Is Kant’s Enlightenment Actually Beneficial?
Kant states that enlightenment is essentially thinking for yourself and using reason to make decisions instead of just following an authoritative figure. What is the point of being enlightened though? Would making your own decisions actually make you happy? According to Hannah More’s writing, Village Politics, enlightenment does not neccessarily bring happiness. Having total freedom, including freedom of thought, can cause chaos and disorganization. Just like in the French Revolution, people revolted against the authorites (i.e. King Louis) because they thought they were enlightened and wanted freedom. Thousands of people were killed during the French Revolution and this was a very dangerous time to be living in France. Human’s have a natural want of security and predictability, and authorities clearly provide that. They tell you what you can and can’t do. Enlightenment can cause debate and arguments, which can lead to nothing getting done at all. So, is Kant’s idea of enlightenment beneficial to society?