The scientific revolution brought a great deal of insight to the population of Europe but political authorities felt threatened to release the information because it would have damaged the church. Since the church and the state operated together as a unit, any adverse situation was costly to try and counter act for the state. As more and more people gained knowledge, such as the earth not being the center of inverse, they began to question what was actually right and what was not.As technology began to rapidly develop, the church and state began to separate but it will still be a long way off till they are fully separated.

In Voltaire work, “A Treatise on Toleration”, he explains that people should not be persecuted for their religious beliefs. If someone is than they shall be punished for their actions. We all have our own thoughts on who the creator and those beliefs are not going to change so somebody should not face the wrath of others because of this. He also says that no religion holds more truth than another.

Nonentities also wrote about the separation of the church and state. He said that power cannot flow from divinity. The king is no different than any other person and the people have to stand up to change the way it is. With memories of the religious wars that occurred in the past were still fresh and these writings helped to establish a solution for the pain. The people of Europe did not want to see their whole country fall apart again so they had to listen to the philosophers to devise a new strategy. All of the ideas from this time period, the Enlightenment, have had a direct impact n us today.Our government is based on the ideas of John Locke and other philosophers from this time. We are citizens with the power to control what happens in our country.

Every person today has basic unalienable rights that were thought of during this period. Concrete’s ideas of science and education leading the charge in the development of a country are spot on. “But in this progress of industry and prosperity ..

. Each generation …

Is destined to fuller enjoyment; and hence, as a consequence of the physical constitution of the human species, to an increase of the population.Will there not come a time when ..

. The increase in population surpassing its means of subsistence, the result would necessarily be-if not a continuous decline in wellbeing and number of people, a truly retrograde movement- at least a kind of oscillation between good and bad? ” (Concrete 2). Even though our education system today might not be the best, it still provides the people with a basic understanding of how to be civilized.

The Enlightenment has provided us with the necessary information to make sure that absolutism will not occur again in our society and many others.Europe was progressing at a slow rate prior to the Enlightenment due to the belief of divine authority. Many people were illiterate, religious wars devastated populations, and rights were an unheard of idea. Between the years of 1648 and 1789, Europeans were introduced to the idea of individualism from genius philosophers.

The scientific revolution and the concept of individual power gave the population of Europe new knowledge that resulted in religious division, changes in political authority, and the separation between the church and the state.