The Enlightenment

When Lester G. Crocker refers to the status quo, he is referring to the belief that nothing in society should change. Many people during the Enlightenment, mainly the Church, did not think that any elements of society or the economy should be reformed.One reason for this is that the Enlightenment focused on science and scientific reasoning.If followers of the Church started using scientific reasoning, then many of the beliefs and teachings of the Church could be proven wrong, therefore causing people to break away from the Church.
Immanuel Kant agrees with Crocker's observation of the Church being a threat to people becoming enlightened.He states that, "Much still prevents man from being placed in a position or even being placed into position to use their own minds securely and well in matters of religion".Crocker believed that human nature could be improved through the improvement of society. In Diderot's"The Philosophe", he claims that "Man is not a monster…" and agrees that although man is bad initially, he can be improved and is not doomed to be bad forever.Baron d'Holbach also supports this opinion.
Philosophers during the age of the Enlightenment saw the Christianity and the Church as a major threat to people becoming enlightened.They were viewed as "power groups" and interested only in themselves, and how to obtain more followers.The Church wanted people to live not for themselves, but for a something that there was no solid proof that it existed.This way the individual would never think for himself or do anything to better himself, only to better his relationship with a mythical being.The philosophes believe that man should live to better his existence on earth, no to better his existence in the after-life.


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