Today in Britain, there are some practices which we view with a kind of gentle paternalism; they’re customs which we think beneath us, or too antiquated to be of use. One of them is the practice of burning people in effigy, something which is now only practiced by oddballs, people whose ideas of vengeance and often humour are remarkably primitive. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Thomas Paine
Why Defend the Enlightenment?
The Enlightenment is under attack. The very essence of modernity – and the very engine which drove much of what we take for granted from the present – is under threat. And not just from theocrats and fascists and the usual assortment of nihilistic individuals with a death wish, one of whom was narrowly prevented last week from massacring innocents on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris. Opposition to Enlightenment values is widespread, diverse – and it is growing. Continue reading