“Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law"



This is a quote from a famous philosopher called Voltaire. I found this on a site with quotes from Voltaire and this quote really catches my eye. What I like with this one is that it makes you laugh but it is still some truth in it. When I first saw this quote I just thought that it was a fun quote but I think that it’s fun because it has a truth in it. I think that a lot of parents are a bit of suspicious against the man that comes into their daughter’s life, so therefore do I think that it’s a good quote. You don’t want your child to get hurt and maybe you can get a little bit hard against the person that want to marry your daughter/son. You might think the worst about this person just because you want to protect your child and therefore you might get surprised when your son-in-law or daughter-in-law get successful. But of course this isn’t how all mothers- and fathers-in law act when their child/children is getting married. But I think about what I’ve written could be an explanation for what he meant by this quote.


But I have no idea what Voltaire really meant by this quote. Maybe something had happened to him that gave him this apprehension. That mother-in-law always had very low expectations of their son-in-law, and if they succeeded, they got surprised just because they hadn’t expected it of them.

For more quotes from Voltaire, check this site out:



By Ebba Jakobsson van Stam

Anders Chydenius


Anders Chydenius, or in other words the Scandinavian Adam Smith, was a Fin-Swedish politician, economist, priest and a member of the Swedish parliament.  He was one of the most significant politicians during the 18th century in the Fin-Swedish society where Finland at that time belonged to Sweden.


Chydenius had a strong belief in freedom, democracy and the human value. He meant that they had an imporant role in order to create a better society. During his time in the Swedish parliament he demanded free trade, free labor, freedom of the press and much more. We should also not forget that, even if he was a priest of the swedish church, he believed in religious freedom.


He was mainly more radical than the other politicians since he often took up the essence, the important questions which often were hidden behind the scenses of the powers. Chydenius' influence is based in his succinctly way of writing. His works are still readable, something that cannot be done with most of the political publications during the same epoch.


For more information about Anders Chydenius, please visit:


Eng: http://www.chydenius.net/eng/index.asp


My first question to myself is, why don't we read about this person in school? I mean, from what I've been reading he seems like a quite important person in the Swedish history, and nobody have even mentioned him in those all years I've been in school.

The fact that we don't really know very much how the process of the enlightment was in Sweden when it comes to people is kind of funny. We read a lot about the French revolution, the industrial revolution etc, since they were more important. But we read very little about how it was in Sweden.


In my opinion, I think that history that have affected you a lot, are the most interesting history to read. When you read about that kind of thing, you can somethimes feel like you are not  really reading history, but you're reading somebody's diary.


// Erik B.

Religion and Science, frenemies?

During the enlightenment the view on religion changed. People derived more knowledge and got enlightened and therefore they started to doubt their religion. There view on man and the world changed within all this new knowledge.  Today we have all this knowledge and more thereto and we have had some unconfirmed theories confirmed, but still the religion that so many enlightened people started to doubt still exist, so are science and religion really enemies?


I think that all these new knowledge and everything that was found during the enlightenment only changed the religion and the way to believe, it didn’t it. Religion today is not quite the same, as during the enlightenment, and I think that religion will continue changing and developing as long as the science develop. Those persons who just weren’t satisfied with the answers religion gave them chose science and to only believe in their own way and definition of God.


I think that there are a connection between religion and believing but it’s not the same thing. It’s still possible to believe without being religious. I would say that religion are or are at least supposed to be some sort of guideline in life. And if you’re not religious that just mean that you live with your own guidelines. But either you believe in religion or simply believe I guess the purpose is the same, to find something worth living for, find the meaning of life or something similar.

What is your opinion in the relationship between religion and science?


Rousseau and The Social Contract

Rousseau (1712-1778) was a philosopher and author during the Enlightenment, and one of the people who greatly inspired the French Revolution. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland, but later moved to Paris.

He published two books simultaneously in 1762, The Social Contract and Émile, who both received a lot of attention. These two books were publicly burned in Paris and Geneva, and were generally disliked by the officials. In fact, the French Monarchy ordered him to be arrested because of these books, so that he had to flee to the Swiss town of Neachatel!

Both of these books upset the people, or mainly the royalty (at least The Social Contract), but I’ll only be discussing The Social Contract in this article. If you want more info on Émile, which was mainly a book on education, please see the link below.

In The Social Contract, Rousseau said that the government should be one which the people in the country, which he referred to as the “sovereign”, had agreed to. This was because the government should exist to uphold the will of the general people. This could e.g. be accomplished by voting on who you thought should be king! But in this case, people shouldn’t vote according to what was best for them, but according to what was best for everyone. Also, he thought that the government could take on different forms depending on the country. However, he thought that monarchy was the strongest form of government and the best suited one for hot climates, however that affects anything at all, but that aristocracy was the most stable form of government.

Doesn’t this seem like an excellent idea, that the government should heed the people’s will, and that the people got to decide on who was best suited to form the government, no matter which form it would take? I certainly think so, however, the French monarchy did not agree with this at all.

The French monarchy’s worst nightmare was probably that people might want other rulers than them. That’s likely the reason that they hated this book, since this book basically inspired people to rebel against their current government in order to create something better. That was pretty much what happened during the French Revolution.

I can’t really blame the French monarchy for wanting to destroy this book. It was, after all, one of the reasons that the French people rebelled later. And if you’ve got all that power, if you have the power to change and influence France with only a few words, why would you ever want to give all of that power away?

Imagine that you’re the leader of, say, 10 million people. These people are pledged to you, and you can behead a person simply for insulting you or saying something that you disagree with. They also pay taxes to you, so that you can buy all that rich wine and those fancy silks, even though this may lead to your people starving in order for you to live in luxury. Now, you’re either repulsed by this, as this has dictator spelled all over it, or you’re wishing that this was true. Who, after all, doesn’t want power?

If you were one of the people who were repulsed by this idea, you have to imagine yourself being born into this, to be born as a royalty. When you’ve been taking all of this for granted since childhood, it’s not that easy to see how that’s so wrong anymore. If you had been told since birth that you were meant to rule this land, that you can do whatever you want with these people and that you deserve the utmost luxuries, why would you ever question that?

When holding all of this in mind, do you think it was right of the French monarchy to burn the book and try to have him arrested? Or should they have let him say whatever he wanted to, which in the end led to them, the French monarchy, losing their power?

For more info on Rousseau, his books and ideas, please go to:


Montesquieus political thoughts



Born at Chateau de la Brede, 18th of January 1689. Montesquieu became 66 years old; he died on the 10th of February 1755.

Montesquieu is credited amongst the precursors of anthropology, including Herodotus and Tacitus, to be among the first to extend comparative methods of classification to the political forms in human societies. A French anthropologist considered Montesquieu as ``the initiator of a scientific enterprise that for a time performed the role of cultural and social anthropology´´. Montesquieu’s   political anthropology gave rise to his theories on governments. The most influential work of Montesquieu divided French society into three classes, the monarchy, the aristocracy and the commons. There were three main forms of government, each supported by a social principle.

Monarchies: Free governments lead by e.g. king, queen or emperors. Monarchies relied on the principle of honour.

Republics: Free governments lead by popularly elected leaders, which rely on the principle of virtue.

Despotisms: Enslaved governments lead by dictators. Relied on the social principle of fear.


Montesquieu was a bit worried that in France the intermediate powers which moderated the power of the prince were being eroded. Montesquieu also believed that a woman was able to head a state but not a family. That statement of Montesquieu I personally think is incorrect because I think that women can have the same rights and responsibilities as men. Why would a woman not be able to have a family without a man that bosses around?


Montesquieu once said:

``In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state.´´

I think this is a good quote because I think it reflects Montesquieu thoughts on political view.

If you want to read more about Montesquieu you can just follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montesquieu




Born at Chateau de la Brede, 18th of January 1689. Montesquieu became 66 years old; he died on the 10th of February 1755.

Montesquieu is credited amongst the precursors of anthropology, including Herodotus and Tacitus, to be among the first to extend comparative methods of classification to the political forms in human societies. A French anthropologist considered Montesquieu as ``the initiator of a scientific enterprise that for a time performed the role of cultural and social anthropology´´. Montesquieu’s   political anthropology gave rise to his theories on governments. The most influential work of Montesquieu divided French society into three classes, the monarchy, the aristocracy and the commons. There were three main forms of government, each supported by a social principle.

Monarchies: Free governments lead by e.g. king, queen or emperors. Monarchies relied on the principle of honour.

Republics: Free governments lead by popularly elected leaders, which rely on the principle of virtue.

Despotisms: Enslaved governments lead by dictators. Relied on the social principle of fear.


Montesquieu was a bit worried that in France the intermediate powers which moderated the power of the prince were being eroded. Montesquieu also believed that a woman was able to head a state but not a family. That statement of Montesquieu I personally think is incorrect because I think that women can have the same rights and responsibilities as men. Why would a woman not be able to have a family without a man that bosses around?


Montesquieu once said:

``In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state.´´

I think this is a good quote because I think it reflects Montesquieu thoughts on political view.

If you want to read more about Montesquieu you can just follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montesquieu



Defoe and Crusoe



Daniel  Defoe (1660-1731) was quite the writer. He is  most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe of course, which I will be talking about later in this small essay. Defoe did not just sit down one day and wrote the, according to me, most wonderful book ever! No, he had written a lot of things before writing his masterpiece. He had written over 500 books, pamphlets and journals and they the all differed in subject, including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural. So Defoe had covered a lot of ground over the years before creating the adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

Defoe was not even his real name, his real name was Daniel Foe and he added the “De” because it sounded aristocratic (in other words, it sounded nice) and so he could sometimes  claim that he descended from the “De Beau Faux” familiy

The book of Robinson Crusoe is, in short terms, about a young Englishman who becomes stranded on an island, a lot more happens before that but that is the core story of the book.

The book is actually based on a true story! Defoe based his story on the unfortunate adeventure of a Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk who was rescued by an expedition after four years on the island of Más a tierra in the Juan Fernández Islands off the Chilean coast. Crusoe shares the same experience as Selkirk, he becomes stranded on an island forty miles from the African coast, there he builds his new life and stays on that island for 28 years.


When I read the book I am always astounded over Robinsons achievments on the island, even though I have read the book like, fifteen times. When he single handedly builds a boat out of a tree trunk, even when he decides to make raisins I constantly become baffled over how intuitive and determined Defoe has written Crusoe. Robinson makes his own clothing from animal skin, builds a small fortress with a fence and tames a number of animals, including a parrot which he teaches how to talk so he would not feel alone. This book is fantastic, but the one bit that bothers me the most is when Crusoe meets Friday.


If you have not read the book, then go and do it and then come back, because then you have missed something truly awesome!

Anyway, Robinson rescues Friday from his own tribe members and then the book, well it becomes quite racist. A soon Friday get’s a hold of the situation he immediately throws himself at Robinsons feet and places his foot on his own head, as a symbol showing that Friday is now forever Crusoe’s slave. Robinson takes on the role of the superior white European who possesses nice clothing and superior technology, in opposite to the uneducated heathens which are the tribe members.

Robinson takes Friday in and teaches him how to be civilised by giving him clothes, to give up cannibalism and he also teaches him the teachings of Christianity. This gives Crusoe a role of a God, who brings enlightenment to the poor islanders. A superior, white, European male who brings wonders and civilisation to a forgotten island, that’s new.¨


Now, if you know anything about Daniel Defoe you would know that he had certain view of life. He believed that you won’t get anywhere in life by sitting in a classroom all day, reading about other peoples experiences. His thoughts were that in order to learn you have to go out in nature and learn to which I totally agree, to a certain degree. I think that you won’t truly learn  unless you do it practically and I think that is what Defoe meant.


//Gabriel F

Rococo fashion

Rococo Fashion

The Rococo fashion (also referred to as “Late Baroque”) was THE fashion style during the most of the 18th century (1730-1780). During this time France was the fashion-country of the world. This style is much lighter and more elegant than the “heavy” Baroque fashion. The clothes should have many details and the wealthy women had gowns that were spectacular, covered with bows and flowers and a fancy corset above the waistline.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s motto “Back to Nature” had an immense impact on the excessive use of flowers, butterflies, berries et.c. as ornaments.

This was a time when new ideas about human existence were introduced and Rococo is the visual representation of the optimism people felt in response to that.

The Rococo style is very influenced by China; women even did their makeup to look like Chinese china or “the white gold” as they also called it.

But at the same time the style was a torture for the women. To be able to fit in the dresses they had to be very skinny. They had to wear a corset to hold everything in; the “fine” women had an average waist on 30 cm in circumference, which is crazy! This is why so many women died in childbirth. And if they took the corset of, they had no back muscles that supported them. This is the same concept that they use in China where they squeeze the girls’ feet in a pair of very small shoes because it is considered beautiful to have small feet there.


// Hedvig

Loan for survival of a state - Good or bad?



Money is humanity’s past, present and is most likely to be our future.


In today’s world, it is possible to loan money more or less everywhere, no matter where you are. This is an advantage since we can borrow money now, and pay back later. So if your intention is to buy a house tomorrow, you can acquire a loan from a lender and then you pay back the dept when you are able to afford it again.


However, is it always an advantage to be able to borrow money? Are there any disadvantages with a loan?


My answer to those questions is that there are many disadvantages with a loan. A good example of a scenario where it went quite wrong did occur in France during the 18th century. The king Louis XV of France had severe financial problems and so did his country. The war in America had been costly and when France finally lost all American colonies, the situation was not likely to improve. The important resources France usually imported from the colonies were lost. To solve all this, Louis XV tried to borrow money from other countries and his desperate need for money led to an extremely high rate. Finally, France borrowed money to pay the other debts, and an evil circle was formed. These foolish financial policies of his damaged the power of France and weakened the treasury and the monarchy. And when he died, his grandson Louis XVI became the new king of France, although not for a long period. Thanks to these severe problems Louis XV had given France, the French Revolution was imminent and Louis XVI was going to be the first and the last French king to be executed.


If you look at the present-day, you might see that the history has repeated itself more than once when it comes to economical problems. Many countries have, just like France, borrowed more money than they were able to repay. I think it is possible to draw parallels to the great country in the west, USA. President Barack Obama and his government have deep problems now because of USA’s loans from other countries. This kind of problem has also occurred in Greece, Portugal, and Spain etc. so the economic situation for a country is extremely fragile if trouble with loans occurs.


Considering the trouble earlier in history with loans, I think that it is quite unwise, as a leader of a country, to take a loan if you are uncertain whether your country will be able to repay or not. I believe that to be greedy as a leader is only one thing, and that is certainty of collapse and possible of downfall for the country.


What do you folks think? Is it acceptable for a country to take loans?


For more info, check out these links:




“I hate books, they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about “

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I have chosen to look at a quote from the Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).

“I hate books, they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about “

Do I agree with this? No, I do not. Books are very important to us. We learn much from them. Just think how hard it would have been in school if we did not have any books at all. I know that we use physical books less and less every year, but we still read them, just in different forms. We use our computers or listen to audio books.

Back to the quote, I think we learn so much from books! Of course we learn very much from reading a scientific book, but we learn much by reading a novel as well. When we are reading a novel, we have to think in a different way. We have to think how the persons in the novel think and why they do the things they are doing. This is useful in our daily life when we meet persons. We have to know that all persons do not think in the same way as we do all the time. Of course learn this from other places than books too, but they are very good “teachers”, don’t you think?


Rousseau said that books make us talk about things we know nothing about…Then I wonder, why do we have to know everything we are talking about? Of course we have to learn information from a biology book for example, but do we really have to know the text in a novel? Isn’t it enough to know what feeling you got from the book when you read it? And isn’t it nice to discuss books, even though the whole story is imaginary?


Another thing, if it wouldn’t for the books we would probably know nothing about Rousseau! Somebody has to have written down information (in a book) about his life and his opinions. He probably didn’t think about that =)







/ Hanna

Johann Sebastian Bach – the fifth evangelist?



Today, Bach is generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and he is also recognised as one of the greatest composers of all time. Bach devoted his life to music and his contributions, or “musical science”, have been compared with what Shakespeare did to English literature and Newton’s efforts in physics. Besides being the greatest composer and organist of the Baroque era, Bach was also a theologian and did gather a lot of inspiration from the Bible. So it is not a sensation that nearly three-fourths of his 1000 compositions were written for use in worship. Many well-known historians, musicians and composers have claimed that Bach is to be considered as a tremendous virtuoso and with his remarkable masterpieces the “St Matthew Passion” and the “St John Passion”, he has given life to the Gospels. Some people, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, have also stated Bach as the “fifth evangelist”.


Why should Bach be stated as the “fifth evangelist”? Why should a musician even be compared with the “real” evangelists?


Well first of all, music was never just music in his eyes. Ever since he received his first copy of Martin Luther’s Bible, he took most of his inspiration from it. The inspiration he gathered from the Bible characterised every single piece of art he composed after his finding of what the Bible could provide him with.


You obtain a perfect example of how much the Bible influenced him if you read the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. If you read that at the same time as you listen to the “St Matthew Passion”, you can actually experience what you are reading. This piece of music is directly connected to the Gospel of Matthew.


I think that it is satisfactory calling Bach the “fifth evangelist”. I mean, honestly, consider what he has done. He has given the Gospels an entirely new dimension, because now, we have the opportunity not only to read them but also to live them. Thanks to Bach’s music, we can live the Gospels with our imagination. Bach gave the Bible another dimension, hundreds of years before television came and we were finally able to “see” it with our own eyes.


Considering this, you may wonder if it was Bach’s intention to be the fifth evangelist. Was the purpose with his music to be put side by side with the evangelists?


If you ask me, I find it hard to believe that Bach himself was so arrogant as to consider himself as an evangelist and neither do I believe that he even thought of himself as holy person. Least of all I believe that he saw himself as a person that people all over the world would compare him with the “fantastic four”, St. Matthew, St. Luke and St. John. Actually, I believe that Bach was a very religious man that wrote his music not in honour of himself but only to praise the lord. And there is a peculiar thing that strengthens this argument. Bach wrote the acronym SDG on most pieces of music he composed. SDG stands for “Soli Deo Gloria”, it is Latin and it means “Glory to God alone”.


I think that it is possible to compare this debate with, for example, the one concerning the book and the movies “The Lord of the Rings”. As someone might know, Peter Jackson produced three movies out of the book “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. These movies received many awards and a discussion was brought up concerning if the movies were at the same level as the book.


To conclude all this, we can at least say that this discussion has endured for a very long time, and will probably continue to do so for many years. Even though it is very difficult to have the same opinion concerning if Bach really was the “fifth evangelist” or not, I believe that there is a possibility that there at least is one thing that everyone can agree on. Johann Sebastian Bach was a composer beyond all kind of comparison, no matter if he was the “fifth evangelist” or not.


If you want to find out more about Johann Sebastian Bach, please check out this link:




Sir Isaac Newton’s biblical views


When you mention the name of Sir Isaac Newton, almost everybody instantly think of a great scientist who changed the world forever. This was not all. Sir Isaac Newton spent a lot of his time on studying the bible and trying to interpret what is said between the lines. He wrote over one million words about his biblical views, although he never published anything by himself. Six years after his death, two men published one of his works, “Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John”. I guess he never published anything due to the time he lived. During this time it was all about science and publishing something about religion could easily destroy ones reputation. If this would happen, all of Newton’s works could have been hidden for the society to see and we would not have been as far as we are today. Before he died he left all his notebooks where he had written about religion in a chest. This chest was hidden into the 1930’s, when it was to be sold on an auction to the economist John Maynard Keynes.


I think it is very interesting that one of mankind’s greatest scientists (many people say he is the greatest) was so interested in studying something religious and put so much effort into it. In my opinion, it really shows that you don’t have to choose between science and religion; you can mix it if you want to. As an example, Newton studied the Book of Revelation and came up with a Judgement Day, using mathematical equations mixed with other ways. According to his numbers, the Judgement Day will occur in 2060. This prophecy is not like the Mayan’s calendar, which says that the world will end in 2012. This is a year when a new age will begin. In year 2060 there will be great wars, plagues and natural disasters, to cleans out the people of our age and create a new start for the Earth.


I actually like to look at it that way. According to this theory, there won’t be an exploding sun, there won’t be an asteroid hitting the Earth, there will be another “Noah’s Ark”, another new start for human kind and its nature. I would feel sorry for the new generation if all we have accomplished is destroyed, all our architecture, roads and technology just flushed away. But maybe, that’s just God’s plan, maybe he never wanted us to create a whole new world. There are lots and lots of angles in ways you can see it. Personally it gives me hope when someone says the world will not end, especially when Sir Isaac Newton himself says it, after studying the Bible.


What do you think will happen to our beloved Earth? Do you believe it will be destroyed by a sun storm, or do you have thoughts as Newton?


/ Sebastian Carlshamre

The Celsius temperature scale



During the Enlightenment, Sweden was finally able to catch up with the rest of Europe when it comes to technology, science etc. Anders Celsius was one of those who helped to turn the tide.


When Anders Celsius was a young student, there were a large variety of thermometers with different scales. Some were respectable and easy to use and some were less respectable and harder to use. Considering this, Celsius realised the necessity of an international scale that could be adopted by all countries. After years of hard work, he came up with predecessor to the scale that today is recognised as the Celsius temperature scale. Although he was the one that came up with this scale, Carl Linnaeus and other famous individuals were the ones that helped with its worldwide recognition.


His version of the Celsius scale differed a bit from the one we use today. It was reverse of today’s scale, with the boiling point of water being zero and the freezing point being one hundred degrees.


So what is it that is unique with the Celsius scale?


The Celsius scale is quite simple to apply and to understand. It is ideal to use whenever water is present, since its fixed points are the freezing and boiling points of water. And in our daily schedule, water is always present. Our body consists of water, we use water for food preparation and water is everywhere, no matter where we go. Water is the key to survival.


To be honest, I do not consider it as an intellectual achievement to construct it. The intellectual achievement was something else. Nowadays, the Kelvin scale is the SI base unit for temperature and one of the seven units that all other SI units derive from. However, the Celsius scale is bound to the Kelvin scale, their degrees have the same magnitude and are exactly equal to each other. This is what makes the Celsius scale such an intellectual achievement.


Today, the Celsius scale is commonly used throughout the world for basically all purposes, with exception for the United States and a few other countries. These countries do still use the Fahrenheit scale. Some specialist fields (astrophysics etc.) do instead use the closely related Kelvin scale. In some countries, e.g. the UK, the Celsius scale is simply referred to as the Centigrade (Latin: “hundred steps”).


At the age of forty-two, Anders Celsius died of tuberculosis, a terrible disease that was very common during these days. He left behind many theses and long writings within astronomy and I think that if Anders Celsius had continued to live, he might have been known for more than “just” the Celsius scale. Or what do you think?


For more information concerning Anders Celsius and his well-known temperature scale, please visit these links:




Utopia by Thomas More

Utopia by Thomas More


Good Place, No Place


I have chosen to write about the novel Utopia written by Thomas More in the year of 1516. By now, you might think:  “You’re 200 years off, stupid”. And as a matter of fact, I am. But the thing is, and here comes the intriguing part, so was More and his work, Utopia.  More held one of the most important offices under Henry VIII. But instead of enjoying the prosperous life which was available to him he started questioning the society he lived amid. A society imbued by the reign of the money. Where the starving were condemned to death for stealing food.  Where the poor stayed poor and were jeeringly looked down upon by the rich, who were voraciously hoarding their money. A society where the abundance of the upper-class only was outmatched by the misery of the serfs.  Even though Thomas More played an essential role in this contrivance of government he was well aware of its flaws and inequities and therefore he created Utopia, a fictitious book depicting the infallible society.

Utopia (it’s also the title of the depicted society) is a state where all citizens are responsible for the development of society and complete equity thrones above everything else. Ownership is practically abolished and everything is shared. Monetary value is reduced to nonexistence. Every citizen greets his neighbor as an equal. To ensure development work is mandatory. Every, and I mean “every”, citizen works six hours a day (3 three before dinner and three after). The limit of six hours is to avoid the slave-like toil which the European serfs have to endure. Also, every citizen works with the task he is most deft at.

Nobody in Utopia feels the urge to pursue any private capital, as it wouldn’t be worth anything (you cannot eat gold!) and the Utopians live in abundance when it comes to goods that are vitally necessary for life. Furthermore the Utopians see gold and other materials, which are only held in a high regard for their monetary value and not for the practical value as useful resources, as something odious.

Now, this vision of society may appeal with its values, especially if you consider the standard of living of the commoner during these times. But it is, as all societies, flawed. I am going to handpick some of the downsides of More’s Utopia and distribute my thoughts on them.

The first thing that comes to mind is the heterogeneity of the society. The appearance of the citizens was limited to clothes of one colour (probably to create the feeling of commonality). But the resemblance was not only limited to appearance. If you want to live in Utopia you have to abide the law of Utopia and conform to its school of thought. Reforms are clearly, not wanted.

Secondly, it is a strictly hierarchal and very patriarchal society. As for hierarchy, thirty families in each town choose, yearly, a magistrate, called Philarch. These are responsible for monitoring the families working process. The Philarchs should add up to 200. Over every ten of them there is one Archphilarch. There are supposed to be 100 Archphilarchs. These elect a prince who holds his office for life, unless he is removed upon suspicion of some design to enslave the people. As for the power of the prince the book is quite opaque. It only mentions that: “The Archphilarchs meet every third day, and oftener if necessary, and consult with the Prince either concerning the affairs of the State in general, or such private differences as may arise sometimes among the people…” So there is no real information about who is responsible for the executive branch of government, who holds the legislative and so on…  As for patriarchal, well, we can just look at the previous part and mention that only ones who had a saying were men. Also the most aspired attributes of women were “honesty and obedience” which does not correspond with equality between sexes which we perceive today.

Another thing I consider not to be very desirable is the limitation of freedom of movement and freedom in general. First of all, the utopians have slaves and although these are being treated well they are still slaves. This seems very paradoxical as this doesn’t correspond with the utopian values, the utopians do, in fact, start wars to liberate nearby countries from their oppressors. Concerning the freedom of movement, citizens of utopia have to have a written permission, signed by a Philarch or Archphilarchs on them when travelling. This also applies for a walk around the park. If somebody should be leaving his city without permission and is detected “he is punished as a fugitive, and sent home disgracefully; and, if he falls again into the like fault, is condemned to slavery”

This all now may seem to be a rather dystopian society instead of a utopian, but utopia has a lot of very progressive ideas which were not introduced to most westerns societies until hundreds of years later. For example, divorces are allowed, freedom of religion, proper health care, no death penalty, everybody works and therefore everybody works less,   euthanasia is allowed if the person suffers more from life than he is able to enjoy it and thus wishes to cease to exist, and the list goes on.

So to sum it up, Utopia is not the perfect society which it was supposed to, at least not from our modern point of view. From a modern point of view a utopian society should be one were everybody thrives. But More’s Utopia stunts the flourishing of, for example, women, individualists and  freedom-loving people. Still, Utopia is definitely very progressive and surely facilitated for the thinkers and revolutionaries of the 18th century. And here is where its importance lies. Utopia is never going to be realized, everybody who has met another human being knows that and even More knew it. But this is not its purpose. Its purpose is to give ideas, to question the inequities, to create opposition, to provoke thought about the society which More lived in and to some extent we do still live in. This was, and still is the purpose of Utopia.



The book, of course! (http://www.adlibris.com/se/product.aspx?isbn=0486295834)


If you have further questions on Utopia, as there are a lot of things I didn’t even mention, I’ll be happy to answer them.

// Baloo Peinkofer

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.” – Voltaire

This quote is about if you have someone that has power to make you believe in absurdities has the power to make you do unfair thing to yourself.

I have one example of this; men who abuse their lovely partners. This is a rather common problem in the world and it is totally wrong in my opinion, and I think that it is more than me think that way? I hope that everybody thinks that that is wrong of course.

When a woman gets abused, they first of all feel very sad, angry and have a very low confidence. The man says that he is very, very sorry and then the woman starts to think again. Thoughts like; “it were my fault that he became angry”, “he don’t do it again” and “he actually says that he love me”. Now, the women do the totally wrong thing, they forgive their men and take them back. This process keeps going on and on forever. Instead, the woman should leave the man directly! If a man abuses his partner once, will it happen again.


I don’t understand why women don’t leave the men. The men makes the women feel very low ,and in the society we live in today when women have a lower status than the men, it makes them feel any more stupid, bad, and on top of that, they get a very low confidence.


Another thing that I think you can link with this is peer pressure. If you hang out with some friends and they want to do something stupid that you maybe don’t think it is an absurdity, when it actually is it. This is also a big problem in the world, such as the men who abuse their partners.


To remove these really bad things I think that the women first of all should report the abuse to the police. Then should all the men realize that women are equal to them. Women should also stand up for themselves.



The Bluestockings

Probably, if you saw a sentence, which contained words ’lady’, ‘blue stockings’ and ‘society’, you would think of a club for women, who are interested in fashion… After all, there is a girl, a clique and  a  piece of clothing – a BLUE piece of clothing!

Yet, this is not the matter!

‘Bluestocking’ is a term for a literary, well-educated woman in 1700s. A woman, who is passionate about knowledge, literature and politics. These women organised meetings to which they invited men to talk with. They discussed different subjects together, as a group; contrary to normal gatherings of men and women, when each sex took the other corner of the room.

Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu, who is said to be the creator of the first Bluestocking Society in England, focused on inviting aristocratic men, with whom the conversation would always be absorbing. However, it was strictly forbidden to swear or even talk about politics!  Instead, they exchanged views on literature and cultural events, as well as women’s role in the society, the development of humanity or ‘natural laws’. They attempted to prove that women could also take an active part in  the humankind.

In my personal opinion, the Bluestockings were one of the first emancipated women in the world. Their meetings were public, not held in secret. Everybody knew about their evening parties. The purpose of Bluestockings was to give every woman  a chance to speak up her mind – and not be judged or silenced. Their policy resulted in women’s attempts of gaining higher education.

What are your opinions about the Bluestocking Society? Were these women brave to organize their meetings, trying to prove their points? Have they ever had a chance to fully succeed in their actions? Have they succeeded? Or maybe no matter if Bluestockings existed or not, women would still gain independence in today’s world? Was this society relevant at all?

Please comment and let me know what you think!


More about how the name of the group was created: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/70534/Bluestocking

More info about Bluestockings:



No industrial revolution without the economical ®evolution

The industrial revolution, the beginning of the industrialization of the world, and a big reason of why the world looks the way it currently does. The industrial revolution brought many important inventions, including James Watt's steam engine and the train, as we still have great benefit of. The revolution started in The British Empire during the second half of the 18th century. But what was the reason so many important inventions and machines were launched in such a short time?

Well, before the industrial revolution there was a revolution that has not had as much attention called the economic revolution. The economical revolution led to a restructuring of the market - trade and industry - which promoted the sale of the mass-produced goods. In Europe the privileges’ of the nobility were abolished, and in Sweden, the guild system was abolished in 1864. In country after country, they replaced the old state oligopoly with the new market system. The function of the system was to give companies free competition between each other, and free enterprise. The socialists called the system capitalism, and the traders themselves named it market economy.

The new system with free competition between companies and free enterprise made a success in almost every country, and companies and factories were established everywhere. The economic revolution with the invention and technological development led to the sharp expansion of the mechanical production of goods and trade called the industrial revolution. This was marked by the construction of factories for the mechanized production of goods, increased use of energy and a substantial influx of labor to urban areas and the factories built there (urbanization).

The market system with free enterprise and free concurrence stands for most of the production in almost all countries today.

// Erik J

The Rights of Women

Olympe de Gouges (1748–1793)

Declaration of the Rights of Woman, 1791

Olympe de Gouges was a French feminist and reformer in the waning years of the Enlightenment who articulated the rights of women with her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791). The law must be the same for all, male and female citizen, being equal in the eyes of the lax, must be equally admitted to all honours, positions, and public employment according to their capacity and without other distinctions besides those of their virtues and talents.

De Gouge describes marriage as an equal partnership in which two partners unite for the goals to start a family; she advocates sharing of wealth and its equal division in the case of divorce. She advocates laws protecting both men and women from violation of the contract. Forming a social contract and sharing equally in the activities of men, De Gouge argues, is “a foolproof way to elevate the soul of women”.

After arguing that all women are oppressed, whether married or not, she asserts that women have the power to free themselves by forming a social contract between man and woman.

Gouges sought freedom for women including the right to vote and to a higher education. This has importance in today’s society, because there is still a problem for women being not treated equally. Could you imagine how important it was for women through the 18th centuries? She created a future society with the same for all, male and female citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law. How would the structure of the society be without her improvements in freedom? Gouge fought until her death with rudeness. The success of the women’s rights movement is evident when we see females like Senator Hillary Clinton and many others running for and holding political offices.

Are the freedoms that female human rights activists fought so hard to obtain now being taken for granted?



“Women, in general, are not attracted to art at all, nor knowledge, and not at all to genius.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Women, in general, are not attracted to art at all, nor knowledge, and not at all to genius.”

That is one of many quotes of the famous philosopher Rousseau. Rousseau was one of the great philosophers during the enlightenment. He was a man that saw the male sex as the dominant. The female sex was according to his opinion not very smart, that they had one only thing that they could use. There weakness. Woman used there weakness to get help from men.

Maybe that is true? Maybe it is not. I say that that a woman is as independent as a man could be, after all the both sex are humans.

Rousseau’s opinion about women could be affected of the lost of his mom. Rousseau’s mum died shortly after his birth and he was raised by his father until he was ten. His father left him with his aunt and uncle and he was raised by them.

Rousseau did not get raised by a female role model in the younger stage and maybe that could have contributed with his sight on women. Did Rousseau had something against women or could it be that he in some way, that the history forgot to write had been dumped or had he been knocked over by a smarter women? There could be a lot of things that made him to think that a woman was not really smart. But I think it is most of his mother. He was not raised by a female model and maybe he thought that he was a great man and people new who he was, he had become a great man without a women. If he had a woman who was standing in his way he could not been this successful.

I also wonder how his ankle treated his aunt. Maybe he was a lovely husband and Rousseau thought that it made him weak or the ankle treated his aunt like she was useless. I do not think that we ever will know why Rousseau saw the female sex as an underdog. But we can learn something about it. Woman’s today had contributed with a lot. Rousseau would faint if he saw what a woman today could contribute to.

I am sorry Rousseau but after you died a woman actually dashed your theories about women in rubbles. Her name was Mary Wollstonecraft and she also made a book about it “A vindication of the rights of woman”.

There is still up to each individual how they want to interpret the quotes and no one can tell you that it is wrong or right it is just your own opinion.







During the French revolution and the whole 1800th century were Europe influenced from France. The style Rococo grew and established. Rococo came after the Baroque had enlarged mostly the man wear. It had become more feminine and most of all it had taken over more from woman wear. Rococo was a big admirer of china and a lot of inspiration with a man suit containing coat, waistcoat and breeches. Why was now the rest of the man in Europe so interested in dressing likes women with perfume wigs and tights that highlighted their legs? Well, one reason for using perfume was that keeping the bad breath and smell away but was that all? Maybe because women clothes has always been more detailed and not as strict as men wear was men a little bit jealous and it would probably be more expensive and finer to have men wear with details. Also a big different in the 1800th century was that women had a lot of different styles to choose from. By influencing from women the clothes would differ a little anyway. The good economic times made it also easier for even the middle class to afford trendy and fashionable clothes. Personally I think that men wear shall be pretty strict but with some small details but not too much influence from women clothes.

by: Jakob Lundén

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712- 1778) believed that man is essentially good, when in “state of nature”. By that he meant that it is the creation of the type of societies and civilizations that we have today has turned the good people bad. He thought that our experiences in the society have made us corrupt, and we will continue to be unhappy if we continue to live like we do.

Instead he wanted small self –contained societies. He believed that in a smaller group you are more likely to help each other than if you live in a bigger society. By learning your children that they should help others before they help themselves the whole society will be better.  He also thought that no man alone should rule, you should take turn ruling. No man should be superior to another.


I think Jean Jacques is right when he says that it is easier to help someone we know then someone that we don’t know. You feel more compassion and empathy for someone when you know their story and background. To teach your children that they should help others before they help themselves is a nice thought, but not much likely to work in today’s society. We are selfish, and even though we often help others we don not wan to sacrifice our own happiness or wellbeing.


In a group I think you need a strong leader and somebody to look up to, and that no man should be superior then becomes a problem. In a crisis situation we need someone to take fast decisions, but we also need the mass to have a saying as well.


Self-contained societies are almost impossible today. We can not produce everything we eat on our own, we can not have a doctor or other specialist in every small society as Rousseau wanted. Our world today is too globalized and we are too dependent on others outside our community. For example Skara would not manage to “survive” on its own today without help and gods from the rest of the world. We could survive, but we would have to change our standard of living because we wouldn’t have all the products we have today.


What do you think about self-contained societies, would it be a good idea today?



If you want to read more about Jean- Jacques Rousseau click this link:




/ Kajsa

The Piano


The piano was invented around year 1698 by Bartolomeo Cristofori from Italy. The description of the new invention was "harpsichord (cembalo) that plays both softly and loudly". The piano was a result of many centuries of work with the harpsichord. From Cristofori's piano has much happened. Many improvements have been added by people during centuries. Many great writers of classical music used the piano when they created works which we hear even today, like Bach and Mozart. Today we hear the result of Cristofori's device everyday when we listen on the radio, our iPod or to Spotify.


According to me is music creativity, but as you can see: music requires lots of science. Bach and Mozart could never have written their songs if nobody had invented the piano for them. It is the same way if you want to do a scientific investigation, well not the same way but the other way around. To be able to come up with ideas of how to investigate something you have to use your creativity. So creativity and science have a very close relation! Therefore is it good that we all are good at different things because we all help each other by inspiring to do something creative or give ideas to do some science.


Can you call a person creative OR scientific or are we all a mix of these qualities?





/ Hanna Walander

The Scandal Queen Marie Antoinette.

Marie Antoinette was accused for being both a sex addict, incestuous, lesbian and a range of other outrageous allegations. She became extremely unpopular even though we can’t be sure how much of this is actually true. Marie Antoinette was the wife of King Louis XVI of France and through her marriage with him she became the queen of France. If you want to know more about her, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Antoinette .


As you might be aware of, the life of Marie Antoinette included extreme luxury. It was like that already from the beginning. Her marriage with the Sun King was an arrangement between France and her home country Austria to strengthen the bonds between them. One get the feeling that they compensate the marriage and love that she never got to have with material things. Already when she at first arrived there were children dressed in white spreading flowers in front of the carriage. Through the years she was then overthrown not only by flowers, but also with the latest fashion, the most expensive fabrics and glittery, lustrous accessories. In the beginning she enjoyed it. After all she was nothing more than a 14-years-old girl and a quite vain one. She went to parties, arranged parties in her own gigantic garden by the castle Versailles and enjoyed herself. She had it all, you might think. And all this luxury made her of course very extravagant and interesting to other nobles. Her life more or less became like a spectacle. The most honourable task a noble could get was to help her get dressed like a giant Barbie doll. The higher in rank the nobles were, the more private tasks they got. Marie Antoinette’s life more or less became a spectacle.


It’s said that Marie Antoinette had a love affair with the Swede Axel von Fersen. However this is true or not is uncertain. But we do know that Axel von Fersen played a significant at the escape of the royal family some years later. As you can understand from all the things the Queen was accused of, her love life was widely discussed. Also, as the time passed on, her interest for fashion erupted and became, if possible, even more extreme. She spent dream sums of money every day. And I can’t help but wonder; was it to compensate her unhappy life in general? Was Marie Antoinette actually the first shopaholic, shopping until she is broke because it was the only thing that could make her happy?


If you think of it, is she really that different from the celebrities of today? The pressure it involves for anyone who is rich and famous could sure make you want to have an outlet for everything that you can not say in public. That is how it was, and that is how it is. Nowadays we can not watch celebrities get dressed in the mornings, but their lives are still very public since everything they say and do simply can be spread all over the world.


We know that luxury did not make Marie Antoinette happy and that luxury does not make celebrities of today happy either. Isn’t it funny that a lot of people, despite all that we know, still, more than anything, want to be rich and able to buy lots of things?


Victoria Gunnerek

The law of nature vs. the law of love

“From this basic idea it is clear, that women are especially created to delight men.  That also men please women, however, is not directly necessary. His merit lies in his power and strength, man pleases in that he is strong. This is not the law of love, I admit that, but it is the law of nature and that one is older than love itself” Rousseau


In our society of today, based on the idea that men and women are more or less equals, I guess most people find it hard to agree with Rousseau’s point of view when it comes to love. At least I have and in my opinion his way of love is not only boring but also very sad. Not only because women generally were unfairly treated as nothing more than objects for joy and lust. Some of them might have been satisfied with that, and been pleased by the strength their men could provide, but I doubt that they were really happy. Of course, that was all they knew and they probably thought that this was the way it was supposed to be. No matter how it actually was, I feel sorry for them because they weren’t respected for being humans like everyone else. And in the same time, was this really what men in general wanted? Didn’t they need love just as much as men do today?


Even though I strongly disagree with Rousseau I do not find it hard to understand why he thought like this. As a child, he never experienced the tender love of a mother since his mother died when giving birth to him. At the age of only twelve years old he was then virtually abandoned by his father, which I think implies that his father didn’t give him very much of love to talk about either. Rousseau was brought up with the instinct to survive without love and had to find out what else was important in life, and he found that the law of nature was more reliable than the law of love. He learned that in order to survive you don’t need love in the way most people want it today. He was given no love and no affirmation that anybody would care about him. He might never have learnt to love for real. I believe that we are all born with some kind of basic instinct of love, but to be able to actually love we have to work on it, learn how to use it. Maybe Rousseau never had the opportunity to use it.


Only the fact that we’ve gone from a society like Rousseau’s to a society where relationships actually are based on some kind of fondness for each other proves that the law of love actually is stronger than the law of nature. But this could, of course, be further discussed.

And for the record, why should what is the oldest be the better? More than once old knowledge has been proved false, and things in general are seldom developed into the worse. God, or whoever you may believe is responsible for all of this, might have created nature before he created love (if not because of his love for humans, beauty of nature, or something else). But obviously he wasn’t satisfied with nature and therefore he created love. As an addition to his nature he created love because world would not be complete without it.


Even though there are a lot of reasons why Rousseau’s ideas are not the best, they are still up-to-date. I mean even though the gap between men and women in general has decreased, at least in some parts of the world, women still do about 80% of the work at home. And that is just how it is and how it has always been since humans went from living as nomads to settling down. How come that even though these thoughts are ancient, and not really liked, we still live like this today? Do women show love by taking care of their husbands? Then Rousseau maybe has a point anyway? Is that the law of nature and is it impossible to do anything about it?


Victoria Gunnerek

What to Believe in?


The general belief up until the Enlightenment had been that we and the world had been created by some sort of God. However, the scientific revolution had challenged many of the accepted, religious, truths, and the view on man and the creation had altered.


This transition had not been easily accepted – loosing your firm base of belief in the meaning of life, and how everything works was of course problematic. Today, we might find it difficult to understand why people found it difficult to believe in new, scientific, views instead of religious explanations or simply superstition. But is it really so strange?


Was it really so easy to let go of the thought and beliefs you had within the religion? The people under the enlightenment were not ready to let go of the religion without really strong evidence that proved that the science was right and the religion was wrong. Why wouldn’t the people let go of religion without strong evidence? The bound between the people and religion was to great they wouldn’t accept the fact the science showed.


If you grow up in a society in the 20th century and you have been raised and learned from, let’s say a religion and the religion says that the human kind was created in some certain way. What would it take to make you change your mind if science showed that the religion was wrong?


/ Calle

Carl von Linné

I have chosen Carl Linnaeus as my philosopher even that he was a great scientist and biologist when he lived. A lot of great scientists and philosophers sent him letters, the famous philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth”. Carl Linnaeus once saidLivet är en vacker såpbubbla, i döden ser du hur tom människans bubbla är” or
Life is a beautiful soap bubble, in death you see how empty peoples bubble are”. I think that he meant that when we gets old we don’t have the exuberance that we had as young, the beautiful colorful bubble losing its colors and the only thing is the grey shell and it misses the spark of life.
It could also mean that when we are young we decorate our lifes whit travels and items, but when we gets old we think back on our lifes and realize that it wasn’t as we wanted it to.
I thinks there’s a lot more ways to interpret this few words.

Anyway why did I take a scientist as a philosopher?
Because it is not a big difference and that small difference is a great example of different views at life.
Also a lot of scientists have great philosophical opinions but we only learn about them as scientists.

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.” – Voltaire

I would like to say that this quote from Voltaire is timeless. We have for a long time discuss over God and His existing. By saying that God do not exist or exist, we automatically say that God exist. Even if God do not exist as an own thing, He still exist in our mind, whether we believe in His existing or not. My opinion is that we need something greater than ourselves to believe in. By having something greater than ourselves we have something to look up to and live for. What would our lives be worth living for if we do not have anything to live for?
It is not unlikely that God do not exist after all and that we have invented Him. If God do not exist, we would actually be living exactly the same way, believing in a God that does not exist. Perhaps it does not even matter whether God exist or not.

This quote can also reflect our lives in general. If there were things that did not exist, we would invent them.
If we do not feel hope, we invent the feeling of hope. It is the same with happiness. If we do not feel happiness, we invent the feeling. I think it is the same with every feeling. If the feeling we should have is not there, we invent the right feeling.
Now, today, I think all of us want to have spring for real. Then every sign of spring becomes spring. Basically we invent the spring, even do when the spring is not here. So, we invent things that do not exist because we want them to exist. What do you think about this? Do we invent thing that does not exist?

/ Linnéa

The Ice Palace

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The ice palace.

One cold winter year 1739 in Russia the empress Anna Ivanovna gave an order that she wanted to build a palace total made of ice in St. Petersburg. They took ice from leaks and rivers and glued it together with water. In the castle there were furniture made of ice and the backyard was made of ice. In the backyard there were trees, birds and one big elephant made out of ice. I think this idea was great. One empress that was bored made other people build her an ice palace that she could use.

The enlightenment was all about founding new ways do things.

Today we want to make new things and it is having to perfect and we now how we want it and when we want it. We always try to do perfect things and maybe we try to hard. Maybe the key to progress is to keep the old things and improve it with new things.


/ Unni

René Descartes

René Descartes was born 1596 in France and he died 1950 in Stockholm, Sweden.

He was a philosopher and is maybe most famous for (Cogito, ergo sum) I think therefore I am.

Already as a kid his critical thinking made him doubt learning by reading books.

We should be thinking critically and don’t believe everything we hear.

He said that if you think you exist. I believe that he is right, we have to think for ourselves.

This must have made some people think about what they actually are doing.

For example, why go to church if you don’t believe in god. Why should I pray to and praise someone that maybe doesn’t even exist.

I believe it was harder to think independently under this age because maybe you were used to be told what to do.

Maybe people were dependent of others to know what to do?

But when generation after generation grew up whit this idea, I believe that it’s easier to think independently for us.

Nowadays most people are able to thing for themselves.

At the same time we are better at making people believe that they need a certain product.

Read more about René Descartes at: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Descartes


Can you turn back a revolution?

In 1791 King Louise XVI and his queen Marie-Antoinette mad an attempt to flee Paris in secret, and to join the Austrian troops. When they only were a couple of kilometres from the Austrian border (they were in a small town called Varennes), where the queens brother waited with an army to help King Louis turn back the revolution and earn back his rights as the one and only ruler of France.


Can you turn back a revolution, and have the people be willing to go back to your side?

-       Maybe the some people are scared of experiencing new things, and are comfortable with living life with someone else deciding what you can or can not do, or maybe people are sick and tired of having someone decide over your life and can’t wait to be yourself.


I think that you can’t turn back a revolution. I believe that when people have tasted the sweetness of democracy, an evil dictator will get his people back.

You can try to do as Kaddafi, threaten and bomb you own country/population (scare them over to his side again). But I think that nobody will want to go back to living a life with no voice in society.


But we don’t know if you can turn back a revolution because nobody has succeeded…yet. The only way we know that King Louis XVI didn’t succeed was because he got caught before he could try. And if Kaddafi will succeed we don’t know.


Do you think you can turn back a revolution?


/ Jerica Wahrén


In the Middle Ages was the only thing that you believe in god. Renaissance was the time when the people began to think in a other way than just in God, but it wasn’t until the Scientific Revolution as people began to test all the things.
You can relate this to believe in the Santa. In the Middle Ages the Santa existed, it just was so. During the renaissance you started to suspect that he doesn’t exist. Your friends said that the Santa was actually their father or any other man, but still, you believed in him. Then, in the Scientific Revolution, you tested your suspicion. This was the moment that you realized that the Santa actually doesn’t exist. You became very disappointed and it was a hard time.

Think of this situation but change the Santa against God. This was a really hard time for the people in the society because they wanted to believe in God. Imagine yourself, you wanted to believe in Santa (or God) but all the people said that it wasn’t true.


You can link this to things in the society today. When your friends are talking badly behind your back. You don’t want to think that it is true and you don’t have any evidence that they have done it. This is just the same as in the renaissance. Another thing is that you don’t want to think that it was true. This was the same with God when it came evidence about he maybe doesn’t exist, you didn’t want to think that the evidences were true.                     
Then, what should you do? Should you test if the “shit talking” is true, as the people in the scientific revolution, or should you just don’t do anything and think that it is not true, as the humans under the renaissance?



The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution

The Declaration of Independence marks the official separation between the 13 colonies in North America and the British Empire. It was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, who also came to be the third president of the newly created nation, one year after the start of the American Revolutionary War. If you want to read more on the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution you should check out these couple of links:





Anyhow, why was this independence inevitable for the American colonies? Well, very much has to do with king at the time, George III. America is very far away from Britain, and George wanted firm control over these colonies, some of them newly acquired from France in the aftermath of the French and Indian War. He then established acts, which either taxed the colonists or gave the king more control over the colony trading. He even forced the colonists pay for British military placed in the colonies (the Quartering Act 1765). The colonists did not like this, not one bit. 1776 the Declaration of Independence, was established, after over a decade of this kind of treatment. It wasn’t possible for the colonists to live under this cruel treatment; hence they broke free. In the war following they had great use for the help coming from the French. Why one might ask did the French help push the American Revolution? Well, it is simple, the British were a threat to France, and they did not like each other. The American Revolution succeeded, and the commander-in-chief during the war; George Washington took office April 30, 1789.


I see the Declaration of Independence as one of the most important events in the history of time. The colonization of the world which came to the event has changed the world. What would the world look like without the US? Would the United Kingdom be the greatest power of the world, or would there be a lot of different small former colonies in North America, like in South America or Africa? Think of all the major events during the 19th and 20th centuries, the United States are involved in almost all of them. They played a big part in the world wars, the cold war, they won the space race against the Soviet Union, when Neil Armstrong walked the moon, I could keep doing this all day. Point is; the United States has been involved in everything, everywhere. What do you guys think? How important was the American Revolution for the world we live in today, is it the most important event in the historic time?


By: Andreas Larsson

A feeble body weakens the mind. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)


This is completely my opinion because everyone knows that if you don’t exercise your body will crash down. The problem is that I don’t think that society and the state pushes people and most young people to exercise and practise. Every single football club around us having problems with the economy and that’s makes it difficult for the clubs to have people who wants to deal with us young players. To motivate people you need good coaches and to have good coaches they also have to wants to come and take time three to four times a week. If we would have some more money it would be more fun to come up to the pitches and maybe dress on the same clothes which we borrow from the club and when we come back the next day they are washed again. Sport is something that put thousands of people in exercise but we still have to work like h**l to keep our “business” going. Have you ever heard of any kind of cultural related collections that went out for selling tickets or inventory food stores for example? Not in our city anyway, they have all the money they need from municipality. I’m kind of a sport nerd so I see the problem from only one side and have probably in some points very wrong, but when everyone says that health is one of the most important thing with our body have I one solution that most people don’t care about. Make people more engaged in sports of any kind because if you make young people think it is fun to exercise when you are little you will keep doing it when you grow up.

by: Jakob Lundén

The Swedish Empire


Nowadays, it is generally known among Swedes and historians that the 17th century was the period when Sweden was at its pride. This is the time period that is commonly recognised as the Great Power Era (Stormaktstiden, 1611-1718). Our country was ruled by well-known kings that today are remembered for their great leadership of what was then recognised as the Swedish Empire. Gustavus Adolphus, Charles X, Charles XI and Charles XII are some familiar kings that were successful during this era.


The Swedish Empire consisted, at its peak, of what today is known as Sweden, Finland and parts of what today is recognised as Russia, northern Germany, northern Poland, Norway, Denmark, Latvia and Estonia. This means that Sweden was the third largest country in Europe by land area, only surpassed by Spain and Russia. Sweden was also the country that was able to mobilise the largest quantity of soldiers compared to the number of inhabitants. Thanks to Swedish provinces, in what today is known as northern Germany and Baltic, and a famous and revolutionary system called the Swedish allotment system (Indelningsverket) Sweden was able to mobilise a total of 76.000 soldiers. No other country in northern Europe during this period was individually able to muster such a strong and numerable army.


Considering these facts, you may wonder, why did the Swedish Empire lose its position among the greatest empires in Europe? Why did Sweden reduce in area? I think that there were many reasons for the twilight of the Swedish Empire, but I think it is easier said than done to identify all of them. Therefore, I will share my point of view on what I think were the major reasons for the abrupt end.


I think that the first reason was that Sweden had to fight on too many frontiers at the same time. The area Sweden had to defend was without doubt very large. It is achievable to protect such a big area if you just have to fight against one foe at the time. Unfortunately, these were not the circumstances Sweden had. Russia, Poland and Denmark, which were the countries that had lost the most provinces to Sweden, decided to make an assault on Sweden at the same time, and it was difficult to muster an army strong enough to fight against three enemies.


This kind of bummer has, both on good and evil, occurred again in the history of man. I think it is possible to draw parallels between Sweden’s situation and Nazi Germany during World War II. Adolf Hitler, who was the leader of Nazi Germany, did the same mistake as the Swedes did. Sweden fought against to many enemies on too many frontlines, and so did the Germans. Even though they had failed to overwhelm Great Britain, their last main opponent in Europe, Hitler decided to commence the assault on the Soviet Union, known as operation Barbarossa. So Germany did the same mistake, since they had created themselves two frontiers in Europe to fight in. And when USA entered the war in 1941, the situation was not likely to improve.


What I distinguish as the second major reason for the defeat of the Swedish Empire is quite classical and has occurred more than once in the history of man. It is the phenomenon where you underestimate the Russians and their fierce and rough motherland. The Swedish king Charles XII attacked Russia during the beginning of the 18th century. At first, the Swedish expeditionary force did well and won the battle of Narva. They continued their campaign and fought their way through the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth and were finally beaten at the battle of Poltava. Charles XII and his military commanders did not understand that the Russian weather and country was optimal for defending, but not for attacking. Therefore, Sweden did not stand a chance when they fought in Russia. One major problem for the Swedish army was that it never had a good and equipped truss. Either you have a large army and a substandard truss, or you have a smaller army and a fully equipped truss. I think that this is a huge dilemma because either you battle with a numerous force with low moral because of the bad truss, or you go to war with an army that is equipped but that small force may not be enough to achieve victory. The choice of being tarred and feathered or just tarred (“Pest eller kolera”) is a difficult decision to make.


I think that it is possible to draw parallels to both Napoleon and Hitler who did the same mistake as Charles XII. They also attacked Russia and had extreme difficulties with surviving the Russian weather and country. It is sometimes said that Hitler had the “Napoleon complex”, since he also was a warmonger, wanted to conquer Europe and finally, he also fell for the Russian winter. I think that maybe we can call Charles XII a predecessor of this disease since it is a synonym to power-hungry, which Charles XII, just as many leaders throughout history, was.


As a conclusion, I believe that if Sweden had not fought on too many frontiers and if Charles XII had not made an assault on Russia with his substandard truss, the geography of northern Europe would have been different to what it is today. Nevertheless, this did not happen, and the Swedish Empire, which was born out of a bloodbath, did die in one as well.


According to today’s situation in Sweden and Europe, it would be possible to speculate if the European Union is a result of the 17th-18th century when many countries wanted to establish an empire. Because instead of having many countries that want to create an empire, the EU is a corporation where we instead go together as one united empire, and try to solve the problems of the world. Or what do you think?


For further knowledge and information about the Swedish Empire, check out this page:



//Olof Eriksson IB1

Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834)

The Spanish Inquisition was one out of many Inquisitions which existed to root out and punish heretics. Since the Inquisitions were a part of the Catholic Church, heretics were simply baptized people who had ideas that didn’t go well with the Catholic Church.
This seems like an effective way to control people to think like you, or in this case the Catholic Church. The simple existence of an Inquisition probably scared many people so that they didn’t dare speak against the church. Because, sure, only 0,1%) or so who were prosecuted by the Spanish Inquisition were actually executed, but maybe you would be amongst the 0,1% if you would dare say something? Even if you weren’t amongst one of the “lucky” few, circa 440 if the numbers are correct, torture was much more common than executions. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if keeping my mouth shut would save me from torture and possible execution, I would definitely keep my mouth shut!
The Spanish Inquisition seems like the predecessor of Gestapo to me, especially since it was first Jews who had converted to Catholicism who were the main targets of the Spanish Inquisition. Later, however, they moved on to prosecuting Muslims who had converted, and later their main focus became converted Protestants. Jews were recently quite feared in the world, at least if you ask Hitler, and today mankind is generally scared of Muslims. Maybe Protestants are our next fear, if this pattern is to continue?
You may have noticed that the Spanish Inquisition started during the Middle Ages, and that it was terminated during the Enlightenment. Maybe, during the Enlightenment, they realised how stupid it was to prosecute heretics simply because they held beliefs contrary to the Catholic Church. Perhaps during the Enlightenment knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge was more important than religious beliefs, and therefore they didn’t see the need of the Spanish Inquisition during the Enlightenment? I believe so, and this seems to be the popular belief.
During the Enlightenment, people generally started to search for scientific answers instead of religious ones. It seems to me like the Spanish Inquisition was abolished due to the fact that people wanted to be able to express their views and thoughts without fearing torture or execution as a result. This was a result of the fact that people during the Enlightenment were broadening their minds more than before, searching for answers and sometimes alternative answers for some questions that, e.g., the church already had answered in one way, much like people are still doing today.
Would you speak your mind even if it might get you tortured and possibly executed? Or would you prefer to stay quiet and live a quiet, fearful life?

Here is a link to a Monty Python sketch, which I think illustrates how feared the Spanish Inquisition was even though it wasn’t really as bad as we usually imagine it, since only 440 people were executed when people usually exaggerate it to tens of thousands who were executed. It also illustrates how the aim of the Inquisitors was to gain a confession, sometimes with the use of torture (although the torture was of course more painful than in this video).


For more info on the Spanish Inquisition, please go to:


By: Lia

Envar har rätt att allestädes erkännas som person i lagens mening. – FN:s deklaration om de mänskliga rättigheterna



Does every human being have the right to be counted as person and always have the same rights as everybody else? This is something that we as women have fought for for a long time and it all started during the French Revolution when they said that all human beings have the same rights and when the women heard about it they started to require that they should be able to vote and do  things that the men have the right to do. However it wasn’t as easy as it may seem like, because the government hadn’t thought about this when they made the law and then 1798 they took the decision that women didn’t counted as a person. It wasn’t until 1948 all people counted as a person and that was when they wrote this quote you can find in the heading; “Envar har rätt att allestädes erkännas som person i lagens mening” which is in the United Nations declaration about human rights.


I think that we can associate this today about which we think for example should have the right to vote. All people say that it is bad that the women didn’t had the right to vote for a long time when the men could do it, but today we still are mad and think that some people who can vote shouldn’t have the right to do it. For example in some states in the US they think, or I don’t think, that a mass murderer should have the right to help deciding laws that concern criminality. So why do we give them right to vote, and thereby influence the making of laws, when it took so long time for the women to get the right to vote? Or what do you think?


// Alexandra

Simon Bolivar – A man of liberty.

I found Simon Bolivar to be a very interesting man. He made half of South America free from Spanish rule, simply by following his thoughts and with a good strategy. Do you want to know more about his earlier life and birth you got a link here http://www.embavenez-us.org/kids.venezuela/simon.bolivar.htm.


Simon Bolivar was born in a wealthy family and by that he got a good and a sophisticated education. After school he travelled a lot in Europe. When he was in France and Italy he learned a lot about enlightenments philosophy. He was most engaged with philosophy of Voltaire, Locke and Rousseau. Bolivar was a big fan of the French and the American Revolution and wanted the freedom for his own country some day. While travelling back to Caracas he travelled through the United States, who recently won independence from Great Britain. By that he thought it was time for his own country to be independent from Spain.

He begun his “war” against the Spanish rule with no more number soldiers than then thousands in Caracas and with help from Francisco de Miranda who lead the troops he occupied Caracas. Just to ensure his finance he made a third trip to Europe so he could anticipate in Venezuela’s independence. Unfortunately he lost this battle and the Spanish troops defeated Miranda and his troops. He tried for a few years to occupy Venezuela but could not really defeat the Spanish army. He was hiding from the Spanish troops in New Granada. But after a couple of years he tried once more to occupy Venezuela and this time he succeeded. Spanish Royalists wanted to defeat the man of liberty and with help from people who did not like Bolivar they succeeded and Bolivar had to capture in New Granada.

Bolivar was really smart though. By travelling to Haiti he made some new important friends. Haiti who recently won independence from France had a new government who decided to help Bolivar in his battle against Spain. With help from Haiti he could expend his army with English and Irish Mercenaries and could make a base in New Granada. With this army he got Bogota free from Spain. After this he became president in Colombia and made Venezuela completely free from Spain. A few years later he freed Ecuador from Spain. The last Spanish rule in South America was in Lima and Bolivar marched in with his armies and made Lima free. Bolivar who was president in Colombia insisted to get the liberated countries to be only one country. Bolivar with his strict rules was not a good government leader. He was obsessed with his vision of the united countries which the people started to doubt. The people started to do independence movements against Bolivar, and with in four years they made the united country to four single countries again and Bolivar went back to only be Colombia’s President.

With unsure health he resigned as President for Colombia.

Is there a possibility for someone to change the history in the way that Simon Bolivar did, to get liberty for a country that needs it?

I say there is. I even think that there maybe is a more simple way to do it inn the modern days.

With all the technology we got to day it is easier to for example get finance support from other countries simply by a click. Someone can sit with a phone or with a computer to communicate with others. Still there is a lot to do and off course you need to go out in the world to make a difference. I still do think that there is a way to change a country to the best if the person who wants it do it for the right cause and have the strength and patient to do so. What do you think?

/ Unni





Olympe de Gouges

Olympe de Gouges (or Marie Gouze) was born in France the year of 1746. She was a writer, feminist and a political activist. She fought for women’s and slaves and children’s rights. Olympe de Gouges supported the French revolution but was very disappointed when the human rights didn’t include both men and women. Her biggest focus was on the women rights. So, Olympe de Gouges started fighting for women rights in the 18th century, for women and men to be equal, why aren’t we there yet? I think that women could be just as good leaders as men. On a page that I found it says this


“Children have a special close connection with their mothers that can't be matched with the relationship they have with their fathers. It's often said that if women ruled the world, there would be no wars because, as mothers, they couldn't bring themselves to send their sons to war. A world ruled by men seems to have no problem doing so. And now they send their daughters, too”.


So why aren’t there more women leaders, I mean a world without wars wouldn’t that be great!? I think that, again the prejudices play a big part! People think that men are stronger but what are the proofs? I mean both England and Germany have female leaders and both countries are going great.


If you look back in time when we were nomads, all were equal, everyone’s work for the tribe was just as important, and when children were born they belonged to the tribe and not no the parents. Then we became settlers, we started to build our own houses and suddenly we started to get more civilized and the men wanted their sons to become inheritors, so they had to be sure of which son were theirs and there was only one way to know, they had to “isolate” the women. Here is where it all started, when women became inferior to the man. So as you understand we have had this “system” for a while now so it is not strange that it is the way it is in the society today and that we are used to it. The political ideologies and religions etc have supported this. So, what keeps us from having an equal society? Why is it so hard to get there?

// Hedvig

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei was born February 15 1564, in Pisa, Italy.

His area was mathematics, astronomy and physics.

I think that the most important work he did was the improvement of the telescope.

The telescope was an invention of Hans Lippershey but it was Galileo who improved it.

His first telescope had a capacity of 3x zoom but within a year he succeeded making a stronger telescope with over 30x magnification.

This was an important invention for our understanding in astronomy.

He realized that there was an uncountable number of stars in the universe.

He saw the different phases of the planets and the moon. Maybe most famous for the discover of the moons of Jupiter, also called the Galilean moons.

This observation made him consider if the catholic teach really was right, he did not believe that the earth was the centrum of the universe.

1590 Galileo read the book of Copernicus and with his own observations he started to believe in heliocentric, that means that all the planets circuits around the sun.

It was 1632 Galileo gave out his book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. This made chaos.

That is understandable because for ages people have believed that earth was the centre of the universe. Now someone told them that what they knew was wrong.

The catholic church wasn’t happy with this, they wanted people to believe their theory and 1633 accused for teaching the false doctrine.

With support from the pope Urban VIII and his age reduced the judgment.

He could now never leave his house but that did not stop him from writing new books.

Why I chose to write about the telescope is because he went against the church, telling people that what they knew about earth and the solar system was wrong. He made people think independently, not believe every thing the church told them. Also other people could now study the sky with help from his telescope. This must have lead to a bunch of new discovers.

If you want to read more about Galileo Galilei check out this article.




Imagine that you live during the 18th and you  have a migraine.

Where did you go and what did you do in order so fix this painful problem?  Well, lucky for you there is a solution, it is called trepanning!


Trepanning is very ancient, so ancient in fact that it is considered the most ancient form of surgery know to man. The word Trepanning comes from the Greek language (trupanon) and it means Borer, which means drill. The simple explanation for trepanning is, basically, that the surgeon drills or scrapes open a hole in your skull in order to get access to the brain.

The art of trepanning was practiced as early as 10.000 B.C in Europe, South America and in some regions of North America. Many different kinds of sculls have been found over the course of time mostly in Roman, Greek, Eastern, Chinese, Egyptian and African cultures and in Africa today tribes are still using this kind of surgery in the belief that it will cure headaches, migraines, let out evil spirits and cure insanity just as they did in the ancient times and without anesthesia, meaning that the patient is wide awake! Scientist even have evidence that approximately 70% survived the operation and had repeated sessions!


Trepanning is still carried out in our modern society, mainly Africa and South America. Usually used to treat cases of head injury, as it can relieve pressure from the brain such as fluid or blood build- up. It also allows the insertions of monitoring devices, but the bone is often replaced instead of letting it grow back as the doctors of old did. The doctors of old also kept pieces of their patients skull as lucky charms, which is quite gruesome!

In skulls that have been trepanned what happened to the bone?

The bone eventually started to grow back, forming new bone so the patient survived (most of times) and these surgeries were done without anesthesia, such as narcosis which is used in our hospitals, so the (un)lucky patient was wide awake during the surgery.

Well into the 18th century trepanning was a very common practice, since medicine and surgery were evolving as the church decreased in power. The body was considered a temple and was not allowed to be desecrated until then.

An example of how many times trepanning can be performed on a single person is Prince Philip of Orange (1554-1618), who was the son of a key figured during the Dutch revolution, He was trepanned seventeen times, that has to be a record!


My personal view is that trepanning seems quite disturbing. Drilling a hole in a persons skull to get access to the brain, which is most precious of all, but it have and is being used over decades so that is quite the proof of it being a good way to, for example relieve pressure from he brain. The people that did die, died from infection after the actual surgery and the cleanliness in hospitals was very bad until the 18th century when the doctors very forced to wash their hands after touching a patient. What do you think and feel? Is trepanning a good thing or should we find something new? Please comment if you feel like it, a discussion is always nice.





”Själen är den oförstörbara världens spegel” – Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz.

Does every human being have a soul? Back in time, the people that lived then did not believe that every human had a soul, which made the humans none equal to each other. Today it is different; today every human is equal, either they are black or white, Christians or Muslim. I believe that every human being have a soul. What does the soul do? Does the soul reflect our feeling, thoughts and our acting? Or does the soul just reflect some of it? I believe that the soul reflects our feelings, thoughts and our acting. Not only what we think and how we act. The soul reflects much deeper. Our souls reflect every little thought behind every little action. Our souls do also reflect our view of our selves, where we would like to be and how we would like to be as a person. Maybe the world and all living organism have a soul as well, just like us humans.

Is the world really unbreakable? If we can have a broken heart without showing it cannot the world and the souls be broken without us seeing it as well? We do not always need to see things that exist; we cannot see feelings and all the souls and not even the whole world itself. But we still believe in those things, believe that those things exist. I think that the world can be broken. We are just too blind to see it. We are to blind too se a lot of things, there is a lot of things that we are missing.

So, is the soul the mirror to the world? Back in time, people maybe thought that the nobility where the mirror to the world, that the nobility way of behave where a good way and that they reflect how the world where; good, big, and noble. We can also think in another direction from today, this we can relate to what I have written further up on this page. If we gather together every single soul in this world, do we then have a big soul that is the soul of the world? And then, are this big soul the mirror to the feelings and thoughts of the world? We will never have an answer to this. I believe that this can be the true, that the souls of ours actually are the mirror to the world.

Maybe it is just me that thinks that this universe is bigger than it actually is. That it is me having to big thoughts about the world and our lives. We may not even have a soul and the world may not even be a world, this could be nothing but it can also be everything.

To find more information about Leibniz, please go to:

I would love that you guys wrote some of your thoughts about this. Feel free to discuss about the soul and the world. Thank you for reading my text.

/ Linnéa.

John Locke and the Basis of Empiricism:

Empiricism held an essential philosophical position during the Enlightenment. It began and developed in England. Its foundations were created in the end of the seventeenth century by John Locke.

Even though Locke’s philosophy was given the same name as Francis Bacon’s philosophy, they are and always have been two different currents.

According to John Locke there are no inborn ideas. This means we need to learn everything in our life. Humans coming to this world are like ‘tabula rasa’ – the blank slate. We know nothing and our knowledge comes only from what we’ve experienced and learned. However, we may only gain the material of knowledge; the power of our mind is innate. This allows us not only to learn and believe, but also analyze  gathered information. ‘Sensations’ are processes, which happened in the external world and ‘reflections’ are our thoughts and conclusions.

As stated by Locke, everything  in our mind: our own observations, external experiences, abstract conceptions and fantasies; every other thing is considered to be an individual ‘idea’. There might be either simple ideas (not created by us, only acquired  by experience) and complex ideas (combinations of simple ideas).

Taking into consideration Locke’s theories:  when we see a squirrel, it becomes some sort of idea to our mind, a signal picked up from environment. We are not in the possession of any proof, that this squirrel actually exists, but internal reflections are supposed to convince us, that we are not wrong and the squirrel is real.

John Locke was an extremely logical man. He might not have been a genius, but thank to his sober and moderated way of thinking many views in science were strengthened. Nevertheless, are his opinions true? Are we really born with no knowledge about world surrounding us? What about the ethical principles? If we are born without them, do we actually know the difference between good and evil? An we trust our senses, when they deliver information to our mind?

This is just my way of looking at this subject. How about you? What are your opinions about John Locke and empiricism?

Get more info about John Locke at:




Prejudices are what fools use for reason

I have chosen to reflect on a quote that the famous philosopher and writer Voltaire (1694-1778) once said.

The quote: “Fördomar är de okunnigas argument” or “Prejudices are what fools use for reason”.

I really agree with Voltaire on this one! If you look at the world today prejudices really are what fools use for reason.

It is really easy to have preconceptions and judge but I think that this is really based on lack of knowledge or jealousy. Think about it! When you do not know, you guess instead according to your own personal experience, therefore prejudices are a big part of the modern society.

Just think of all the things/people that you might miss out on!

For example, if you see someone on the street, let’s say that it is a blond woman with big breasts and short skirt, what would you do? I think that all of us would judge that person in some way, because we all do it, we judge people and other people probably judge us as well. So, I think that we can all agree on that this is wrong, we do not want people to judge us so why do we judge them? I mean ever since we were very small we have heard from our parents/teachers that “You should treat people the way you want to be treated yourself. ”Why don’t we learn from this? One of the explanations is simply the personality of every individual person some of us have more prejudices than others. Another explanation is that our brain constantly is trying to categorize the things we see, hear, smell etc.

What can we do to prevent this? I think that every person has to look to themselves and think “am I a person who use a lot of prejudices?” but this might be hard for some of us because sometimes it might be easier to find faults I others instead of ourselves.


Voltaire used this argument to fight prejudices at his time and today we might as well use it against SD (Sverigedemokraterna). I think that the quote “Prejudices are what fools use for reason” really fits in here and in their political view. What do you think?


The Sun King’s Physicians

When people think of physicians, they think of people who save lives every day. Well, during the Enlightenment this was not true. During the Enlightenment, physicians existed to help the rich people with their physical problems, for example to ease their headaches. Only the very rich could afford a physician, though at this time you may have been healthier without a physician “helping you”.

Louie XIV’s (also known as the Sun King) physicians probably did a lot more harm than they helped. Getting bled with leeches was a common treatment to, well, pretty much anything during that time. Though since you need the antibodies in the white blood cells to fight disease, draining the body of blood doesn’t really make sense to me. They didn’t have this knowledge in the Sun King’s time, and it must somehow have made a lot of sense then.

The Sun King’s physicians helped, or tried to help, even the smallest of the King’s discomforts, such as a minor headache or acid mouth. However, I suspect that a lot of the King’s discomforts were in fact caused by his physicians’ strange treatments.

The most radical thing done to the Sun King by his physicians was the removing of his teeth. His physician at the time had recently learned that the teeth were the largest risk of getting an infection in the body. Therefore, he figured that he’d remove the Sun King’s teeth while they were still strong and healthy. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately his physician accidentally cracked his lower jaw and removed a bit of his palate. This led to the king only being able to eat fluids, and the food often got stuck in the mouth where the piece of the palate was missing, which led to the King getting acid mouth and a horribly bad breath since the food could stay there for weeks. But since he was the king of France, he did the fashionable thing in France at the time and drowned himself in perfume; creating an awful odour (actually washing yourself in water was only for the poor who couldn’t afford perfume).

Having a physician for yourself is not something I’d say no to. Imagine having a doctor around 24/7, attending your slightest discomforts at all times. Doesn’t that seem wonderful? Then imagine having a doctor around 24/7 who would remove your teeth, crack your lower jaw and drain you of blood as often as he could. Doesn’t seem as appealing anymore, does it?

Most people are deathly afraid to go the dentist’s today, imagine how scary it would be if they would remove all of your teeth while you were still “young and healthy”. I, for one, would never dare go to the dentist if this was the case, especially not if they were as clumsy and obviously untrained as the Sun King’s physician.

Getting bled with leeches would not be something I’d look forward to when going to the doctor. I’ve got this crazy idea that my blood is to more use to me in my veins than in some leeches. If anyone disagrees, please give me a reason to change my mind about this.

However appealing it does sound to have a physician of your own, I do prefer the life-saving kind of physicians instead of the headache/acid mouth-curing physicians.

Louie XIV did in some miraculous way manage to become 77 years old, despite his physicians’ unintended attempts to kill him by their “treatments”. Or maybe because of these treatments, though that doesn’t seem likely to me. But who knows, maybe we should all get rid of our teeth while we still can and get leeches in some safe place at home so we can drain ourselves of blood whenever we get sick?

For more information on the medical care of Louie XIV (1638-1715), please go to:


Politics- Natural law


Natural law is based on the moral of a person. Natural law is essential for the democracy and for many politic ideologies. Not even God can change these laws. Natural law was founded in the ancient world, but during the 18th century people started to develop the thoughts from this time. Natural law is the predecessor to human rights.


I think that Natural law is a very good idea! I agree with Aristoteles when he says that it is unnatural that one person takes the liberty to make decisions over all the others in a society, and decide everything on his own. But on the other hand I think that a society without some sort of a leader would be a bit chaotic. I think that Locke (1632-1704) had very good thoughts. He says that every human being has both rights and responsibilities. Everybody has right to freedom, life and property. If somebody insults these rights he should be reproved. If a discussion is developed, it is good to have a leader who can solve the problem in a fair way.

One of the Natural law’s policies is that “contracts should be hold”. I totally agree with this! If you promise something you should stick to it. If you know that you will not be able to make what you have promised you should not promise anything from the beginning.

This is my opinions… What do you think? Are we all born with rights which nothing can change?


/ Hanna




Philosophy, Pascal’s Wager

“Either Christianity is true or it's false. If you bet that it's true, and you believe in God and submit to Him, then if it IS true, you've gained God, heaven, and everything else. If it's false, you've lost nothing, but you've had a good life marked by peace and the illusion that ultimately, everything makes sense. If you bet that Christianity is not true, and it's false, you've lost nothing. But if you bet that it's false, and it turns out to be true, you've lost everything and you get to spend eternity in hell.” -


These are the words of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) who was a French mathematician, a physicist, an inventor, a writer and a Catholic philosopher during the Scientific Revolution. These words are known as Pascal’s Wager. They are not an evidence for the existence of God, but they are his defence and argument for believing in God.


As a radical contrast to those “proofs” of the existence of God made by earlier philosophers, Pascal’s Wager is not an evidence for the existence of God. Pascal considered that there was no idea in trying to prove God’s existence and instead, he decided to concentrate on finding reasons for believing in God. As a matter of fact, I agree with him, because how can we know if God exists? Right now there is only one way to find out if he exists, to end your life, and then find it out. Although, I can assure, you will not be likely to tell anyone else about it.


Although Pascal was the first who came up with the first theory of this kind, he was not the first who had been thinking in this direction. Plato, Arnobius, Lactantius and the Islamic theologian Al-Ghazali are some other important philosophers who were at the same line of reasoning.


Many philosophers think Pascal’s Wager is the weakest of all arguments for believing in the existence of God. I, on the other hand, think that it is a start and believe that Pascal really was onto something. Consider the times he lived in. Atheism was growing in Europe and the old arguments for believing in God were fading away. Pascal came up with a new argument for believing in God that I think, to a certain limit, is strong enough for the moment to dam the tide of Atheism. What it is that makes his theory special is that he supports his belief on logic reasoning instead of pure faith. By doing so, he shows us that the modern time of science and enlightenment is here, and I think that that makes the argument even stronger.


I agree with Pascal’s Wager in one way. Because as you can see in Pascal’s Wager, he believes that you have nothing to lose if you have faith in God. This makes sense to me, because, honestly, what do you lose? Someone might say that the greatest loss is time. The amount of time a person has lost in worship and devotion that could have been spent on something else. Well, as a matter of fact, I do not see life in that way. My interpretation is that if you live a life where you attempt to be a good Christian, you will find out being that is more than just worship to God. To be a pure Christian is to be a good person, to treat others just as you would like others to treat you (The Golden Rule), and other examples of being empathetic and sympathetic.


And yet, there are some things that I find difficult to corporate with in Pascal’s Wagers. Because Pascal said many things that I certainly never would agree with, and as a follower of Jansenism (A movement within Catholicism that highlighted the infinite might of God), Pascal believed that only a chosen group would receive the infinite grace of God, while the other ones would be awarded with a one-way ticket to hell. Here is where my beliefs and Pascal’s differ the most. I do not believe that God’s infinite grace only is given to a chosen group. Instead, I believe that all God’s creatures share his immeasurable grace. Neither do I believe that your final destination will be hell if you do not believe in Christianity. I think that is one of the biggest misunderstandings and mistakes mankind ever have done. I neither believe that we are born sinful nor have to obey God to avoid hell. Actually, if I should be honest, which of course is essential in my own article that I am, I do not believe in hell at all, since according to the Bible, and my interpretation of it, God gave mankind a free will and the opportunity to decide what to do and what not to do. Humans are equipped with feelings, morality and other things to help her in her choices. The adaptation of God where he is evil and sending none-believers to hell is, according to my own opinion, not the real God. This is a god who man has created, not the God who has created man.


The question is, why should we believe in God, if he nevertheless will not punish us for not believing in him? I find the answer easy to understand. He might not punish infidelity but who said that he does not reward allegiance? However that question, my dear friends who have read this far to long text, is yet another mind-twister that we will not be likely to find out the truth about yet.


As a conclusion, I do not think it is relevant to discover if Christianity is true or false. My opinion is that I see Christianity as a lifestyle where you aim to be an caring and loving human being in a world where war, suffering and fear is part of many peoples’ everyday life. Christianity for me can be a good way to live a good life marked by peace, love and the illusion that everything will, finally, make sense.


Please comment on this article and tell my about your opinion!

For more info about Pascal and his Wagers, check out Wikipedia’s featured article about Blaise Pascal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal


By: Olof Eriksson

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