Part 1: Some of the more characteristic doctrines of the Enlightenment focused on the power and goodness of human rationality:
1) Reason is the most significant and positive capacity of the human;
2) reason enables one to break free from primitive, dogmatic, and superstitious beliefs holding one in the bonds of irrationality and ignorance;
3) in realizing the liberating potential of reason, one not only learns to think correctly, but to act correctly as well;
4) through philosophical and scientific progress, reason can lead humanity as a whole to a state of earthly perfection;
5) reason makes all humans equal and, therefore, deserving of equal liberty and treatment before the law;
6) beliefs of any sort should be accepted only on the basis of reason, and not on traditional or priestly authority; and
7) all human endeavors should seek to impart and develop knowledge, not feelings or character. (pbs.com)
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson embodied the Age of Enlightenment. Use your choice of three of the seven doctrines to explain and prove these author’s philosophies. Make sure you draw on our readings to support your choices. Next, consider and discuss how these doctrines have been advanced, tested, and revised as the nation has grown and evolved.
Part II: Briefly describe several, meaning more than two, of the conditions of the slave ship as experienced by Olaudah Equiano and related in his narrative. Compare his narrative to that of Phillis Wheatley’s experience. You must use selected quotes from each, but then interpret, in your own words, what the quotes mean and what their impact is on the reader.