ATHEODOC

Das Internetportal für moderne Aufklärung

Introduction I

Our famous role model: The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE Enlightenment by Denis Diderot

(1) In 1751 Denis Diderot published both of the first two volumes of his sensational Encyclopaedia of the Enlightenment,

a comprehensive presentation of the complete new material of the world at that time. This Encyclopédie…des sciences was the intellectual battle sword of the French Enlightenment against the dark world of the traditionalists of any political or religious leaning. Yes, the Enlightenment only became the enlightenment of the broad masses because the Encyclopedists performed outstanding awareness-raising work for society with their contributions. They provided society with the newest knowledge from the natural sciences, modern arts and the working world.

(2) However, the effect was even more comprehensive: With his encyclopaedia, Diderot presented his time with a completely new worldview,

Denis Diderot

the future world of a humanity characterised by reason. Diderot’s encyclopaedia drove the rational reason of the rising natural sciences into the consciousness of his contemporaries. It developed new contexts in terms of the history of ideas and society. It kindled the vision of an atheist society. With it, the reasoning of the individual and of the masses opened itself to necessary, radical, intellectual and social changes. Ultimately, with its potential power this encyclopaedia was one of the most significant requirements for the French Revolution and thus crucial to the transition from the old world to our modern world today.

(3) Naturally, the absolute state and the Catholic Church fought Diderot’s encyclopaedia at the time.

Diderot's Encyclopaedia

They were generally suspicious of the new knowledge. In that knowledge they saw an insidious poison for society that ate its way into people’s heads. However, people obsessed about each new encyclopaedia series despite the fact that they were banned. Everyone wanted to know what the new reasoning would amount to. Even the state and church representatives secretly read the encyclopaedia. They secretly encouraged Diderot to continue publishing his complete works in contradiction to the ban they had passed. Thus, 40 tomes were published and bound in white pigskin, with contributions from great philosophers of the Enlightenment such as d’Alambert as co-editor, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau and many others, but of course from Diderot himself.  A bulwark of the French Enlightenment.

(4) Diderot’s encyclopaedia of the Enlightenment is our great role model.

We generally agree with Diderot’s conviction that only reason can result in a liberal, worthwhile future for mankind. Our world today is seriously endangered. Thus, there is no doubt: Only the best rational powers will be able to develop forward-looking ways of life. People must make a tremendous effort.  Every citizen is obligated to help share responsibility for creating a free society. Everyone must be informed. Everyone must do everything in his or her power. Everyone is also intellectually challenged.

(5) Thus, we venture – with Diderot as a role model – to make a completely new atheist encyclopaedia.

As an introduction to a secular, future-oriented consciousness. Cheered on by the spirit of a new, necessary enlightenment. Spurred on by the most modern methods of communication. Honest and direct. Open to everyone. Courageously progressive.