Robert Chaplin History 112 Dr. Farrell

Robert Chaplin History 112 Dr. Farrell 12 April 2000 A Time of Change The enlightenment was a great time of change in both Europe and America. Some of the biggest changes, however, happened in the minds of many and in the writings of many philosophers. These included some of the beliefs of David Hume, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and Francois Voltaire. Writers during this time focused on optimism, which is the opinion to do everything for the best (Chaney 119), and the best for these philosophers was to stretch the minds of the ordinary. David Hume was Scottish and was born on April 26, 1711 and died in 1776. He states that he was not born into a rich family and was born into the Calvinist Presbyterian Church. However, after being influenced by the works of Isaac Newton and John Locke he began to draw back from the Church. He writes in Enquiry, “The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise and good Being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom.” (Pomerleau 214) The questions he brought up against religion were that concrete experiences must lead us and that we must think about the quality of the stories that were handed down to us. He wanted everyone to only believe the actions that one experienced, there has to be proof. He also believed that there were four basic problems to the stories that we hear. First of all, the facts to the stories are never the same to everyone. Second, we stretch the truth to make everything interesting. Third, people who do not understand these stories tend to make things up. Finally, not all of the religions agree. Therefore, the stories conflicted each other leaving a person to not know what to believe. He believes that “Our most holy religion is founded on Faith, not on reason; and it is a sure method of exposing it to put it to s…

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