Sunday, December 30, 2012

Emanual Kant - On Enlightenment

Enlightenment is man's emergence from self-imposed immaturity
Nothing is required of this enlightenment except freedom
and freedom to question is the least harmful of them all
namely the freedom to use reason publicly in all that matters

Immanual Kant 1724-1804

Yesterday I came across this rationale on Enlightenment
while reading some of Thomas Jefferson's papers on democratic government. 

It echoes my own independent view 
on what the meaning of Enlightenment is,
as explained a week or so ago in one of my posts

Kant went on to say:
Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding
without guidance from another
This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause
lies not in the lack of understanding
but in the lack of courage to use it
without guidance from another

This again echoes to some extent
my argument against state school teachers
and textbook instruction
both of which train the student to lean on guidance
and never mature as free thinkers
able to trust in their own reasoning powers

such students go through life
relying on textbooks and bibles as their primary guides
and then add insult to free reason
by quoting the Laws written in their Constitutions and Scriptures
calling themselves professors

Democracy is not possible
if the mind is not matured enough
for each individual citizen
to reason from personal experience
and have the courage to act on it

And so it is
that although we have the Internet
to explain and elucidate on any issue involving the government of our public lives
and the ability to immediately communicate our personal vote on each issue
we continue to rely
like little children
on representative guidance in our Congress
suffer the grid lock of party politics
and the inroads of special interests

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