In order to deserve, we must pay our dues and steadily work for perfection. We must relish in struggle, and relinquish pride. We must dispel fear and seek enlightenment. We must shun division and honor love. We must know our hearts and seek to understand others. We must try, live, create, feel, grow and love.
The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, and in 1776, that's exactly what they meant. Women could not vote, women could not own property, and blacks were considered property. After 200 years of enlightenment, we have realized that gender and race are inappropriate distinctions for determining who has individual rights. Anytime Gov gives you permission they let you know that you have permission by giving you a permit or a license. If you have a marriage license, what permission do you have to do now that you did not have permission to do before, who gave you that permission, and who gave them the authority to give you that permission in the first place?
The past was characterized not by ignorance but by false opinions. Men always had opinions about everything, but those opinions were without ground and indemonstrable. Yet they governed the nations of men and were authoritative. Thus the problem of Enlightenment is not merely discovery of the truth but the conflict between the truth and the beliefs of men.
From the outset [of the Enlightenment], scholars treated Greek philosophers more as natural scientists treat atoms than as they treat other natural scientists. They were not invited to join the serious discussion of the scholars.
As a result of Enlightenment, philosophers and philosophy came to inhabit the universities exclusively, abandoning their old habits and haunts. There they have become vulnerable in new ways and thus risk extinction. The classical philosophers would not, for very good reasons, have taken this risk.
It is Enlightenment that was intent on philosophers ruling, taking Socrates ironies seriously. If they did not have the title of king, their political schemes were, all the same, designed to be put into practice. And they were put into practice, not by begging princes to listen to them but by philosophys generating sufficient power to force princes to give way.
I think with all the odd jobs I ever had, there was some kind of enlightenment but, yes, a lot of pain and suffering that I don't want to re-live.
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