Enlightenment Defended
Politics • Spirituality/Belief • Culture
Enlightenment Defended will repel the dark nihilism of “post-truth”, woke culture, identity politics, and political correctness. It will catalyse the bright flame of the enlightenment —liberty, reason and progress.

Enlightenment Defended will create an open realm of vigorous philosophical debate through animation, documentaries, poetry, humour, music and myth. People are many-sided in both apprehension and enjoyment.
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Afghanistan Special/ Isolationism & Leading by Example. Part 3 of 3.

International relations specialist Dr Roger Townshend, poet and theologian Alex Brocklehurst, and philosopher Dr Ray Scott Percival take a deep dive into the Afghanistan crisis and place it in a broad historical and logistical perspective.

What does this event look like when viewed through the spectacles of the enlightenment?

Talking points:

1. The USA was isolationist from its independence up until World War I.
2. National sovereignty may be built upon a universal value of freedom from interference.
3. The reciprocal influence between outside interlopers in foreign cultures and the interloping culture. The case of Matteo Ricci, the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing in 1601 when invited by the Wanli Emperor, who sought his services in matters such as court astronomy and calendrical science.
4. Finding reciprocal benefits and values between cultures.
5. Perhaps Autonomy, one of the principles of the Enlightenment, is a universal value that could act as a bridge between very different cultures.
6. Charles Murray's distinction between ordinary inventions —such as the water-wheel, the lever, and the screw-driver— and meta-inventions, such as the printing press, the computer, and the scientific method. Perhaps the enlightenment is a set of meta-inventions (individualism, autonomy, etc.) which, once adopted, deeply affects a culture. (On the concept of metainvention see Murray's book Human Accomplishment.)
7. Perhaps we can lead by promoting, as a meta-invention, the global use of the scientific method.
8. While humanity moves up the chain of being with an iPhone, some people, like Roger, get left behind fumbling with a fax machine. (Joke.)
9. Contrast between the restless expansionist and individualist western world and the wisdom of Buddhism and a contentment ethic of the East.
10. Conclusion. The relevance of Karl Popper’s replacement of the old political question of who should rule? with the question how can we design our institutions in such a way as to maximise their ability to detect and eliminate erroneous decisions, including policies and leaders?

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