The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the Western world

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The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the Western world during the 17th and 18th century; it was characterized as the age of reason. It was also composed of the scientific revolution, reason, nature, GOD, and man, which developed into a world perception that initiated radical improvements in art, politics, philosophy, theology and science.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe were periods of important and dramatic changes in the way many people saw and understood the world. Not only did people begin to see the physical world as operating in a vastly different way from the way they had previously thought it operated, but also some European people were beginning to believe that the methods for discovering such new information could be applied in such a way that the new knowledge would be more powerfully accurate than knowledge had previously been. The first disciplines to be affected by these changes were mathematics and physics. Eventually, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment also greatly influenced the understanding of political, economic, and social behavior.

Several individuals played a significant role during the creation of the Enlightenment. Philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, and Immanuel Kant who believed that human rationale could not be used to fight the lack of knowledge, fallacy, and improve humankind. Their precepts focused on religion and the control of humanity by hereditary nobility. In other words, humans needed a supernatural power to intervene in order to improve the world’s morale.  Humans were designed to believe in something in order to survive in a world of confusion and evilness.  These thinkers or philosophers were better known as schoolmen or doctors of theology because they tied every element of belief with reason. There was no clear definition of the enlightenment because many people view the enlightenment as a thought and not a breakthrough from the deceptions, ignorance and lies from the past of the Europeans to the light of the future through intelligent philosophers. It was basically views, thoughts, and principles of different scholars who attempted to make the world a better place through Christianity and religion.

         The main components of the enlightenment thought are as follows:

        The universe can be understood through the use of reason alone

        Truth can be arrived through empirical observation, the use of reason, and systematic doubt

Human experience is the foundation of human understanding of truth; authority is not to be preferred over experience

All human life both social and individual, can be understood in the same way the natural world can be understood; once understood, human life both social and individual, can be manipulated or engineered

Human history is largely a history of progress

Human beings can be improved through education and the development of their rational facilities

Religious doctrines have no place in the understanding of the physical and human worlds

(Hooker 1996).

Thomas Hobbes was the first major thinker of the 17th century to relate original techniques to human sciences. Hobbes anticipated that political philosophy should be based on similar techniques of clarification and justifications as were being related to the physical sciences.

When he applied these explanatory principles to politics and states, he arrived at two radical and far-reaching conclusions:

All human law derives from natural law; when human law departed from natural law, disaster followed

All monarchs ruled not by consequent of heaven, but consent of the people (Hooker 1996).

Hobbes was under the impression that humans were material objects ruled by physical law.  He felt that we are all like machines ruled by our feelings and emotions. Hobbes stated that all humans are selfish; they want to increase pleasure and decreased pain regardless of the consequences, which usually leads to catastrophes. According to Hobbes, humanity is self-destruction because humans are selfish by nature and there is no protection from each other because there is a constant war between individuals. As a result of the constant battles between humans, authority or a monarch was created to ensure structure and a better living for humanity, instead of a violent disorder of an unstable environment among the human race.

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Hobbes thought of himself as a scientist. He wanted to make a scientific model of politics like the model of the Universe created by the Italian astronomer Galileo. Galileo treated the planets as if they were like earthly bodies. He thought about their movement as being governed by the same laws that govern the physical objects we can handle. Galileo's theories started from simple axioms, or basic statements, about the laws governing matter. One of these laws is what we now call the law of inertia, that a body continues its motion in a straight line until something intervenes ...

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