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  1. #1
    He who laughs
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    Default 21st Century Enlightenment

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC7ANGMy0yo"]Matthew Taylor[/YOUTUBE]


    How do we drive forward the enlightenment of the 21st century?

    Can we rely on science, education and the open market forces to grow in the 21st century? How should education and enlightment help us grow? Can too much emphasis on science and education actually make us stall the growth of enlightment?

    Have the rules of ethics, what makes us humans been lost in pursue of scientific, economic and educational enlightenment? Do we need to redefine the rules of ethics or have we just lost track of the basic ethics of centuries ago? If we need new ethics, how should they be defined?

    How should the idea of universalism transform our society? Do we need to change the society? Can we as humans accept the change that is needed for universalism to become reality? How do we make people accept the fact that what once was is not going to be what will be?

    Have these questions been raised before, centuries ago, just in another context? Are we moving in a cyclistic pattern with the only exception that the needs for enlightenment has changed? Did we lose track of why we needed the enlightenment and am now in a need to redefine it?

    Thats just some thoughts I had on the video. There might be more added if needed as the thread hopefully developes.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think I saw this before or something similar to it before when the guy was speaking on the issue of empathy. I'm unsure what this all has to do with enlightenment, either as an idea or the event in history, in some respects I would suggest that if a rising tide of empathy is the aim then perhaps a counter-enlightenment is what is needed, at least in the sense of the historical event refered to as the enlightenment.

    In a literary sense the enlightenment is pretty impressive, I've read collections of writings which are considered representative of the enlightenment and it is all good, I also consider it good because it provoked a lot of positive reflections and reactions which arose in opposition, whether traditionalist, conservative or other.

    However I do think that the enlightenment also had a mechanistic dimension, it was atomising, even if it where not intended to be that way or have that consequence, which in turn give rise to reactions which are equally distasteful at times too.

    I do think that the critiques of individualism have had an evidence base for a long time but that has nothing to do with individualism's continued appeal, it doesnt need to be real, it just needs to be popular and appealling to persist and prevail. In fact I would suggest that its long endurance has only been because it has proven socially beneficial and useful, whether as fantasy, ruling class ideology, personal ideology or whatever.

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    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I think instead of looking at Descartes, Netwon, Locke or Kant we should be looking at Epicurus, Seneca and Montaigne. Like the guy in the video suggested, we might need a more concrete approach to all of this.

    I think we should strive to foster self-awareness in kids at a young age. And we should drill what we know provides true happiness into their little heads. Friends, freedom, an examined life, a good sense of humor, emphasis on wisdom and philosophy and not "learning" facts and being realistic and empathic.

    I believe rules will only take us so far. We have to plant the seed of "do good because doing good is good for you and others" instead of "don't do bad things because you'll be punished".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    ...a counter-enlightenment is what is needed...
    The counter-Enlightenment has already occurred and it is called Romanticism. And it has done untold damage.

    The New Age and MBTI sprang from Romanticism, and have done untold damage to illiterate tribal people and the drug fuelled youth of the First World.

    But what has changed is that the Enlightenment is under sustained, relentless and lethal attack by the Islamists.

    For the first time since the seventeenth century, the Enlightenment has an enemy who is determined to destroy it.

    And most important, the Islamists have taken the battle to the First World itself.

    They completely believe that the Enlightenment is satanic and must be destroyed in the name of Allah, the most merciful.

    If they are successful, it will mean the end of the modern world and our way of life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I think instead of looking at Descartes, Netwon, Locke or Kant we should be looking at Epicurus, Seneca and Montaigne. Like the guy in the video suggested, we might need a more concrete approach to all of this.

    I think we should strive to foster self-awareness in kids at a young age. And we should drill what we know provides true happiness into their little heads. Friends, freedom, an examined life, a good sense of humor, emphasis on wisdom and philosophy and not "learning" facts and being realistic and empathic.

    I believe rules will only take us so far. We have to plant the seed of "do good because doing good is good for you and others" instead of "don't do bad things because you'll be punished".
    Well the comparative education policy people considered the adoption in the UK of educational norms in Europe which would have meant children going to schools a full six or seven years later than they do already, in the countries in which this was the norm kids had been demonstrated to have networks of friends, social skills and familial bonds which where away ahead those of their UK peers and consequently meant they had better educational achievements and prospects.

    However on further study it was revealed that the countries in which later schooling was the norm also had more nuclear families, parental fidelity, a lack of marital discord and more stay at home mothers who where effectively providing an education of sorts.

    In the UK making school starting ages later would have had exactly the opposite effect since the schools are already struggling to counter adverse developmental norms and teach copeing strategies for development deficits before the education proper can even begin.

    A hell of a lot of this is cultural and those embedded cultural norms, pretty much derived from nothing anymore other than markets/the economy, are what will determine a lot regardless of any policies education, social or whatever.

  6. #6
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I think that looking backward will not give you any idea of what is to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    I think that looking backward will not give you any idea of what is to come.
    If you fail to learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.

  8. #8
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    If you fail to learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.
    No one ever learns from history. What has been prevented?
    What we need is a change in human nature. That is a lot harder than reading a book.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    No one ever learns from history. What has been prevented?
    What we need is a change in human nature. That is a lot harder than reading a book.
    We have only been here for 100,000 years or so. Not even enough time for natural selection to have an appreciable effect. So there is absolutely no chance of a change in human nature. This is simply a religious fantasy.

    Read the great work of the Enlightenment, "The Origin of Species", and replace religious fantasy with reality.

  10. #10
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We have only been here for 100,000 years or so. Not even enough time for natural selection to have an appreciable effect. So there is absolutely no chance of a change in human nature. This is simply a religious fantasy.

    Read the great work of the Enlightenment, "The Origin of Species", and replace religious fantasy with reality.
    I'm talking about a change in consciousness, not morphology. We have changed in the last 10,000 years, far more than in the preceeding 100,000, due to our malleable brains.
    But since reading history has yielded nothing, and our minds are dependant on our morphology, then we are doomed. Right?

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