Argued for toleration of ALL ideasPurpose of the state was actually to protect the citizen’s freedom.Argued that it was the responsibility of the state to limit the influence of Christianity in education
Instead of arriving at truth through a sequence of careful reasoning, the empiricist observes the world around him to determine truth
Ch 9 sec 3
The Enlightenment Earlier periods were covered indarkness and urgently needed new ideas
• Belief that human reason and careful observations were the only sure way to know the truth
Rene Descartes• Proposed doubting everything except basic axioms (statements about which there can be no doubt)• His approach is a from of rationalism• Rationalists questioned whether miracles were reasonable
Benedict de Spinoza• Used Descartes ideas to question the Bible• Spinoza thought almost everything in the Bible was contrary to reason• He wanted secularism – society free from religion
• Christians feared that a government without religious influence would be unjust and evil• Christian support for religious toleration and representative forms of government developed first in the North American colonies
John Locke• Argued in favor of empiricism – belief that the best way to find true knowledge was through experience rather than through human reason• Empiricists wondered why miracles were not observed today if they had happened before
• Debates raised during the Enlightenment have not, even to this day, been resolved with one side clearly victorious over the other.
Consequences of the Enlightenment• Science seemed to be able to explain in natural terms events that people had long considered supernatural• Began to study the Bible as another religious book rather than as scripture• Started looking for evidence of contradictions• Spinoza pioneered this approach to Scripture.