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Enlightenment 2.0: A New Age of Reason to Save Civilization – Big Think

Something unusual happened in Europe in the late 17th centuryThe tenth and 18The tenth Centuries, like a diverse intellectual explosion known as enlightenment swept the continent.

The “light” in the Age of Enlightenment is the light of reason – a distant echo of Plato‘s Cave symbolism Where the truth, so bright that it may blind you, can only be reached through the diligent exercise of the mind. Philosophers, natural scientists, artists, and political scientists all fiercely defended the freedom of the individual to think – without the influence of politics and religion – and to use that reason in the pursuit of a society based on equal rights for all men. Thought was a person’s ticket to intellectual and political freedom.

To be sure, many Enlightenment philosophers are nowadays racists who put the “civilized” white European man at the top of society. But the primary message of the Enlightenment project was the need to create a global civilization with moral values, common and universal, that would prevail over royal and ecclesiastical powers. The Enlightenment declared war on the excesses of religion and blind nationalism. This we can use.

Adam Smith, for example, advocated patriotism not only for the sake of the homeland, but as part of the great human community. Immanuel Kant called this “universal patriotism”. We can determine the influence of these ideas on a thinker at least as early as the twentieth century such as Albert Einstein, who often advocated the need to abolish international borders. “There is no other salvation for civilization and even for mankind than the establishment of an international government with security on the basis of law.” Einstein announced in an interview with the The New York Times In September 1945, right after the end of World War II.

Features of the New Age of Enlightenment

Proceed to 21Street century, we can reconsider these ideas within our reality. This is a fact in which globalization is driven not by the removal of political boundaries, but by easy access to new scientific information and discoveries about our planet and our place in the universe. Given that the United Nations alone cannot maintain order in a world so fractured by greed and scarcity of resources, perhaps it is time to rethink Enlightenment ideals and suggest a new direction for humanity.

But which direction is this? The first step, of course, is to move beyond the tribal notion of boundaries. But in the spirit of the original Enlightenment, which put reason at its center, the new vision of our future must be grounded in the science of our time, even if it is different from the traditional mechanistic ways of thinking that drove the original Enlightenment.

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I have suggested elsewhere that modern astronomy offers a new view of mankind, which I have called spirituality. This form of human-centered thinking has nothing to do with any supposed superiority of the human race, nor does it state that we are centered in the universe in any way. (For example, star Wars Fans criticize anthropocentrism as a belief that humans are the pinnacle of galactic sentiment.)

In short, humanism is a reflection of Copernicanism, which states that the more we know about the universe, the less important we become. Copernicanism is the doctrine of the insignificance of man in the grand scheme of things. Nativism states the opposite. Its central goal is to push humanity to find and embrace a new moral duty. As we scan the sky for other Earth-like planets – using vehicles like stunts Kepler satellite that has found thousands of exoplanets — and as we better understand the history of life on Earth, we’re learning something new and fundamental about our planet, the nature of life, and who we are.

In fact, humanism is closely related to biocentrism, which argues for the central importance of life in the universe, and more specifically, on this planet. The connection is inevitable, given that we are so dependent on all other life on this planet, and that all life is inextricably linked to the planet as a whole. There is a delicate systemic balance that relies on feedback loops that regulate the dynamics between planet and life, and we attack them relentlessly. Until we adopt a new perspective focused on life, our urban project will not be sustainable. So, humanism is a branch of biocentrism focused on what we can do as a species to secure our collective future.

There is no place like home

Even if there are other planets or moons with Earth-like properties — sharing similar mass, liquid water, and an oxygen-rich atmosphere — our planet and its geophysical properties are unique, with its massive moon, tectonic plates, thick atmosphere, and magnetic poles. These characteristics are essential to the success of life here. They provided a climate that remained stable through the ages, and protection from harmful cosmic radiation. Flourishing against this favorable background, unicellular bacteria evolved into multicellular organisms, complex multicellular life forms, and finally intelligent beings.

Each of these transitional steps was subtle and improbable, and the process was planet-related. Some steps transformed the Earth itself, such as the oxygenation of Earth’s early atmosphere by photosynthetic bacteria. We’ve learned that if there is complex life elsewhere, it will be rare – and very far from us. For all practical purposes, we are alone. And we as an important species, because we are so rare.

Enlightenment philosophers took intelligent and complex life in other worlds for granted. Voltaire micro mega A fascinating and fun example of this assumption, it explores human arrogance from the perspective of superior aliens. But our current perspective on life must be different. A complex organism capable of questioning its existence must celebrate and respect its existence. And since we are only here because the Earth allows us to be – no teleology here, only a reference to dynamic geophysical conditions – we should also celebrate our planet as unique. Human reason and curiosity, which allow us to understand our place in the universe, must lead us towards a new moral duty, universal in its values: the equality of all creatures, the preservation of life and on this planet.

#Enlightenment #Age #Reason #Save #Civilization #Big

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