The Main Ideas of Enlightenment Philosophers Essay

834 Words Dec 20th, 2012 4 Pages
During the Enlightenment, revolutionary thinkers called philosophes brought about new ideas as to how to better understand and improve their society. They were all modern thinkers and had the best interests of society in mind. Although each philosoph had his or her own ideas, they all centered around one main theme: equality and human freedom. One famous influential philosopher was John Locke. Locke was born in England in the mid 17th century and lived through both the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution. He strongly believed in equality for all men. In his book Second Treatise on Civil Government, he says that “creatures of the same species and rank…should be equal amongst another without subordination or …show more content…
Only two religions allowed in a population, Voltaire says, would create animosity and competition between the two groups for power. But if all religions are tolerated, accepted, and represented, then peace will be prominent and government will function much for efficiently and to the benefit of all of the people. Everyone’s rights will be represented because all of the focus will not just be on one or two groups of people but a multitude of groups, creating religious equality for all. Called the Father of Modern Economics, Adam Smith was an enormous advocate for private markets. He supported an economic system based on the decision making by individuals instead of the government. Smith felt that no one person or a group is fit to make decisions for a whole population of people and that the population knows how to make decisions for its welfare. In Smith’s mind, people work to supplement their own lives, and when people seek individual economic gain then they unexpectedly promote society and stimulate the economy subconsciously. If people earn more money by working harder then almost all people will work harder. Smith insinuates that people are naturally self preserving and by default selfish; but to a point. Everyone has something that they want and in this world most things can be obtained if a person has enough money. Smith believes that every man should be free to