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Enlightenment/Ignorance.Ways of Knowing - Assignment Example

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Enlightenment/Ignorance.Ways of Knowing

However, as long as the Self exists in ignorance, it does not and cannot realize the fact that it is created by several factors. This is then the point where enlightenment comes. For as long as there is no enlightenment in the individual, then he or she would simply believe in something default – that the Self is given by God or destined to be what it is. Nevertheless, enlightenment cannot be exactly known without discussing it in the context of ignorance. When one is ignorant, one is pictured as extremely sensitive and vehemently opposing something without even realizing why. For example, one is into anarchism, or the condition where one is “unrestricted by man-made law” and believes that “all forms of government rest on violence” (Goldman 583). This is actually such a negative standpoint from which to proceed. Nevertheless, the ignorant are relentless in believing that “God, the State, and society are non-existent” (584). This they proclaim while contending that “the individual is the heart of the society” and that “society is the lungs which…keep the life essence” (584). How then can society be the “lungs” that keep the individual alive when in fact it had previously been declared that the society is “non-existent”? Thus, the ignorant do not realize that their principles are actually contradictory. Moreover, if the great French anarchist Proudhon states that “Property is robbery,” then I am not even entitled to own my physical body lest I be called a robber (584). Why then should anarchism be the solution to all the ills of the world when anarchism can in fact totally annihilate everything? The ignorant stops here and cannot answer such a question. This is the problem of having contradictions. Such contradictions may have only been a theory by Goldman but they made up the entire philosophy of Marx and Engels – the philosophy of communism, which was loosely based on opposition. Judging only from their own limited or ignorant points of view, the authors contend that opposition exists among the social classes: “…every form of society has been based…on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes” (Marx & Engels 487). If such oppression did exist in Russia and a few other countries of the world, then it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the world would buy the communist ideology – not even some people in some areas of the world which suffered more than Russia. The assumptions of the ignorant are numerous, especially when saying that “the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class” and that “the social conditions of the old society no longer exist for the proletariat” (486). Just because some people were suffering did not necessarily mean that justice should be meted out to those who allegedly made them suffer. After all, they were not forced to work nor were they not paid. The meaning of justice was so much of an abstract that even the philosophers of antiquity like Plato and Socrates would not be able to exactly know what justice meant or whether justice even meant the same as goodness. Therefore, the ignorant would see the suffering proletariat and pity them and demand justice for them without even entertaining the possibility that it is they who caused such suffering in the first place. Similarly, the ignorant have also labeled the bourgeoisie as the cause of the suffering of the proletariat without even wondering that the proletariat would not be able to survive without the work and the wages from the bourgeoisie. Such is ignorance – it always jumps to conclusions and always fosters opposition. There is also futility in the words of the ...Show more


The Self is created by several factors such as social or psychological forces and upbringing as well, and the Self develops from these factors. In this case, one is relatively freer especially for the reason that he has relatively more power to make his own choices…
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Enlightenment/Ignorance.Ways of Knowing essay example
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