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Romanticism Versus Enlightenment and Materialism

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  1. Romanticism stresses intuitive learning and personal emotion.
  2. Romanticism teaches that social awareness is very important.
  3. Romanticism encourages us to be comfortable with ourselves.
  4. Enlightenment encourages society and mankind to work towards perfection together.
  5. Materialism is another viewpoint that may be used to understand one's place in the world.
  6. Romanticism rises above Enlightenment and Materialism to provide the best methods of understanding one's role in society.

In the intellectual world, there are many different theories to explain and ideas to shape our role on this planet. The question over the existence of God is too large to tackle, but the fact that we have individuality and free will is indisputable. How are we to understand man's role on Earth? Romanticism tells us to look within ourselves for this knowledge. Enlightenment tells us to listen to the reason and scientific findings of others and to the law. Materialism tells us to assess the flow of capital to understand our place. However, the world and all the nature within it go beyond societal laws and possessions. Man-made laws, money, and humans are only a small part of the entire universe. Romanticism is the best path towards understanding what our role in this world is because it focuses on the natural elements around us, on only truly experiencing life's emotions and lessons, and expanding our thinking through our own selves.

[...] In Second Treatise of Government? by John Locke (1690), the great Enlightenment thinker says, ?Political power, then, I take to be a right of making laws, with penalties all this only for the good of the people.? Yet doesn't political power still yield results that may not be the good of the people?? Such as racist policies, severe economic inequality, favoritism and corruption in the ranks of government, and more that are evidenced throughout history and still today. He continues, however it may be mistaken, the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.? Beliefs that lay faith in laws cannot be the best towards understanding our purpose, as many today laws do in fact restrain freedom, such as the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. [...]

[...] Experiencing and enjoying life is the most fulfilling path, rather than falling into place when society stresses that one must be productive in a way that benefits the community, which is an entirely subjective idea. If one follows the path of Romanticism and discovers life on their own, rather than reading about it and reasoning as Enlightenment encourages or using personal capital as an indication of role as Materialism notes, they will feel much more satisfied. As a person who struggles with depression and [...]

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