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The Enlightenment broke the shackles of arbitrary theocratic rule, so that reason might be liberated and, hopefully, lead to a universal flourishing of the good life. Speech - the expression of philosophic thought - had to be set free. The intention was high, noble.

At any rate, it wasn't a prescription of respect for every mad claim that might thereafter manifest itself. Three hundred years on - after Hobbes, Locke, and all the marvellous achievements of humanity - we're still stuck with the likes of this:

A couple have taken legal action after claiming motion sensors installed at their holiday flat in Dorset breached their rights as Orthodox Jews. Gordon and Dena Coleman said they cannot leave or enter their Bournemouth flat on the Sabbath because the hallway sensors automatically switch on lights. The couple's religious code bans lights and other electrical equipment being switched on during Jewish holidays. They have now issued a county court writ claiming religious discrimination. (BBC 16/6/2009)

It's a tiresome phrase, but maybe there's 'no such thing as progress' after all.