“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”



During the Enlightenment the rise against the church started. The famous philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau were two of the people who protested against the church in France. These two persons abandoned the Catholicism for a smaller religion called the deism. Deists believe that there is a God and that he created universe, but they believe that God have retired, which makes it pointless to pray and serve him. Rousseau also stated that the human is good and have a free will, and therefore it does not need to obey nor God or the church. I myself think it was quite a brave thing to do when they protested against church. The church had had great powers for over a millennium, a power which was so strong that you might think that it should be able to resist a wave of protests. They killed many protests hoping that it might scare off others protesters. But as you all should know by now there is one thing that is stronger than the sword – the pen. One man who was very good in using the competence of writing was Voltaire. He has written many famous quotes that he used against the church. These quotes became very popular and he became a sort of “leader” of the protesters.      A painting from the enlightenment showing a catholic church

One of these quotes is:
“All good Christians’ glory in the folly of the Cross. Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.”
But the protesters did not only protest at the power of the church. They also protested against the persecution of the Protestants’ driven by the Catholicism. When the Protestantism began to spread across Europe, the Catholics tried to stop it by persecute the Protestants’ and kill them. Voltaire was against this, and he tried to gain more people to be against it.
Rousseau was both a philosopher and a politician, and he had several political quests, one among them was to make the individual will conform the general will (la volonté générale) of the citizens. What Rousseau was trying to say is that when you for instance are going to elect, you should vote for the party or that politician that is best for society, not the party or persons that is better for your own. If you follow this, you are acting as the General will want you to do. He was also against the church, although not as much as Voltaire was.

I think that the protesters formed the community into a new one including more choices of your own. Free choices also develop the world faster. I mean, what if we still would have had the feudal system like in the medieval? In the feudal system the church had a high and important role to control the people. The medieval developed almost nothing at all during an almost entire millennium. When the enlightenment started, new products and inventions were starting to be developed. The people were thinking different, which I believe led to the rise against the church. What do you think?

Here are some pages if you are interested in more facts about this! :)
Quotes from Voltaire: http://spirous5.blogspot.com/
Facts about Rousseau & the general will: http://www.idehist.uu.se/distans/ilmh/Ren/idehist-rousseau-volonte.htm

Erik Jonsson

The Witchcraft Trials in Salem


From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials.  Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended.


What caused the Salem witch trials of 1692? This question has been asked for over 300 years. Although it is a simple question, it does not have an easy answer. The answer is difficult because there are numerous factors and events that helped create and influence the trials. The main factors that started and fuelled the trials were politics, religion, family feuds, economics, and the imaginations and fears of the people.


I can't imagine if I was a child during this awful time period. Seeing my parents participate in something so awful and so unreal. Everyone believing things that I had no choice but to believe in also. Watching people being hanged for something they had no part in and most of all enjoying their suffering. If I was one of the children during the Salem Witch Trials I would try my best to stay with what I knew was right, but most likely I would get caught up believing the unbelievable and seeing the innocent suffer.



Religion during the enlightenment

From the cradle to the grave. That is how long the Christian church affected peoples life, thousands of lifetimes were spent within the walls of massive cathedrals who were built to honor an astral being no one ever had ever seen or had any proof exsisted.

From the moment you were born, you were in God's hands. The first thing that happend to a newborn baby was, besides the incredible accomplishment of breathing on it's own, was to become baptised. Since the death of infants was so high during that time, it was very important to get a baby baptised otherwise it would be sent straight to Hell. There was even a special section in Hell for that.
During the enlightenment most branches of science started to evolve, medicine, chemistry, physics so on and so forth. As most of us know, science and religion do not play very well together. '
As science began to make progress, they found more and more evidence that the exsistance of a God seemed highly unlogical.

I, myself, is not a very religious person. I see religion as a bunch of philosophies with some good idead and some really wierd ones. I see religion as the biggest drawback humanity has ever sufferd and that just restricts us from almost everything and can slow a civilization down so much that it almost comes to a halt.
When people started questioning the curch and God, we broke some massive chains. Science soared and we could move on to a better life without the fear that if we do not follow the holy rules we will burn in hell.

How do you think the world would have looked like if religion still had it's iron grip?
Would the world look any diffrent than it does today?


”It is difficult to free fools from chains they revere” Voltaire

”It is difficult to free fools from chains they revere”   Voltaire


Human beings consider themselves the leader of this world, we have advanced our technology in the course of the years, but in many ways they are just like ants who follow blindly the one ahead of them…

We can be easily manipulated by leaders of a group or rulers of a country into following a certain ceremony or traditions or adopting a certain way of a living, we will even fight hard to resist change when being challenged, as such we will lose our mind, stop thinking who we are, what we do, we will forget our creativity and individuality and I don’t see we are any better than the ants we see in the garden. For example, what if a priest was to be told by a man passing him on the street, that everything that the church stands for is wrong, would he just concede to that thought? Would he stop believing in God just because a random guy on the street tells him so? I am quite sure that he most certainly will not do that, I do not think anybody would do so, true or not, we have been brought up with the idea of the existence of a God. He would probably accept that this person does not believe in God and perhaps he might even try to convince this guy to start believing in God.

As a result, a fool or not, this is the way we are raised, we are taught to live in a certain way, following a certain way of living and we are simply too foolish or too lazy to think out of the box and see if what we are following is the ideal of perfect way of living. We would rather live in security than exploring new frontiers.



Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell was a man who made the Puritanism big in England in the 1600. He was a man from Cambridge and was an English military and a politician. He was the leader of the revolt against the monarchy. He was a clearly Puritan and thought that redemption was not anything you could deserve but for something you got from God by believing in Jesus Christ. He also thought that every Christian had the right to believe in the way that they wanted. He welcomed any kind of people when he was Lord Protector.  He took his religion seriously and was against some churches like the Roman Catholic Church that he thought that they did not take Christianity seriously. He wanted to get rid of oppression and he himself ended up being an oppressor. I think that he really did not know how to say things because at first he says that every Christian has the right that believe how they wanted, but what I think he really meant was that it was all right to believe at Puritanism and that Puritanism was the way to believe in. That he himself becomes an oppressor show a bit of uncertainty, if he wanted to get rid of it oppression why did he ended up as an oppressor, shows that he is not a god leader. I think that it is up to each one of us to believe in what we want and that no one should force us to believe in things that we really do not believe in. That is why the society today is so great. Every individual has the right to believe in what they want and that is the thing that matters. But still in some parts of the world people are forced to do things that they do not want because of religion and some think that there religion is great. But the people who do not think that maybe they are suffering. Every people have the right to think that their opinion counts but that is not everyone that thinks it does and I think that is wrong. What do you think?


If you want to know more about Oliver Cromwell here is a link.



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?


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

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

“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


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?



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

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