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Enlightenment and the Present-Day Conflict In the days and nights after the smoke had cleared and the few remaining survivors had been pulled from the debris of the fallen World Trade Center the countries and independent states of the world were faced with a choice Would they choose to support America and in turn its belief in post-Enlightenment theories and practices or would they instead choose to side with the terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists responsible for the attacks men whose medieval outlooks had lead them to ignore reason and tolerance in the name of militant religiosity For the countries that believed that the fundamental rights of man still included freedom liberty and property the choice was clear and they made it without delay They chose civilization To fully understand what is meant by the term post-Enlightenment however a look back to western Europe in the 16th century is necessary It was during this time that a monumental transformation first began to take shape a revolution that would ultimately liberate the West from the constraints that had always hindered the progress of the traditional agrarian societies of old The thoughts and teachings of the Scientific Revolution and later the Enlightenment brought about an entirely different approach to how everyday life was to be carried out The people of the western European countries and consequently the North American colonies were introduced by both Bacon and Descartes to the idea that employing reason and empiricism to issues that confronted them rather than adhering to religious dogma and tradition would be the key to human advancement Men like Newton and Galileo through their theories and discoveries provided the tools for a new modern society to base itself upon innovation and the development of technology rather than simple agriculture and military strength In turn the great thinkers and philosophers such as Hobbes Locke Rousseau and Voltaire provided the commentary necessary for the fundamental changes in social political intellectual
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