The central point covered by the reading is the Kantian thought regarding the enlightenment. Kant explains that the enlightenment is the way to make people mature. According to him the immaturity is caused by two main reasons which are laziness and cowardice. To achieve the enlightenment people should destroy all the set of prejudices. They should be free to express their thoughts and opinions in public and allow the public to make use of them. The ones who do that faster than the others should guide the left part. According to Kant this is the way that leads to the enlightenment. He also gives arguments to explain why he thinks that church hierarchy is an obstacle to it.
The central point covered by this reading is the enlightenment. All the reading describes Kantian thought about enlightenment. It begins with telling what we understand with enlightenment according to Kant. Than describes the way that leads to it covering points like immaturity, prejudices, freedom, and guardians. Kant also gives to us his pure opinion about the church hierarchy and its complementation with the human nature. In general people are immature. What is immaturity and which are the reasons that lead human nature to it? Being immature, regarding Kant, means to be enable to use your own understanding and to have the necessity to be guided by another. The main reasons of the existence of immaturity are laziness and cowardice. People find it comfortable to have someone thinking and doing things instead of them. According to Kant, the enlightenment would be the force that would make the people matures. This would be possible only if the people would be let free to think and decide for themselves without an outside pressure. Something like this is difficult to be achieved in a society. In general only some individuals (from the whole society) can realize this kind of process. That is why these individuals, who Kant calls guardians, should be let free to express their ideas. They are the ones who will transmit these ideas to all the society. In other words this means to make public use of one’s reason to bring enlightenment among men.
The society is habituated to hold on it a set of prejudices which turns into the main problem of the enlightenment. The enlightenment is a process where the individuals and the society become more rational. This should be a gradual, slow process. If the guardians accelerated this process, there would be the risk that a new structure of prejudices substitutes the existence one.
A considerable part of the reading is dedicated to the church. Kant is against the solid and non-flexible church hierarchy and he gives a large explanation, including arguments, about his attitude. The main idea is that the church doctrine is not consistent with the human nature. Human nature, by original destiny, lies on the progress. The church doesn’t allow this progress because of its strict rule of life which seems to be too strict to be followed. In that way it prevents the enlightenment, and this is bad for every society.
If the subjects of the state are allowed putting before the public their thoughts, maybe they can give us better lows to rule a state. The real rulers should understand that this is good for the society and should allow this occurrence even if it critics the current legislation.
I think Kant has made a real deep and worthy reflection about the question “What is enlightenment?” I absolutely agree with the fact that people’s intellectual freedom takes advantages if there is a high degree of civil freedom. Do you agree with me? According to you which are the ways that lead to enlightenment?
If we look carefully to the society in this century it is impossible not to distinct that we are walking towards the universal enlightenment. The way is clearer now than it was before. The obstacles are gradually becoming fewer.
Do you think that we are living in the century of enlightenment?