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The Age of Reason (Enlightenment) and Deism . English 2 Loyola High School Mr. Dan O’Connell. Causes (What do we know?). Effects (What will we learn?). Cause and Effect. Causes Religious Fanaticism Witch trials Beginning of a merchant class—aka bourgeoisie Landed Aristocracy Monarchies

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the age of reason enlightenment and deism

The Age of Reason (Enlightenment) and Deism

English 2

Loyola High School

Mr. Dan O’Connell

cause and effect
Causes (What do we know?)

Effects (What will we learn?)

Cause and Effect
cause and effect america europe

Religious Fanaticism

Witch trials

Beginning of a merchant class—aka bourgeoisie

Landed Aristocracy


Church & State united

Church = Truth


Deism—”natural law”

Rise of merchant class—aka bourgeoisie

Science/Logic/Reason = Truth

Rise of philosophers

Revolution x 3

The “perfect” society

Separation of Church & State


Cause and Effect—America & Europe
the enlightenment
The Enlightenment
  • Enlightened thinkers believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition, and tyranny and to build a better world.
  • Principal targets: Religion and the domination of society by hereditary aristocracy. In other words, the church and the state, who often worked hand-in-hand.
the enlightenment early forms
The Enlightenment—Early Forms
  • Renaissance Humanists (14th & 15th cent.)
    • Argued that proper worship of God involved admiration of his creation, notably His crown of creations: humanity.
    • Celebrating humans worships God better than gloomy priests who preached original sin and repentance
  • Galileo Galilei (1632)
    • Used logic and observation to argue that earth rotates around sun
    • The Church (possessor of Truth) forced him to recant, objecting that Bible clearly stated that the sun moved through the sky.
    • Led to the advancement of science—Isaac Newton
the enlightenment early forms1
The Enlightenment—Early Forms
  • Michel de Montaigne (16th Century)
    • Asked “What do I know?”
    • We have no right to impose other dogmas which rest on cultural habit rather than absolute Truth
    • New World = new cultures
      • Morals may be relative
    • If we cannot be certain that our values are God-given, then we have no right to impose them by force on others
    • Popes and kings had no right to enforce adherence to particular religious or philosophical beliefs
    • Doubt is essential to science—test, challenge, ask—to get closer to truth. Authority is science’s enemy
the enlightenment 17 th century
The Enlightenment—17th Century
  • Enlightenment philosophers combined logic and reason
  • Logic: formal logic is the process(es) by which an argument can be determined as valid or not. An argument is valid if the premises are all true, then the conclusion must also be true.
    • Example: All humans have heart. Tom is a human. Therefore, Tom has a heart.
  • Reason: Enlightenment thinkers stated that it consisted of common sense, observation, and their own unacknowledged prejudices in favor of skepticism and freedom.
the enlightenment 17 th century1
The Enlightenment—17th Century
  • The 17th century scene: Dogma & Fanaticism
    • Witch-hunts and wars of religion
    • Protestants & Catholics denounced each other as followers of Satan
    • People imprisoned for attending wrong church
    • All publications censored by church and state
    • Slavery widely practiced, defended by religious leaders
    • Despotism of monarchs=“divine right of kings”
    • Any opposition was imprisoned or executed
  • Reason and Logic had no room for these matters
the enlightenment 17 th century2
The Enlightenment—17th Century
  • Political & Economic Background
    • Wealth from Asia & Americas catapulted a new class of merchants into prominence, partially displacing the aristocracy whose power had been rooted in land ownership
    • These bourgeoisie had there own ideas about the world—main agents of change in the arts, government, and the economy
    • Naturally convinced that their earnings were result of their individual merit and hard work
    • Absolutist kings and dogmatic churches were the biggest obstacle to change for the merchant class
the enlightenment1
The Enlightenment
  • Individualism, freedom, and change replaced community, authority, and tradition as core values
  • Religion survived, but was weakened
  • Monarchies dwindled over the course of 100 years beginning in mid-18th century
  • Church insisted it was only source of truth
    • Any reasonable person knew that most human beings on earth were not and had never been Christians, yet they built great & inspiring civilizations
  • Most important, the middle classes—the bourgeoisie—were painfully aware that they were paying taxes to support a fabulously expensive aristocracy that contributed nothing of value to society.
  • The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus." Deism involves the belief in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any reliance on revealed religion or religious authority.
  • Deists:
    • Do not accept the belief of most religions that God revealed himself to humanity through the writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other religious texts.
    • Disagree with strong Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.
  • Deists regard their faith as a natural religion, as contrasted with one that is revealed by a God or which is artificially created by humans. They reason that since everything that exists has had a creator, then the universe itself must have been created by God. Thomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the French Revolution with: "God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."
  • Thomas Paine on Deism:
philosophers in europe
Philosophers in Europe
  • France
    • Voltaire
    • Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • England
    • John Locke—the social contract
    • David Hume
philosophers in america
Philosophers in America
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Thomas Paine
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Patrick Henry
  • George Washington
putting theory into practice the american revolution
Putting Theory into Practice:The American Revolution
  • “Great upheavals in history occur when circumstances are ripe.”
  • French & Indian War (1754-1763)
  • Stamp Act of 1765
    • Needed to raise revenues in colonies to pay war debt
    • Taxed 54 ordinary items
    • Colonial reaction was bitter, Stamp Act repealed
  • Townshend Acts of 1767
    • Taxed paper, paint, glass, lead, and tea
    • Colonists organized boycott; British dissolved the Massachusetts legislature and sent troops to Boston
  • Boston Massacre (1770)—5 dead
putting theory into practice the american revolution1
Putting Theory into Practice:The American Revolution
  • Tea Act of 1773
    • Led to Boston Tea Party
  • Coercive or Intolerable Acts of 1774
    • Shut down port of Boston
    • Forbade meetings
    • British troops could be housed in colonists’ homes
    • No British officials could be tried in colonies
    • Annulled charter of colonies, put British Governor in charge of all
  • First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia
  • “The Shot Heard Round the World”
    • Lexington & Concord
  • Ellis, Linda., et al. Prentice Hall Literature, Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: The American Experience. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.