Paradox of Modern Western Education — IV Enlightenment and Religion


religion of the heart

The religion of the heart is based on natural human feelings, rather than on the operations of the intellect or on the natural metaphysical or scientific problems of cosmology. Man does not need to be taught about God by an outside element like a prophet. They are artificial forms of religion. On the other hand, when he reflects on his own situation in nature, his heart adores the supreme power. Thus, the precepts of nature are sufficient to teach what natural religion means – one that is based on natural human feelings, rather than reason.


Fideism is a view of religious belief that holds that faith has nothing to do with reason. Faith is in fact justified on its own grounds. It is an opinion that holds that religious faith maintains its truth in the face of philosophical reasoning, which opposes it but cannot defeat it. An apparent consequence of fideism is that all religious thoughts become equal. The great monotheistic religions become on par with the dark marginal religions, as neither can be defended or challenged.


Simply put, atheism denies the existence of God. In this sense, it is as dogmatic from the outset as religion itself. Atheism is more present in the French Enlightenment than elsewhere. He argues that nature’s problems, whatever they are, must be solved within the natural processes themselves and not in a supernatural being.

Atheism (combined with materialism) in the French Enlightenment is perhaps most identified with a deterministic and materialistic metaphysics that was developed by Baron d’Holbach (a prominent social figure in the French Enlightenment who made significant contributions to the European Enlightenment in Science and Religion) against organized religion.

Unlike most Enlightenment thinkers, d’Holbach argues that morality requires no religion, in the sense that morality requires belief in a transcendental legislator and in an afterlife. He pleads for an ethical naturalism, an ethics free of any reference to a supernatural foundation or aspiration. it presents an ethic where virtue consists in enlightened personal interest. As said above, the metaphysical basis of the ethics presented by d’Holbach is deterministic materialism.


With its emphasis on imagination and emotion, Romanticism emerged as a response to disillusionment with Enlightenment values ​​of reason and order in the aftermath of the French Revolution.

While the Enlightenment can be called the Age of Reason, Romanticism focuses on human emotion. The Enlightenment contradicted the Dark Ages while Romanticism opposed the Enlightenment. the philosopher David Hume said that “reason is the slave of the passions”. It pushed reason to its ultimate skeptical end.

In English literature, Romanticism is a movement characterized by a celebration of nature and the common man, an emphasis on individual experience, an idealization of women, and an embrace of isolation and melancholy.


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