Segments in this Video

Enlightenment's Wake: the End of Reason? (01:13)


ChinaDialogue CEO Isabel Hilton introduces the debate on challenges to modern Western thought and values.

Christopher Hamilton: the Pitch (03:39)

Hamilton discusses diversity among Enlightenment thinkers. Beliefs in progress and human fulfillment have influenced Western thought. Environmental destruction makes him skeptical of the idea that progress is inevitable.

Brendan O'Neill: the Pitch (04:31)

O'Neill argues against externalizing threats to the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is an attitude of questioning everything, rather than a value set, and is being corroded from within. He quotes Kant on freedom of thought and sees science as a new moral authority.

Madawi al-Rasheed: the Pitch (04:29)

A social anthropologist, al-Rasheed sees the Enlightenment as a construct distinguishing Europe from the rest of the world. She questions the idea of linear social evolution; magic, religion and science coexist in London.

What are Enlightenment Values and Should We Follow Them? (15:11)

Panelists debate whether the Charlie Hebdo killings were irrational; Hamilton believes free speech and human rights are matters of faith. O'Neill sees freedom as the main Enlightenment value and evidence-based policy as imposing moral authority. Al-Rasheed argues that society is not secular; the Enlightenment inspired imperialism.

Why Do We Still Put Our Faith in the Enlightenment? (06:40)

Hamilton discusses Christian roots of Western values. O'Neill argues that imperialism, fascism and ISIS are anti-Enlightenment and correspond to the Inquisition. He sees morality as a result of freedom, rather than rationality.

What is the Future of Enlightenment? (05:14)

Al-Rasheed discusses how rationality exists in religious belief systems. Democracy and human rights are global concepts that do not belong only to Europe. Hamilton argues that Western values are fragile and shift easily.

Science and the Enlightenment (03:51)

Al-Rasheed believes science can coexist with other ways of looking, interpreting and experiencing the world. Hamilton brings up technology increasing human passivity; O'Neill believes technology molds itself around pre-existing passivity. He cautions against becoming over-tolerant in Western society.

Credits: Enlightenment's Waje (00:20)

Credits: Enlightenment's Waje

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Many assume Enlightenment values will triumph over violence and prejudice. But in the wake of ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, victory seems less inevitable and the age of reason less secure. Might history not be on our side after all? Do we need more passion to combat zealotry's allure or will reason alone win in the end? The Panel Philosopher and theologian Christopher Hamilton, author of Contesting the Saudi State and visiting professor at LSE Madawi al-Rasheed, and editor of Spiked Online Brendan O'Neill push reason to the extreme.

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL145275

ISBN: 978-1-64347-141-9

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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