What Was the Enlightenment?


Modern science, medicine, political freedom,
the market economy—all of them, we’re told, are the result of a sort of miracle
that took place 250 years ago. That miracle is called the Enlightenment,
a moment in history when philosophers suddenly overthrew religious dogma and tradition and
replaced it with human reason. Harvard professor Steven Pinker puts it this
way: “Progress is a gift of the ideals of the Enlightenment.” There’s just one problem with this claim. It isn’t really true. Consider the U.S. Constitution, which is frequently
said to be a product of Enlightenment thought. But you only need to read about English common
law—which Alexander Hamilton and James Madison certainly did—to see that this isn’t so. Already in the 15th-century, the English jurist
John Fortescue elaborated the theory of “checks and balances,” due process, and the role
of private property in securing individual freedom and economic prosperity. Similarly, the U.S. Bill of Rights has its
sources in English common law of the 1600s. Or consider modern science and medicine. Long before the Enlightenment, tradition-bound
English kings sponsored path-breaking scientific institutions such as the Royal College of
Physicians, founded in 1518, and the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660. The truth is that statesmen and philosophers,
especially in England and the Netherlands, articulated the principles of free government
centuries before America was founded. So why give the Enlightenment all the credit? Apparently because it doesn’t look good
to admit that the best and most important parts of modernity were given to us by individuals
who nearly all held conservative religious and political beliefs. The claim that all good things come from the
Enlightenment is most closely associated with the late-18th-century German philosopher,
Immanuel Kant. For Kant, reason is universal, infallible,
and independent of experience. His extraordinarily dogmatic philosophy insisted
that there can be only one correct answer to every question in science, morality and
politics. And that to reach the one correct answer,
mankind had to free itself from the chains of the past—that is, from history, tradition
and experience. But this Enlightenment view is not only wrong,
it’s dangerous. Human reason, when cut loose from the constraints
imposed by history, tradition and experience, produces a lot of crazy notions. The abstract Enlightenment philosophy of Jean
Jacques Rousseau is a good example. It quickly pulled down the French state, leading
to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, and the Napoleonic Wars. Millions died as Napoleon’s armies sought
to rebuild every government in Europe in light of the one correct political theory he believed
was permitted by Enlightenment philosophy. Today’s cheerleaders for the Enlightenment
tend to skip this part of the story. They also pass over the fact that the father
of communism, Karl Marx, saw himself as promoting universal reason as well. His new “science” of economics ended up
killing tens of millions of people in the 20th century. So did the supposedly scientific race theories
of the Nazis. The greatest catastrophes of modernity were
engineered by individuals who claimed to be exercising reason. In contrast, most of the progress we’ve
made comes from conservative traditions openly skeptical of human reason. The Enlightenment’s critics, including John
Selden, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Edmund Burke, emphasized
the unreliability of “abstract reasoning” and urged us to stick close to custom, history,
and experience in all things. Which brings us to the heart of what’s wrong
with today’s idolization of the Enlightenment. Its leading figures were not skeptics open
to what history and experience might teach us. Their aim was to create their own system of
supposedly infallible truths independent of experience. And in that pursuit, they were as rigid as
the most dogmatic medievals. Anglo-Scottish conservatives had a very different
goal. They defended national and religious tradition,
even as they cultivated what they called a “moderate skepticism”—a combination
that became known as “common sense.” I think a lot about common sense these days,
as I see American and European elites clamoring for “Enlightenment Now.” They rush to embrace every fashionable new
“ism”—socialism, feminism, environmentalism, and so on—declaring them to be universal
certainties and the only “politically correct” way of thinking. They display contempt towards those who won’t
embrace their dogmas, branding them “unenlightened,” “illiberal,” “deplorable,” and worse. But these new dogmas deserve to be greeted
with some of that old Anglo-Scottish skepticism. Enlightenment overconfidence in reason has
led us badly astray too many times. I’m Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of
Nationalism, for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “What Was the Enlightenment?

  1. I have been waiting for a video from PragerU on this topic. Now I just need one on the difference between a democracy and a republic from the site I trust. Sorry about that google.

  2. I see the comments under this video and I don't know if I should cry or laugh, my views on this video are the same.
    The US constitution has freedom of religion, expression and right to bear arms, etc. These are all from the Enlightenment, USA is a secular Enlightenment based country.
    It's true that Enlightenment isn't perfect, but you're blaming it for things that it had no direct influence over.
    Marx and Gentile, were not enlightenned philosophers, they were influenced mostly by the Industrial era that they lived in, their ideologies gave us WWII and the horrors of the 20th century.
    Enlightenment came from Humanism and this came from the Renaissance, which held it's values from ancient Rome and Greece. That meaning roman and greek philosophers who were NOT Christian.
    Also Napoleon was a despot and his campaigns hurt a lot of people (french revolution too I admit it), but "Code civil" that he introduced, gave a really good foundation for Universal Human Rights that we have today.
    Plus Enlightenment gave us secular goverments which took us away from religious dogmas so we could explore scientific knowledge without being limited by religion.
    So yeah progress and the succes of the western civilization is mostly thanks to the Enlightenment.

  3. "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." — John Adams

    [Adams submitted and signed the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797]

    John Adams, Thoughts On Government Applicable To The Present State Of The American Colonies.: Philadelphia, Printed By John Dunlap, M,Dcc,Lxxxvi

    Tags: christian-nation, christian-religion, separation-of-church-and-state, united-states-government

  4. 3:20 "The greatest catastrophes of modernity were engineered by individuals who claimed to be exercising reason."

    Man, that's seriously profound statement!

  5. True Freedom comes In Nothing of you're own self,"Then" These may all work if you think out of the box anyway. But ( the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of wisdom; Proverbs 9:10-12) and the knowledge of the holy is understanding ; Or:1 Corinthians 1:22-25

  6. Historically disingenuous to call 15th century people who were thinking as out of the box as you could find as 'conservative thinkers', but ok. The people you name 'conservatives' were often the ones being put on the stake for being too progressive.

  7. In my opinion, enlightenment comes with invention. During the 50's, the inventions were targeted towards destruction with the use of nuclear. Everything from improvements to guns and ammo as well as deployment (ICBM's). Then, there came the Beatles, who were full of enlightenment for improving electronic music, and all sorts of more enlightenment developed from the Hertz discoveries clean down to the visual discoveries of the DNA, molecular dissociation and compound combinations, which led to more medical and physical science discoveries. At the end, you'll see it's all a progression of discoveries for both good and evil. Guess what, evil will always be used first before good crushes it.

  8. The last PragerU video (uploaded just a couple of days ago) was about Napoleon, where Napoleon was championed and cheered…
    And in this video, Napoleon is called a brutal tyrannical dictator, who is responsible for the deaths of millions of people…
    Stupidity and contradiction at its best…

  9. I have mixed deelings about this video.i need to look somethings up.i have a feeling that he is hiding parts of the truth.

  10. My main criticism of this video is that it doesn't go back far enough, historically. Lots of excellent scholarship shows that Western Civilization's current progress can be traced back to the twelfth century, at least. E.g., Charles Homer Haskins' 'The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century', Edward Grant's 'God and Reason in the Middle Ages' and 'The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages'.

  11. The definition of reason can be warped as the speaker pointed out. The word logic, I believe, needs to have more emphasis, especially cause and effect, which leads to history.

  12. Nobody is saying that the Enlightenment period was perfect, humans are just nasty in general. They corrupted religion using the bad parts of the Torah, Quran and Bible (etc….) to harm people. They did the same thing with “reason and logic”. Do you think any idea is off limits for humans to corrupt?

  13. PragerU lied about the meaning of "E pluribus unum" in American history because the truth did not fit their agenda. You can't lie to create your own false history, then turn around and criticize others for doing the same.

  14. It's telling when conservatives feel they have to launch an attack on human reason to preserve their ideology… what happened to "facts and logic"?

  15. Get rid of all corporations! And almost all problems will disappear. When companies run by lunatics have enough money to buy persuade and control government you get slavery. It has and will continue to be the down fall of society. Unfortunately anyone that reads this will be to ignorant and stupid and brainwashed to comprehend. Thus this country will be destroyed. God said my people will perish for lack of knowledge! God is never wrong. Thanks everyone for living with your head up your ass you clueless morons.

  16. This is the worst conspiracy theory and strawman I've ever heard from this channel.

    Nobody is claiming that the very first good ideas all originated post 16th century. Also, no, people aren't trying to hide religious conservatives from enlightenment history. The enlightenment simply refers to a period wherein the MAJORITY of scientific and philosophical progress took place. Aquinas didn't live during that period. Newton did. Both were religious. Most of the notable enlightenment figures were religious. The only difference concerning religion that is told is that religion was relegated – and rightly so – from a universal and unquestionable epistemology. Yes, such a move may have been necessary for post-modernism to emerge, but it wasn't sufficient. Moreover, such a move was also necessary to have modern medicine, astronomy and so on.

    In order to become skeptical of human reasoning, one needs to employ human reason. There is no access to moral truth that bypasses human reason. Even the divine texts must be interpreted through the lens of human reason. Even experience of the divine is filtered through a fallible human mind. The proposition that the religious texts are divinely inspired requires an initial process of human reasoning. Human Reason in the fundamental basis of all ideology. Just as reason can lead to communism, it can lead to ISIS, crusades, witch trials etc. The suggestion that evils such as Nazism and Communism result only from an unwillingness to surrender one's own reasoning is false; both because it is impossible to surrender one's own reason, and because reasoning about religious instructions can go horribly wrong just as often as reasoning without them. Your point about dogmatism is also a waste of oxygen. This, again, can go both ways. Neither atheism nor theism logically entail dogmatism. You've just chosen to cherry pick non-dogmatic conservatives to fit your obvious agenda.

    There are no arguments in this video. It's a just bunch of assertions and implicit non-sequiturs. Awful presentation.

  17. Reason can be outweigh by another reason. Dogmatic absolution is unnatural and completely fallible. There is no one way, save for the way of mine and the way of many. Reason is only as strong as those who practice it, analyze, memorize, formulate theory, think within and without the box, understand the ways of others and if they are open criticize them for their betterment. But the way is not forced, reason will at best, teach one to embrace many and reject only fractions of these, delve into costoms, remember the past, build from it, but do not remake it. You may turn around to walk back but you cannot safely walk backwards. Keep moving forward and keep a clear understanding of the variables within view. One seeks enlightenment? LOOK AROUND, from one thing learn ten thousand things. The way is not forced, the way is understood and can only be taught to those who can admit they are wrong, the way is fantastic so that reason is not blinding you from beauty and madness does not break your resolve, the way is of many and the way is of none. This is the way, I have spoken.

  18. "The goal of Socialism is Communism." "Vladimir Lenin – Soviet Leader."

    "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."
    -Vladimir Lenin "Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever." -Vladimir Lenin

    Multiculturalism, feminism, and Marxism that we now are seeing in the west shouldn't come as a surprise at all ..

    The Kremlin has used this as a destabilizing tool for years infiltrating educational institutions with leftist propaganda by promoting these Marxist ideas into the western intelligentsia thinking and in the community with the help of labor unions.. The Kremlin has infected this into western society for generations and now we are seeing the effect of it !! The Russian call this form of attack for Active measures…

    The point of this is not to make you believe in anything but to create enough doubt, distrust, and confusion within the populous of the western nations that the Kremlin is attacking that the people will start to distrust their own government and media, it is, in other words, the good old game of divide and conquer Kremlin style ..

    Also now that they fare liberal left has gong totally bonkers and the West's educational institutions are all full of liberal professors (so job done ) the Kremlin is now shifting its focus so it can maximize the effect of their divide and conquer evil game of the Active measures strategies, by supporting right-wing element's all over the EU, UK , and the USA and every one from internet bloggers to political parties, Milos Zeman, Viktor Orbán and Le Pen in France and other useful dimwits like Pablo Iglesias Turrión from Spain's Podemos political party and Matteo Renzi Prime Minister of Italy and others in high offices in all EU nations; All of them and their political party are receiving indirectly and directly financial and funding from the Kremlin and have close business deals with Russian state companies… and they are all well known to bang the kremlin drums in the EU JUST LIKE Pro-Kremlin Czech president Milos Zeman..

    What those guys don't really understand is this all of this comes from the KGBs disinformation handbook from back in the day of the cold war and the Kremlin back then and today uses these conspiracies to discredit the US, and the west to the rest of the world and their own populous …

    Take a look her at the link (Russian: активные мероприятия / Aktivnyye Meropriyatiya) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_measures

    Active measure is a Soviet term for the actions of political warfare conducted by the Soviet security services ( KGB )and now used by the Russian security services ( FSB) to influence the course of world events, in the Russian Kremlins favor, this includes but not limited to collecting intelligence and producing "politically correct" assessment of it,, and Active measures range "from media manipulations to special actions involving various degrees of violence".

    They included disinformation, propaganda, counterfeiting official documents, assassinations, and political repression, such as penetration into churches, Active measures included the establishment and support of international front organizations (e.g. the World Peace Council); foreign communist, socialist and opposition parties; wars of national liberation in the Third World; and underground, revolutionary, insurgency, criminal, and terrorist groups subversion: active measures to weaken the West, to drive wedges in the Western community alliances of all sorts, particularly NATO, to sow discord among allies, to weaken the United States in the eyes of the people of Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin

    America, and thus to prepare the ground in case the war really occurs..

    And how do we know that this was and still is run by the Russian Kremlin ???

    We know this because we know who Vasili Mitrokhin was …..

    And who was he you ask …

    He was a KGB cold war agent that became a defector to the west that took with him KGB files regarding the Active measures programs see link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Mitrokhin

    Some of the active measures by the USSR against the United States were exposed in the Mitrokhin Archive: Well known Kremlin Active measures conspiracy theories put into the western minds …

    Starting rumors that the Jewish "Control" of the Federal Reserve for the new word order and anti-Semitic propaganda has demonized the Jew as a conspiratorial, manipulative outsider, often with powers and designs of world domination helped along by the USA government and the American banks run and owned by the Rothschild jews.

    Starting rumors that fluoridated drinking water was, in fact, a plot by the US government to effect population control.]

    Starting rumors that the moon landings were hoaxes and the money ostensibly used by NASA was in actuality used by the CIA.

    Starting rumors that US, government at the top level let Pearl Harbor happen so the American industrial complex and Banks got the US public to join in and take part in ww2 .
    Use of sympathetic elements in the press to label the strategic defense initiative as an impractical "star wars" scheme.

    Fabrication of the story that AIDS virus was manufactured by US scientists at Fort Detrick; the story was spread by Russian-born biologist Jakob Segal.
    Discrediting of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), using historian Philip Agee (codenamed PONT).

    Attempts to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr. by placing publications portraying him as an "Uncle Tom" who was secretly receiving government subsidies[citation needed]

    Stirring up racial tensions in the United States by mailing bogus letters from the Ku Klux Klan, placing an explosive package in "the Negro section of New York" (operation PANDORA), and spreading conspiracy theories that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination had been planned by the US government

    TAKE A LOOK AT THIS VIDEO AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND !!

    Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB : Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society (Complete)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gnpCqsXE8g&app=desktop

    Yuri Bezmenov: Deception Was My Job (Complete) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qkf3bajd4&t=385s

    Yuri Bezmenov: KGB Psychological Warfare and Subversion Strategy Part 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAYQ-rfj1CI

    Socialism: A Warning from the Dead
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69XHTgLEJq4

    Communism and Feminism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXn_wdveMg0

    Parents Fighting Back Against Gender Identity Doctrine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usa1wt-36xk

  19. " there is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death" " it is not in man to direct his own steps" without the revelation of truth found in the Bible, mankind is lost.

  20. The Enlightenment isn't the starting point to modern progress. It is Aristotelian study, a philosopher that had previously been banned under Christianity until 13th century Thomas Aquinas.
    It was the fundamentals of Aristotle that led to the renaissance and then to the enlightenment.
    And for the record, Kant is anti-reason. In effect the biggest influencer of undoing the progress of enlightenment, not its advocate.

  21. The enlightenment seems to mean many things to many people… one misconception is many think it means a time when religion was done away with.
    That certainly is partly a product of the enlightenment, but its not the enlightenment per se..
    The enlightenment was a removal of dogmatism… It was the general view that Descartes "cogito Ergo Sum was the basis of knowledge so to speak.. But hume came along and pretty much debunked it.. Kant came along and stated that Hume theories woke him from his "dogmatic slumber", he then went out and showed that "mere reason" was still a valid form of knowledge, and that hume empiricism had not destroyed it… there for creating a massive Metaphysical frame work of idealism and changing philosophy for ever.
    I find it odd that this video trys to use Hume, who was a empiricist and Atheist (allegedly) in defence of conservatism and religion. Kind of bizarre..
    John Locke was someone he looked towards.

    The Enlightenment was about shedding Dogmatism… which helped science and many other fields. and helped church and religion be less dogmatic in the process, which is helpful.

  22. The Rise of neo-Marxism: The opportunity for the masses to drive the political agenda has always depended on whether or not a dominant top-down power structure exists in society. The average person for most of human history had no opportunity to determine the political direction of their community or society. This changed for the first time in the 17th and 18th centuries when the European monarchies started to lose influence on how their societies were run.

    When a society does not have an all dominant top-down power structure there will always be a major ideological struggle between how the wealth in society is distributed. This is because there are two main widely held fundamentally conflicting world views on how wealth is best created and distributed. Events like the French and Russian revolutions were fundamentally about conflicts over who owned the wealth.

    Most people believe that only one ideological stream came out of the 18th century which means that everything that has gone right and wrong since must be the fault of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism. In reality, a second major ideological world view had burst forth into the Western world at exactly the same time as the Enlightenment. This top-down collectivist ideology ultimately became the fully fleshed out philosophy called Marxism.

    It was the failure of what might be called proto-Marxism in the early period of the Enlightenment which allowed classical liberalism to dominate for around 200 years from the mid 18th century to the mid 20th century. All of the problems that have developed in the West—from individualism to corporatism—are actually a product of the rise of top-down collectivism throughout the West after WW2.

    Everything changed in the mid-late 20th century when the effects of socialism was combined with the political philosophy called Critical Theory which resulted in the systematic dismantling and atomization of Western culture. The anti-Enlightenment had finally gained widespread power and influence after nearly a ¼ of a millennia trying. Their new sociocultural doctrine of neo-Marxism was spreading throughout the West like a virus.

  23. Excellent video. I, too, have embraced the Enlightenment as the pinnacle of human history, reason, skepticism, and intellectual curiosity. I never thought to critique the long held veneration of the Enlightenment. Thanks again, PragerU.

  24. It's very rare for me not to like every video of Prager U, but I disliked this one, I don't agree on this. After living in a very strict area. I don't mind the values of Jude-Christian but I saw in most cases nations ignoring or don't care about religions are more developed, examples? France? Japan? China? Currently most of Europe? Russia? Not a coincidence.

  25. PragerU: " The greatest catastrophes of modernity were engineered by individuals who claimed to be exercising reason. "

    <Ayn Rand left the chat >

  26. Conservative Christian beliefs It is the conservatives and democrats Is a now Against Christianity People don't be Fooled If it wasn't so they would be against immoral things And they just passed into law a lot immoral things so don't be fooled people the lip servicing you My momma always said Action is is action does. I really am shocked That we hadn't went to war. Even or for fathers what a went to war over this. A long time ago. It is us that's fallen We are unwilling to take a stand And fight. I'm against Al-Qaeda But at least they will stand up for their beliefs. Not just talk and take it like little b****'s!

  27. Don’t forget the ENLIGHTENMENT 🌍 of “Climate Change, after Global Warming, after Acid Rain.” These are/were “universal truths” that would destroy the earth. Only our living without energy and paying a global carbon tax can save the world & and the CABAL of Elites!

  28. Of course a 5 minutes video delivers only simplifications. Like connecting what philosophers substituted in their thinking with medicine and politics. Of course everything on Earth inherited something from the past. Everybody "stands on the shoulders of giants". So did Enlightment. It is an obvious fact. And it does not diminish the value of Enlightenment as the pinnacle of the modern European civilization. (The ancient European civilization were the Greeks and Romans.) But you just flip it over and use to promote your own political position. This abuse is dishonest.

    If Enlightenment people did not contribute any good and just inherited it from previous conservative Christians (except Huguenots probably?), then Christians inherited all the good things from Romans and Greeks, from Plato and Cicero, from Stoics. Cicero too talked about "brotherhood of all men, of any nation or race" — so Christians just stole it from Romans?

    You are saying that philosophers started French revolution. That is plain silly. Read "Wealth of Nations", what Adam Smith says about France of that time? Roughly: "The economic difference between England and Scotland is very visible, but is nothing in comparison with France. There people a really destitute." That triggered the Revolution.

    You say "leading to the French Revolution, the reign of terror and Napoleonic wars, millions died as he tried to rebuild every country" — that is like some British propaganda directly from that time of anti-French coalitions. When all monarchies of Europe, instead of reforming themselves, united to use the weak state of France to crush it. And Britain ahead of everybody funded all the campaigns, all the diversions and assasination schemes. Napoleon stoped the murderous anarchy of the Revolution and fought defencive wars protecting his country from this onslaught! It is a historical fact. There are tons of decrees, letters, documents from all countries of that time. If one wants to understand what happened back then, one can do so with no problem. There is no excuse to make such mistakes! For Gods sakes, Napoleon even hated la Marseillaise because of all the chaos it associated with! How on Earth you get that "he believed something was permitted by Enlightenment philosophy"? Napoleon, a guy with a mathematical and engineering mind, a nobleman, a prudent student, an artillerist and a general, a brilliant statesman and an administrator, a man of action and a pensive man, a genius guided himself by some talk from philosophers of the time? Napoleon studied history like nobody else. That is why he was so successful in his battles and hist statesmanship.

    About "rebuilding other countries". Napoleon forbid Holy Inquisition in Spain. Is that Christian and conservative institution something worth protecting too?

    "Karl Marx promoted universal reason as well. His science of economics." Every scientist, in economics too, seeks a universal theory, because the goal is to study the nature, and the nature is universal. The fact that some bad guys promoted some falsehoods as theories, like the planned communistic nonsense, does not mean that the reason is bad! Everybody promotes some theory. A theory is a reflection on the world — everybody reflects. No reason to compare them to Hitler for that!

    "Abstract reasoning" is an antonym of "empirical reasoning", which is a cornerstone of natural science. And it is a motto of Enlightenment, of Huboldt and Napoleon, of Darwin, of Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say, etc. All these people are people of Enlightnement. They were not critical of reason. They were critical of a couple fops spouting nonsense, of monarchs impeding liberal economics and free choice of people.

    The founders of US would not be in America, if everything was all right in the good old, conservative and Christian Europe.

    If you are pissed off with some modern fools, who spout nonsense about politics, history, science, religion, -isms and whatever, it still does not let you lie about Enlightenment. You have constructed your own "infalible truth independent of experience" of the actual history of Enlightenment to help you fighting in current day sphere of opinions. But perversing history is a bad way to do it! Your opponents, these modern fools, are people who wear distressed jeans, listen to noise in earbuds, stare at blank modern "art", and buy every modern gadget companies thought at them! Of course they have no clue what Enlightnement is. Or what communism is, or what fascism and national-socialism are. They are fools. The way to fight them is not by following their initiative and surrendering everything to them. "Liberal" means there are liberties, not high taxes and regulations. Freedom of speach is liberal. Nonsense pronouns imposed on a language is tirany. "Science" means there are empirical facts, there is cold reason and logic. There are no emotions and kids with Asperger in UN!

    Enlightenment was a pinnacle of our civilization. This civilization abandoned slavery and forced the rest of the world do the same, it created a technological singularity which profited everybody in the world. Do not abadon it, because without it you will have nothing around you.

  29. One would think that by now, Republicans would finally admit they're Socialists.

    The truly sad part is, there will be some kid that tries to say, "Republicans can't be Socialists!"

    Statists gonna State.

    -Laissez-Faire Capitalist

  30. Once again PragerU you are so full of shit and the basic Facts prove you Wrong!. The Catholic church was embedded in every European Government and before the Enlightenment concepts like (Natural Science and Astronomy) if your scientific claims did not validate and support church dogma could get you (Excommunicated) from the Church. Before the Enlightenment Excommunication meant your Execution.

  31. I’ve read a bunch of reviews/posts of people online talking about pragerU being biased conservative propaganda as well as accusing pragerU of not using facts to back up their arguments

    Do you guys have any insight?

  32. The Enlightenment was the realization that there are those who are always trying to disinform us to lead us astray — Descartes for example spoke of the Evil Demon. And that the only way to figure out what’s fact and fiction is to question everything and to build up knowledge from that which we can actually be sure of.

  33. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_U1qfJxJWwzo2DWbajvMzg?sub_confirmation=1 check out this growing channel for conservatives

  34. Nice job of describing the base line of unhappiness and permanent individual unfulfillment : It isn't in liberal thinking or ideas. Thank you for common sense.

  35. PragerU’s video has to be one of the most dishonest that they have ever made. To claim that the Enlightenment was the product of religion and Christianity is false, irrational and a wicked perversion of the truth. 

    What is Religion? It’s a belief system built on faith i.e. on a lack of empirical evidence of this world using our sense data. How exactly did faith lead to Newton’s discovery of the laws of motion? If faith and religion was what built the United States then why can Thomas Jefferson be found to advocate for reason as the highest value? “fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” 

    After the fall of Rome Christianity dominated the West for almost 1000yrs. What new scientific discoveries and inventions were made during that time – when Christianity really dominated and controlled everything and everyone? How far did Christianity advance the sciences – medicine, engineering and technology? Not only were there no new discoveries, but a lot of old mathematic and scientific knowledge (discovered by the Greeks and Romans) was lost!

    It wasn’t until the works of Aristotle – and the semi-rational SECULAR Greeks was re-discovered, and some of their ideas incorporated into Christianity (via Thomas Aquinas and others) that the West started to become more liberal, individualistic, rational and scientific. It was the rationality of Aristotelian philosophy, and his pro-reason, pro-naturalist approach which forced some semi-honest christians to re-evaluate and challenge their beliefs which led led the West to the Renaissance – the “rebirth” of rational Greek philosophy. This integration of Aristotle into Christianity occurred around the 11th and 12th centuries – and it’s only after this that we begin to see Universities emerge, Magna Carta written, and the start of the scientific revolution. 

    As for the founding fathers, they were all deists – a fact noticeably left out of this video. None of the founders believed in miracles i.e. that a supernatural being could intervene and suspend the laws of nature. They all admired Newton and his rational approach to understanding the facts of this world and the universal scientific principles that could be grasped by anyone. They founded the United States on the ideas of reason and individualism, Jefferson is famous for saying: “Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error…. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only…. Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. Truth can stand by itself.” Does that sound like a person who is led by faith and mysticism?

    The enlightenment was the product of one man, Aristotle. Aristotle’s philosophy in its essentials is a complete rejection of supernaturalism, mysticism and faith. Every development made in human history which has led to new discoveries and innovations has been the result of human reason. Advancements in medicine, computing, textiles or carpentry are not made through readings of the bible, but of understanding the laws and principles which govern this world.

    For more on this subject i recommend the following Youtube videos and articles:

    Conservatives Get Out of The Dark Ages by Professor of Philosophy Stephen Hicks:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viuzd1Eu9JQ&t=5s

    Aristotle versus Religion (a seven-part series of articles) – Andrew Bernstein, Philosopher
    https://www.andrewbernstein.net/2016/03/aristotle-versus-religion-2/

    Religion’s role in the founding of American – Leonard Peikoff, Philosopher
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAzDNaRrS4I

    America was founded on Secular Ideals – Tom Bowden
    https://newideal.aynrand.org/america-was-founded-on-secular-ideals/

    Is America a Christian nation? Dr Michael Hurd
    https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2015/04/is-america-a-christian-nation/

    Should I Go by Reason or by Faith? Ben Bayer, Philosopher
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTTZedHIlSE

  36. Conservatives were anti-enlightenment and for a good reason. The Enlightenment is the source of most of the problems we're facing today as it is an ideology which denies us existence. We need to return to Conservatism aka Monarchism aka governance by the head(the crown), not by the body ("the people"). By person not by principle

  37. Thank you PragerU, I find your videos enlightening and informative. Paul Harvey, an old radio personality, always said, "And now you know- the rest of the story."
    When l was very young my mother said, "There's two sides to every argument."
    When I was in high school we brain stormed ideas, our teachers said there were no wrong ideas.
    So thank you, PragerU, for being a source of different views for thinkers to consider. I feel you respect my intellect and ability to evaluate what I know, what you present, and what further research I'm lead to in order to reach my own conclusions, they may not always be in line with the popular crowd (PC), but I can defend and explain them with confidence and respect others who believe differently.

  38. If you want to be enlightened consider following my 2036 presidential campaign. Some of my campaign promises include impeaching all the democrats, making Rudolph straight again, and abolishing the deep state

  39. I always thought that the enlightenment was more about the foundations of modern day science than political theory, also not every idea of the time was necessarily enlightened per say

  40. it seems to me that you are giving lots of bits of information without any context, those informations don't have any evident link between them. And you try to make up an argument of all of this. That isn't a very robust argumentation at the first listening

  41. It was the fall of Constantinople that started the Enlightenment. More Greek ideas, philosophy, art, and science fled the city after if fell and found home in western nations where the Muslims hadn't reached.

  42. When conservative is defending religion custom, I always wonder: "what about Islam"? I do not think Islam is a tradition or religion worth preserving.

    I do like western civilisation but I really don't know how to apply it to the mindset of Muslims.

  43. I am yet to read about or meet a proponent of the enlightenment who gives credit only to the enlightenment ideas of the seventeenth and eighteenth century for all of modern science, medicine, political freedom and market economies. This is the first time I have heard that such a person exists and I find it hard to believe. Many enlightenment thinkers were familiar with ideas from Socrates, Epicurus, Aristotle and other great classical thinkers, so the starting premise of this video seems to be a straw man. No body can deny that there were free thinkers who made significant contributions to political freedom before the enlightenment, but most of the progress in modern science, medicine and market economies was made subsequent to the enlightenment.

    The speaker repeated the enlightenment's emphasis on reason and mentioned some of the terrible things that were done by some historical figures who were convinced that their actions were reasonable and tried to use that to criticize the enlightenment. Of course, many crimes have been committed in the name of reason, but that is a problem with human nature and our tendency to rationalise illogical beliefs and actions. The enlightenment thinkers were aware that our reasoning abilities were prone to error, so they encouraged open debate and the scientific method to refine our reason. These thinkers also had some illogical ideas, held ridiculous beliefs, and some may have engaged in despicable acts, but one thing they all emphasized is that all men should think for themselves and apply reason in understanding the world, and not allow the traditions of their fathers, which like them were prone to errors, dictate their lives. They encouraged others to extend their insights beyond the traditions of their ancestors.

    The speaker made it look like all enlightenment thinkers proposed human reason at the expense of history, tradition and experience. Most of them were definitely against tradition, but I think many of them were in support of learning from history and experience.

    In the end the speaker attempted to credit conservatism, rather than the enlightenment, for most of human progress. While I do see some influence of conservative thought on free market economies and political freedom, I don't see a cause and effect relationship with modern science and medicine. The speaker obviously revealed his bias against the enlightenment and I hope he overcomes it and gives the enlightenment the credit it deserves.

  44. If there is no universal truth then what's wrong with gender theory etc., huh? In fact they say stuff like "my truth, your truth" exactly to justify it. This crap is absurd. Stop having this dude, please, he's as dumb as a goddamn cork

  45. Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable.

    Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table.

    David Hume could out-consume Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

    And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

    There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach 'ya 'bout the raising of the wrist.

    Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.

    John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, after half a pint of shanty was particularly ill.

    Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whiskey every day!

    Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,

    And Hobbes was fond of his Dram.

    And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: 'I drink, therefore I am.'

    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;

    A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

    I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.

    I blame Dieter my invisible friend.

  46. Great programming! About time someone came out saying it as it was: the Enlightenment was a period that brought much darkness when man sought to elevate to the top the wisdom of man, which GOD says is foolishness with Him, and set aside His Wisdom. Kant and Co.

  47. The enlightenment is an umbrella term in philosophy. Simple. Also he was killed to hide a large network of wealthy pedophiles, RIP Jeffery Epstein

  48. The Enlightenment is an important milestone in history. However, it is important to remember that The Enlightenment would not have happened without the supporting pillars of Greek Reason, and Judeo-Christian Faith. Crediting progress to The Enlightenment alone discredits Faith and Religion, which over time will distablize The Progress of The Enlightenment in at least a Cultural-political sense.

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