Edmund Burke’s Philosophy of Limits of Reason–Essay

The abstract ideology inevitably led from subversion to anarchy, because it brought a consciousness of rights but not of duties of order, discipline and obedience to authority. Burke repeatedly stressed that societies needed awe, superstition, ritual and honour for their stability, and to be able to secure the loyalty and support of those on whom it depended.

He warned that a state, which dismissed this entire edifice aside in the name of rational enlightenment, would ultimately be a state based merely on a lust for power.

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Burke emphasised that the dignity of the human being came through socialization. One rendered obedience to society not because it benefitted us, or because we had promised to obey it, but because we saw ourselves as an integral part of it.

Though he rejected the divine right of kings, he affirmed, like Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), that nothing was more pleasing to God than the existence of human ‘civitates’. He accused the natural rights theorists of not merely “imprudence and intellectual arrogance but of blasphemy and impiety as well.

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