What is the basis of our freedom - European Values


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Today we are living in societies in which every individual enjoys a great level of personal freedom and fundamental rights.

These precious conditions can only be preserved if people know the values which are the basis for our modern, free and democratic societies.

The presentation shows an overview of basic European values and explains in a historical context that our freedom was realized in 6 steps.

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What is the basis of our freedom - European Values

  1. 1. What is the basis of our freedom?The Basic European ValuesA short introduction<br />EuropäischeWerte.info<br />
  2. 2. Never in history we had so much freedom as today<br /><ul><li>Freedom (freedom of thought, conscience, religion and opinion, … )
  3. 3. Equality (protection against any form of discrimination, full equality of man and woman, ... )
  4. 4. Solidarity (the right to social security, fair remuneration, an adequate life standard, physical health and the right to access education, … )</li></li></ul><li>Ifyoutake a lookattheworldmap,<br />haveyoueveraskedyourself: <br />Whyareweliving in a <br />Freedom unknownandneverexperiencedbymorethan 80% of<br />theworld'spopulation?<br />What´sthedifference? <br />
  5. 5. The basisofourfree European societiesareparticularvalues,whicharetheexpressionof a specialworldview.<br />Ifwewanttopreserveourvaluesforfuturegenerations, wehavetoknowthemfirst.<br />
  6. 6. European Values? <br />?<br />Democracy? <br />Greek Philosophy?<br />Roman Law?<br />Human Rights?<br /> Reformation?<br />Enlightenment? <br />Antiquity? <br />Freedom? <br />Humanism?<br />Modern Age?<br />Constitutional State?<br />Middle Ages?<br />Christianity?<br />Jewish-Christian Philosophy (Ethics)?<br />Are there even common European values?<br />
  7. 7. The history of Europe is characterised by a constant change of values and the according view of the world<br />If people want to understand their values they need to understand history!<br />
  8. 8. The historyof Europe ischaracterisedby a repeatedchangebetweentwoworld-views<br />
  9. 9. 1.) The theocentricworld-viewwithgodascentralaspecttoexistence<br />
  10. 10. 2.) The humanisticworld-viewwith man ascentralaspect.<br />
  11. 11. Constantly, one world-view replaces an other one<br />„In theuniversethereisonlyonethingthatmaybeconsideredasconstant: change.‘‘<br />Heraklit of Ephesus, <br />Greek philosopher<br />(around 540 - 480 B.C.)<br />
  12. 12. Change ofworld-views in Europe <br />Before ANTIQUITY<br />Startingpoint: <br />Greecebefore 600 B.C. <br />
  13. 13. Historical background: PolytheismbeforeAntiquity<br />Foreverythingunexplainable a particulargod was responsible.<br />Humanswereatgods‘ mercy.<br />Poseidon: Godofthesea, horsesandearthquakes<br />Zeus: Fatherofthegods; lightning, thunderandair<br />Demeter: Mothergodess, <br />Earth godess; fertility<br />Hephaistos: Firegod,godofthe<br />Volcanoes, architectureandsmiths<br />
  14. 14. Historical background: (Greek) Antiquity<br />A newwayofthinkingison theway!<br />Insteadofremaining in theroleofpuppets in thehandsofthegods, forthefirst time peopletookovercontroloftheirowndestiny.<br />Individualsrealisedthattheycandevelopandgrow...<br />
  15. 15. 1st Step: Humanistic Thinking<br /><ul><li>This starting point is the emancipation of humans from their gods.</li></ul>Humans in thecenterofinterest. Theirdevelopmentandaimingforhappinessbecomesmoreimportant.<br />Theocentricworldviewwithgod in thecenterofthoughtsandactions.<br />From 600 B. C.<br />
  16. 16. 2nd Step: Rationality<br /><ul><li>People start to question gods and investigate their environment.
  17. 17. Starting point of ancient natural science through observation of nature and realising of regularities</li></ul>Thales ofMiletus624 – 546 B. C.<br />From 600 B. C.<br />
  18. 18. 3rd Step: Secularity<br /><ul><li>People still acceptedhelpofferedbythegods, but atthe same time theydid not allowthemto hinder them in their quest forhappiness.
  19. 19. Godshadtoleavethepublicandbecame a partofthe private life.</li></ul>From 500 B. C.<br />
  20. 20. 4th Step: Rule of law<br />„Lex insteadof Rex“meaningthewrittenlaw(Lex)<br />replacingthearbitrarylawof a King (Rex).<br />Thisleadsto a separationofpowerswithinthe„state“ !<br />Lex insteadof Rex<br />From 470 B. C.<br />
  21. 21. 5th Step: Democracy<br />People starttofightforpoliticalparticipation. <br />AtticDemocracy 462 – 322 B.C. <br />(140 yearsofdemocracy)<br />Pericles495 – 429 B. C.<br />From 462 B. C.<br />
  22. 22. 6th Step: Human Rights<br />The ideathatevery human beingpossessesinnaterightsfirstcameup in antiquity.<br />From 330 B. C.<br />
  23. 23. Voila - a fullydevelopedhumanisticworld-view<br />Itstartswithgiving a valuetothe individual (Humanisticthinking) andiscompletedbygiving a valueto all human beings (human rights).<br />
  24. 24. AncientHumanistic World View<br />The entirehumanisticconceptionoflife was theoreticallyrealisedto a large extent, but practicallyitremainedincomplete.<br />
  25. 25. <ul><li>HumanisticthinkingandRationalitywerehighlydeveloped.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Secularity just partially.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Rule of law and Democracy were the privilege of male citizens.</li></ul> Women, slaves, non-citizens‘ rights were limited.<br />
  26. 26. PEAK –Point:<br />The humanisticworld-viewcameupstepbystepandthendeclined in the same way.<br />
  27. 27. (1) Human Rights: There was just the idea of basic, innate human rights, but it was never realised.<br />
  28. 28. (2) Democracyandthe (3) Ruleof Law declinedstepbystepasthe Roman Republic was transformedinto an Empire. <br />Gaius Iulius Caesar <br />100 – 44 B. C.<br />27 B.C. <br />
  29. 29. (4)Antique form ofSecularitydisappears:ChristianitybecomesRome‘sstatereligion (380 A.D.)<br />Step by step all other religions (ancient cults) are outlawed.<br />Emperor<br />+<br />Church<br />From380 A.D.<br />
  30. 30. (5) Rationality was replacedbyfaithand(6) thefocuschangedfromhumanstogod.<br />Emperor<br />Church<br />World-view in the antiquity<br />From 400 A.D.<br />
  31. 31. (5) Rationality was replacedbyfaithand(6) thefocuschangedfromhumanstogod.<br />Emperor<br />+<br />Church<br />World-view in the antiquity<br />From 400 A.D.<br />
  32. 32. (5) Rationality was replacedbyfaithand(6) thefocuschangedfromhumanstogod.<br />Medievalworld-view<br />World-view in the antiquity<br />From 400 A.D.<br />
  33. 33. Beginning of the Middle Ages<br /><ul><li>The Middle Ages lie between antiquity and the rebirth of antiquity.</li></ul>From 500 A. D.<br />
  34. 34. For the first time in Europe there was a monotheistic religion in power which caused a uniform theocentric world-view. Nothing (science, …) and nobody was allowed to be or think differently.<br />
  35. 35. Christian theocentric world-view<br />
  36. 36. European values and religion in medieval times<br />N<br />n<br />
  37. 37. Historical background: Renaissance<br /><ul><li>The end of the middle ages was introduced by the Renaissance as rebirth of the antiquity.
  38. 38. Ancient humanistic ideas become a part of the common way of thinking and the historical</li></li></ul><li>1st Step: HumanisticThinking<br />New spiritual tenor: <br />The individual human beingandtheirdevelopmenthereandnowbecomesessential.<br />From 1450 B.D.<br />
  39. 39. Historical Background: Reformation<br /> Reformers likeMartin Luther underminewiththeirworkstheexclusiveopinionmakingdominanceofthechurch. Suddenly, thereare alternative interpretationsofgod‘s will and different rulesforbehaviour. <br />Thisenablesthepossibilityfor a non-religiouswayofthinkingbased on rationality.<br /> The call for rational rules and laws instead of religious dogmas gets louder and louder.<br />From1517 - 1600 A. D.<br />
  40. 40. 2nd Step: Rationality<br />Besides faith rationality becomes a basis for judgement now.<br />From 1640 A. D.<br />
  41. 41. Historical background: Enlightenment<br />WhatdoesEnlightenmentmean? <br />Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. SapereAude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!"--that is the motto of enlightenment. <br />(I. Kant, 1784)<br />Immanuel Kant<br />1724 - 1804<br />Oneofthemainclaimsoftheenlightenment was thestrictseparationofreligiousandpoliticalinstitutions.<br />
  42. 42. 3rd Step: Secularity<br />Separation of politics and religion. <br /> Logical reasoning more and more proves religious dogmas as wrong and pushes religion out of politics.<br />From 1700 A. D.<br />
  43. 43. 3rd Step: Secularity<br />BeginningofSecularization<br />Medieval world-view<br />Secularization<br />From 1700 A.D.<br />
  44. 44. Historical background: French Revolution <br />People are standing up for their rights and claim:<br />„liberty, equality, fraternity“<br />clergy & nobility<br /> First constitutions and basic laws <br />Lower class: <br />~98% of population<br />
  45. 45. 4th Step: Rule of Law<br />Applied secularity leads to the realisation of basic laws and constitutions created by humans instead of a god.<br />Constitutions which includes the separation of powers. <br />From 1789 A. D.<br />
  46. 46. 5thStep: Democracy<br />First European democracy in modern age realised in France 1791 on the basis of a democratic constitution.<br />From 1791 A. D.<br />
  47. 47. Historical background: World Wars<br />After 30 yearsofsufferingcausedbytwoworldwarsit was clearthatthere was a needto break newground in order toavoid a thirdworldwar. <br />Pictures: Wikipedia Commons <br />CC by-sa German Federal Archive<br />
  48. 48. 6thStep: Human Rights<br /><ul><li>1948: Declaration of the Universal Human Rights
  49. 49. „Every human being possesses natural, innate, inalienable rights, going beyond the basic law of states.</li></ul>From 1948 A. D.<br />
  50. 50. The basic European Values<br />
  51. 51. European Values are universal, humanistic values which are the basis for a society consisting of mature and independent and critically thinking human beings.<br />Situation during the middle ages:<br />Present situation:<br />
  52. 52. European values and religion today<br />N<br />n<br />
  53. 53. Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Withinour western societypeopletendtothinkthateverythingisconstantlyimproving in a linear way.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br />History proves that human development is cyclic. In western societies there is, however, a widely held opinion that history means a constant, linear improvement. However, highly developed cultures rise and fall just like everything else.<br />
  54. 54. Conclusion<br />Humanistic and theocentric world-view changes throughout history!<br />
  55. 55. Present situation<br />Hasthedownsidetrendstartedagain?<br />The cutback of civil liberty in the course of anti-terror legislation, violation of human rights in the name of religions or the lack of democracy within the European Union illustrate, that it is important to fight for freedom today, the same as it was 500 years ago.<br />
  56. 56. Present situation<br />What the future holds, depends on our deeds and actions of today.<br />
  57. 57. Let‘stogetherpreserve<br />freedomforourchildren!<br />www.EuropeanValues.info<br />
  58. 58. EuropäischeWerte.info<br />Man as central aspect<br />
  59. 59. Further information on:<br />www.EuropeanValues.info<br />