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Johan Norberg: the Fight between light and darkness goes again in our time

It is the walpurgis eve – and we go towards lighter times. The global illiteracy rate has been halved in three decades, and poverty continues to decline by near

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Johan Norberg: the Fight between light and darkness goes again in our time

It is the walpurgis eve – and we go towards lighter times. The global illiteracy rate has been halved in three decades, and poverty continues to decline by nearly 100,000 people every day. Astronomers photograph the black holes in other galaxies, this week's New Scientist tells us that we will soon have pills against ageing ailments.

Still, it feels sometimes like we are about to enter a darker time. When we finally got the technology that made it possible for everyone could make themselves heard seemed to many to have longed to fill it with könsord and invektiv, with tribalism, misinformation and faktaresistens.

Recently, for example, two american scientists alarm that the scientists who presented facts about the greenhouse effect will be hated by the right, while those who make the genetically modified crops, in turn, defamed by the left. And in less than two decades after measles declared eradicated in the united states is raging on now in six states, including on the basis of the stories about the vaccine dangers.

What we made of the progress that the enlightenment promised? We were naive and thought that free speech would ensure an enlightened, civilized conversations and ensure development?

go lyrikern and upplysningsmannen Johan Henric Kellgren – or, well, his alter ego Lucidor – out at the local. In the dark källarstugan, he meets the visitors as the game filosoferar on the room shape and furniture color. Someone decides to decide the issue by lighting the candles – tryckfrihetens and the light – which annoys the ”Light enemies” as Kellgrens poem is opposed to. The mystic who in the dark could dream up banshees, and the pastor, to condemn that man is playing God. Monopolist who want to check the light and its who want to control the people.

the Light is probably the most obvious metaphor we have for the knowledge, life and happiness, while the night is dark and full of horrors, to speak with Light the master in ”Game of thrones”. In most mythologies, the light has therefore a fundamental importance. As among the egyptians, where Ra every day for over the sky with the sun on board his ship, while the demoniske the snake Apep every day trying to tear him down in the dark. Also today its mythological function again in everything from the Fiat Lux to the dark and light side of the force in ”Star Wars”.

The blind man knows he cannot see, but the skumögde go boldly forward, and believe themselves to be tread fixed because when in fact he gets down in the dirt.

a central role in the concept of ”enlightenment”. Of Kellgrens variant it looks so simple, almost naïve. The light lights up, the knowledge is disseminated, and the man coming out of his self-inflicted incapacity, except for a few lingering charlatans. Had not the Kellgren been shocked if he got to know that the man in the vrån not at all began to read Voltaire when darkness dispelled by the light, but rather conspiracy theories about school shootings fejkas to change the vapenlagarna?

the Answer is no. Kellgren was aware of the risks. The reason that he fought so hard was not some naive notion that more open debate guaranteed rationality – then had he been able to devote themselves to other things. The reason was that it did not guarantee anything.

the Kellgren and his brother in arms, Nils von Rosenstein was not the victory drunken, they knew that most of the rather ruled by emotion than reason, and felt that their epoch was strangely paradoxical: ”Never saw the light of truth and the dissemination of a more general and cleaner day; never lättro and superstition, prejudices and villas lowering people in a deeper humiliation.”

shock to uppväckelse, noted Kellgren and Rosenstein, but the blow could operate with equal force in opposite directions – it gave förnuftsmänniskan knowledge, but provided at the same time mystic and fanatikern with fragments of knowledge, which could be mixed down in their häxbrygder.

Europe had begun to move forward during the 1700s. Bodies läktes and celestial bodies were measured, but at the same time grew the curiosity on healing and astrology. Christopher Polhem was hesitant nature's secrets through algebra and experimental models at the same time as his assistant Emanuel Swedenborg seem to do the same by speaking with the angels. Kellgren and Rosenstein said that the continent, at one and the same time could be mastered by ”the highest philosophy and the ytterligaste follies”.

Their explanation was that dusk is more treacherous than the light. The blind man knows he cannot see, but the skumögde go boldly forward, and believe themselves to be tread fixed because when in fact he gets down in the dirt. How false someone's worldview than is, he can always google up anything that supports it.

never believed in linear progress, but also that their solution was more light, more research, more debate, not to seek back to the than more dangerous glow. When old prejudices punctured some will embrace the new. It does not indicate that the company was in vain, but that they must be punctured.

Therefore, the fight between light and darkness is always on. In each era, each season of the year. Every morning, flying Ra across the heavens, and day by day it lurks the demon is once again on him, to put the world in darkness. It is a struggle that takes place and must be won every day, that the light shall continue to burn.

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