Formerly Known as Rockstars' Ramblings
I'm certainly surprised they want to remove Jefferson. Unfortunatly my sputtering potential is limited by the simple fact that I was never taught about the Enlightenment when I was in school. In fact when I first heard the term, it sounded pretentious to me. Nowadays I'm certainly very glad to have learned about it, but Aquinus, Voltair, and other such names were foreign to me back in school. No reference to any of them was given to me.In other words, I'm under the impression that Oklahoma leads the way in marching firmly backwards and Texas is actually behind that particular curve (or U-Turn if you will).
Well, Aquinas, to be accurate, had nothing to do with the Enlightenment. He just sat around his cell feeding his morbid corpulence and gazing at his navel while regurgitating a Catholic-friendly version of Aristotle. He occasionally thought something new or interesting, but what he said that was new was never interesting, and what he said that was interesting was never new.Also, he really was fat. Like super-fucking-obese. He apparently had an arc cut out of his writing desk to accommodate his massive gut so he could use the damn thing. Also, he couldn't fit down the stairs out of his cell, so they once had to rig up a block and tackle outside his window and lower him down in a big basket.And he really did write about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.In short, adding Thomas Aquinas to the Enlightenment requirements is akin to adding Socrates to the study of Ancient Rome. You know, if Socrates were really fat and completely useless.
I'm shocked that they didn't go for Adam Smith. He's the basis of capitalist economics and the free market (even if no conservative and few other people have actually read The Wealth of Nations), and an argument can actually be made that he had an influence on the Founding Fathers. Especially given how few of them were Calvinists. Hell, a better case can be made for including Jesus in this standard. Ben Franklin cited him as an influential thinker in his autobiography (along with Socrates and others), and Jefferson even edited a book about his life and teachings! At least that'd be more accurate than Thomas fucking Aquinas.
They included Adam Smith in the economics standard:http://positiveliberty.com/2010/03/cloud-meet-the-silver-lining-silver-this-is-cloud.htmlA pity they want with name-dropping over the teaching of actual economic concepts.I agree with you Tom, that there is a case to be made that Smith influenced the Founders, since the Wealth of Nations has a small section advocating the disestablishment of religion, arguing that it improve the health and vigour of religious institutions.
Smith was a very important figure in the Enlightenment (at least the Scottish bit of it) - while he may or may not have directly influenced the Founders (I wouldn't know), there can be no doubt that his ideas were extremely influential in the general intellectual tenor of the period.
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