The Age of Enlightment

Decent Essays

In Europe in the early 17th century, Christianity was the dominant religion. Most countries believed that it was the only acceptable one, and that there should not be any toleration for other religions. In many countries, the monarchs (or the other rulers) would enforce Christianity and persecute people with other beliefs. Some of these beliefs, however, changed during the Age of Enlightenment from the late 1600’s to the mid-1700’s. The philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment influenced peoples’ way of thinking through their ideas of reason, empiricism, and the power of nature. The ideas that the philosophers had eliminated the stranglehold that religion had on the people and the government. Through the heavy influence of John Locke, Isaac Newton, and other philosophers, alternative religions, mainly deism, emerged, which changed how people viewed themselves and their relationship to government. Through their discoveries and theories, the philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment greatly affected the way that people viewed themselves. Isaac Newton was the first of these philosophers to alter the views of the people of the time. Newton believed that the key to discovery was trial and error. He believed that no one should firmly believe in anything unless it was distinctly proven. This idea is known as empiricism. Along with these views, he also believed that there was a scientific and mathematical reason for everything on earth. Rather than God being the only cause

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