Another extract from the Antitheist’s Dictionary:
Age of Enlightenment/Age of Reason
This is simply the most important thing that has ever happened. It began as a philosophical movement in the mid eighteenth century, gathered pace and has changed the whole cultural landscape of the Western World for the better.
The premise for the Age of Reason/Enlightenment was to challenge ideas based on tradition or religion and move to a system based on reason and scientific method. This inevitably took religion out of controlling people and introduced the present secular states.
As soon as this happened we experienced rapid progress. In contrast those cultures still ruled by religious superstition continued to stagnate.
I do not make the case that everything is hunky-dory. That is far from the case. In many ways the Age of Enlightenment heralded all sorts of moral and social problems that we are still battling to address today. It has unleashed a chaotic state. This needs addressing. Religion gave people structure and purpose even if that was madness and stupidity. Freedom from religion has left many people directionless and aimless with only hedonism to fall back on. I’ve nothing against hedonism but ultimately it is vacuous. What is necessary is for the State to provide purpose and impetus before the fanatics of religion rise up to fill that hole.
Politicians have so far not been particularly inspiring in this direction. They had better get their act together. The alternative could be religious oppression and the thought of that is dire.
However the writers, artists, poets, dancers, musicians and other creative folk have been doing a great job in making life worthwhile and filling the hole religion used to occupy. Long may they do it!
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