Opinion

Enlightenment darkened

After years of wars, revolutions, slaughter, and executions, the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation finally gave rise to the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is based on the belief that human reason and intellect constitute the supreme authority in determining what we the people should hold as true. Truths should not be determined by infallible kings, popes, preachers or any self-proclaimed authority.

The Enlightenment was a period when the experiment of rule of, by, and for the people should become the law of any society and country. The human intellect should be the arbiter of science, morals, ethics, and politics.

These self-evident truths were the foundation of our country and were implemented over the years with various and sometimes-dubious results. The foundation for these truths is that we the people get together and talk about what we hold as self-evident. Without open and free conversation there can be no “we the people”!

Today the Enlightenment is being darkened by the hordes of self-proclaimed truth mongers preaching from pulpits and political rostrums. Politics, which should be the enlightened concerns of how people get along with each other, has become a poker game by politicians, who use we the people as pawns in a game aimed at enriching themselves at the expense of we the people, a poker game where cheating, bluffing and lying is the supreme rule.

Truth is no longer arrived at by deliberation but is proclaimed by the winner in the game of politics. We are returning to the times way before the Enlightenment when might made right, and truth was a self-proclaimed infallible gift from a god almighty. We are entering the Dark Ages once more! We need a reformation and a renaissance of trust in truth, based on reason and intellect and not on what feels good at the moment, or which fills our bank accounts!

Jake Hjorth
Grand Marais


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