Civic Imagination

The continuous struggle of the Enlightenment

The story is about courageous people who challenged religious people and authorities. It represents a longtime struggle with not exclusively Iron Age philosophies which were eloquently described by theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg who said: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” ( The story of these people takes place in many places around the world but especially there, where non-fact/ evidence based argumentation is considered to be superior to logic or generally speaking to its opposite enlightened scientific form of argumentation.

The story of people I am writing about came to my attention through the work of many authors such as: Daniel Dennet, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc. They utilized the possibilities of the new ICT to reach out to the audience of people around the world who were looking for an inspiration and encouragement on their path against Iron Age nonsensical naïve stories about the world, its nature and origins which still significantly affects people’s lives. The story resonates with me because I, as many others, have witnessed the countless number of conflicts between members of different religious groups and realized that until these concepts will be accepted as obsolete and taken not that seriously, there is no chance for reconciliation between majority of the world’s population. I suppose the story is well known although many people are not able to open their culturally pre-conditioned minds to different perspectives or even doubts about their strongly held beliefs. These beliefs are artificial and simply inherited from their parents or immediate environment. It is often said, that the European culture and democratic system stems from Christianity but I would argue that it is not true because all human rights we enjoy today were acknowledged by whoever was near the power wheel after a long fight and struggle. It did not come naturally or from the voluntary initiative of any known religion.

The story and especially the work of these people have inspired many people around the world who despite being a majority, in many places, do not have their relevant voice in politics, public or media sphere. I believe that the principles of the Enlightenment period, basic human rights expressed in the Declaration of human rights, United Nations are sufficient for creating a fairly equal and just global society. It is obvious that the story has a direct connection to every aspect of human life and is also vital to the social structure in modern societies. The story can be told by every human being who is able to release himself from so called self-imposed non-age which I. Kant described as the main characteristics/ requirement of the Enlightenment.

Enlightenment, Struggle, Justice, Evidence based reasoning


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