EOM, and Noor Sahib, my remark about the Thinkers Forum made on the Forum’s Facebook is here to refresh your memory:
Mirza Ashraf reviewed Thinkers Forum USA — 5 star
It is an enlightening free thinkers’ forum.
The TF Board needs to sit down and find out, whether the members of this Forum thinking freely or do they know what is “Enlightenment.” In Europe, Enlightenment started from Bacon (1561-1626) to, Galileo, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Lock, Malebranche, Newton, Leibniz, Bayle, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant (1724-1804) and many more. As you know, I have gone through all these thinkers and many more and have found none of them was a hair splitter of Christianity or Judaism. There have been many others throwing cheap comments, and bad remarks, but the classified great thinkers who made their impact on Enlightenment have remained focused on the subject of “What is Enlightenment.”
The Age of Enlightenment
Between the years 1751 and 1772, the first volume of theencyclopedia, a general encyclopedia edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, was published in France, which offered a comprehensive reference to new sciences, philosophical, sociopolitical and Enlightenment ideas. This helped develop the process of liberty and scientific learning, bringing a sensible change in the opinions of the people. Above all the blending of “natural sciences and philosophy” resulted in Enlightenment ideals. It placed the highest value on reason, scientific inquiry, human natural rights, liberty, equality, freedom of thought and expression, and on diverse cosmopolitan worldviews that the Scottish philosopher David Hume and after him many other recognize as a “science of man.” The scientific attitude of rational enquiry replaced the previous intellectualism of thought and action. It shaped the idea that the methods and concepts of science should be applied in all domains of enquiry. This change became the key to Enlightenment, which put man more firmly than before at the center of the universe. It laid the foundation of the rise of a new civilization, which is known today the Western Civilization.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) to close his work Optics (1704) argued with the words, “If natural philosophy in all its parts, by pursuing this Method [i.e. scientific method], shall at length be perfected, the bounds of ‘moral philosophy’ will be enlarged.” By “moral philosophy” Newton meant all of ethics, psychology, economics, politics, and history.Enlightenment, thus, sought to reconstruct morality on a rational basis. Newton, thus came to be viewed as the first and greatest of the modern age of scientists, and rationalists. He professed to think on the lines of cold and untinctured reason. People of Europe saw a new order of men and women, when on July 14, 1789, the fall of Bastille in Paris, sparked the French Revolution, and the Enlightenment ideas of “liberty and equality” resulted in a secular, democratic, and republican era.
Emanuel Kant (1724-1804) published in 1748 a short essay putting forward an “Idea for a Universal History from Cosmopolitan Point of View” for the emancipation of man through man.Answering to the question of What is Enlightenment he described the Enlightenment as a precise modality of the exercise of reason, which was animated by a strong “spirit of freedom” and intimately connected with mankind’s natural need for knowledge—the progress of mankind toward improvement through the freedom to make public use of one’s reason at every point. In his concise depiction, the Enlightenment was nothing other than a great act of courage, a passionate invitation never to be afraid of emancipation.
(above paragraphs are from my essay: History of Knowledge-Explosion — Part V The Second Explosion 1300-1800)
It is important, we need to think and see and analyze the issue of Enlightenment and Free thinking. Most of the time discussion is derailed and atheism in itself becomes a degraded issue by making insulting remarks on religious precepts and injunctions. I believe, if I am not wrong, only six to seven members take part in our discussion in the Forum, while the majority remains silent or even do not care to read the comments. Noor Sahib as a Chairman of this Forum, it is time to discuss in detail why members are opting out and why a majority is disinterested? Editors can also post this message on TF web blog, if it is considered useful and reasonable.