The Enlightenment

How would one explain the cause of the Enlightenment(Renaissance) Age?

Many accredit it to the tearing away/liberation from the Catholic Church and it’s clinging on to old ideals.

Human beings remained relatively the same-using the same methods for daily life for a very long time before the 15th-16th Century innovations.

I would explain The Enlightenment as the natural result of the human mind thinking forward, exploring–a tipping point.

The cause?
Well, the cause would be the need for new ideas and beliefs and updated structures.
The centuries beforehand were building up to the tipping point for this.
We had the printing press which spread information more readily so that people could discuss and share ideas and spread them.

Yes, people held the same thoughts and beliefs for a long time before that…but that’s the point. In a way, you can compare The Enlightenment to a child growing up and thinking on their own as a teenager or young adult for the first time.
Not blindly listening to authority, but using their own minds and thinking things through their own way. Exploring new ideas.

The cause…would be centuries of people remaining stagnant, as you were describing–“remaining relatively the same”.

The Enlightenment was a time for all areas to take a big leap forward and upward–science, politics, philosophy…etc.


It was the beginning of satan’s domination of governments and institutions and the slow enslavemen of men’s souls.

By comparison the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries should be regarded as " enlightned " and the age since as " dark. "


This above :slight_smile:

I think we are still on going with the enlightenment, but it set the wheels in motion for many things like education for women and poorer people.

If you have to name a cause, it would be people like Galileo pointing out that many things people had thought was true for thousands of years, say about the nature of the universe for example, simply wasn’t the case (heliocentrism, hierarchical universe, four elements, the moon being made of ether, etc.)

People realized that what they had been told for centuries really had no basis in anything–someone just made it up. Philosophers like Descartes saw that intellectually civilization needed to start from scratch and sort through our traditional beliefs and ways of thinking, determining through science and philosophy what is true and what is not. That process continues to this day.

yes, forward and upward. hitler, pol pot, stalin, mao tse tung, abortion, pornography, atomic bombs, etc, etc, etc…

As Msgr Kevane wrote, how can they be “rational” at-large, especially after the Protestant Revolt, the so-called Enlightenment and that “penetration of Modern Philosophy into the seminaries which produced a phenomenon which comes soon to receive the name of modernism.” Writing in 1978, Msgr Eugene Kevane referred to the phenomenon of Religious Modernism “in which priests and professors on the level, of Catholic higher education have been engaged for approximately 200 years.” The Faith and Theologies, in The Teaching Church in Our Time, Daughters of St Paul, 1978, p 34].

St John Paul II in Centesimus Annus, 13, 1991:
“The atheism of which we are speaking is also closely connected with the rationalism of the Enlightenment, which views human and social reality in a mechanistic way. Thus there is a denial of the supreme insight concerning man’s true greatness, his transcendence in respect to earthly realities, the contradiction in his heart between the desire for the fullness of what is good and his own inability to attain it and, above all, the need for salvation which results from this situation.”

The so-called “Enlightenment” was exposed for its degradation by St John Paul II:
“The rationalism of the Enlightenment put to one side the true God – in particular, God the Redeemer.

“The consequence was that man was supposed to live by reason alone, as if God did not exist…as if God were not interested in the world. The rationalism of the Enlightenment was able to accept a God outside of the world primarily because it was an unverifiable hypothesis. It was crucial, however, that such a God be expelled from the world.”
Crossing The Threshold Of Hope, St John Paul II, Random House Australia, 1994, p 53.]

December 19, 2012
What the Reformation has Wrought
by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap
Contemporary Problems Developed Over Centuries

“Brad Gregory, the Notre Dame historian, seeks to show how we got this way in his recent book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. His answers are surprising, and for some readers, controversial. But his book is also important—and in its explanatory power, brilliant.

“Gregory also chronicles the secular philosophers who stepped into the breach. In the place of sola scriptura, the Enlightenment offered wisdom sola ratio. From Descartes, through Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Hume, Hegel, and others, on to Heidegger and Levinas and their successors, the great end-run around revealed religion and its traditions began, seeking truth based on human reason alone.

“But as Gregory shows, the philosophers fared no better than the Reformers. Competing ideas proliferated. Truth, and answers to life’s big questions, remained disputed. In more recent times, Nietzsche, Foucault, and the post-modernists have been honest enough to say so, scorning the Enlightenment as much as they scorned Christianity. We can see the results in today’s pervasive spirit of irony and skepticism.”

One of our own saints was burned at the stake after being accused of witchcraft. Quite frankly, I must ask how you would call this ‘enlightened?’ (That and the literal belief in dragons, fairies, and unicorns.)

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