Religion, Philosophy, And Scientific Thinking Essay, Research Paper
During the seventeenth century, many philosophers formulated new ideas that would consequently change the beliefs of the common man. The “thinkers” of the Renaissance Period have the way 17th Century man to the current world. In short, the world viewed religion, philosophy, and science in a very different way by the end of the seventeenth century because of these great philosophers.
In the early 1600’s Blaise Pascal, originally from Clermont, played a dominant two areas of advanced thinking. His mathematical reputation rests more on what he might have done than on what he actually affected, a considerable part of his life he devoted wholly to religious exercises. As a background on the author of Pens?es, no one displayed greater natural genius than Pascal. In Pens?es, Pascal states how God is an almighty power to which man has no comparison. Man cannot grasp neither the concept of infinity nor the vastness of the area to which he lives in. Pascal continues by saying all things, “…meet and reunite…and find each other in God, and in God alone”. Everything in the universe is cause and effect, making it difficult to know a complete part without knowing the basic composition. If humans are composed of a “material” we will know nothing at all, according to Pascal. Going further to say that without a finite ending, man would rapidly overpopulate. Without an infinite space to nourish ones self in, man would contribute to his own downfall. To know God in all his might and infinites, man must understand his surroundings. All things created came from Him, as to be proven by an example of this sheet of paper. The paper comes from a tree, to which came from the Earth, which came the Maker. Likewise, all that surrounds man comes from God, and all that is finite is real.
Philosophy has changed dramatically over time, along with the views of non-philosophers that came to accept these new ideas. Almost one thousand seven hundred years before Pascal lived a Greek philosopher named Plato. The well-known scholar Socrates, in Athens, taught Plato in 407 B.C. In Plato’s, Allegory of the Cave, he metaphorically conveys man’s life through death. Contrarily, Plato fails in knowing that man has already seen the light to which was written about. After living in the dark for a long period of time, man will not only blink and hinder the light to which blinds him, he will also venture to find an even brighter light. Man has always searched in new horizons, and overcoming the fascinating sights of the “upper world”, man will eventually grow weary of it. That brings in another “philosopher” mind, that of John Haynes Holmes. Living in America between the 19th and 20th Centuries, John Haynes Holmes was both a minister, and social activist. Plato and Holmes are inter-related because each draws upon taking the next step after life on Earth. Immortality was preached by the minister in 1929, but he is well known for his philosophical thoughts as much as his religious views. Man’s immortality is related to evolution, according to Holmes. Humans grow older and their “materials” that they live in weaken, while the soul only grows stronger. From a scientific standpoint, the energy released at death converts to an equally willing afterlife. Where Plato fails in his views on man, Holmes does not. Men have and will always search for knowledge, venturing to extremes to reach it. Immortality must be true in order to reach the “light”. Yet at the same time man thirsts for an even brighter light and life.
A way of knowing if something is real is to conduct scientific experimentation. Because of scientific research over the centuries, this has lead to a better understanding of the always-debatable “flat Earth”, to how Earth revolves in the galaxy. Hawking begins by explaining how man has always been misleading in his ideas on these subjects. The scientists still do not know seem to know everything man cannot answer without a belief in God. A strong background in both scientific and other creation faiths will no doubt lead to questioning which is true. To know what is true in the eyes of a scientist, a quick reading through Isaac Asimov’s, Armies of the Night, it is easy to spot the weakness in the stubborn people of the world. Asimov, also born in the 20th Century, brought a strong sense of anger to people of a non-scientific faith. Yet, Asimov is weak as a scientist. To be a successful scientist, researching all possible outcomes must be thought through as completely as possible. To base beliefs to contradict what millions of people believe in is ignorant. It is scientists who say the world is over 20 billion years old, how are Christians or similar faiths to believe what they say? The instruments used to detect the age of the Earth could be indicating a reading to which pleases only scientists. Scientists, to prove a hypothesis create theories. If hypotheses are educated guesses, then a theory must be based on circumstantial evidence. Creationists do not pull all matters of scientific evidence to one side and consider everything else irrelevant. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that the entire universe was created 6,000 years ago. No one knows how long ago followers of Christ roamed the Earth, as the Holy books do not explain this detail. The weaknesses of Asimov as a valuable scientist are proved just in one paragraph of his book. In current day standards, Isaac Asimov is equal to Jerry Springer, since both of these men have created controversial subjects (each subject very different than the other of course). In fact, Jerry Springer could very well formulate a better theory on creation of the Earth. The only way of knowing by scientific means is to prove the creation with more concrete evidence. To speak of matters to which is against the norm it is mandatory to bring forth overwhelming evidence. Human beings tend to believe in what most of people see as true. To most, one person’s speculations (Asimov) are not enough to impact the majority of people who read this book. Asimov’s writing, in turn, must not be true.
From early days of religion, philosophy, and to current day scientific research to see anything is to be real. Imagine man already living in the “light” for his life and never knowing of a dark cave. Man cannot wish for a brighter future if he is already burning himself in the light. If philosophers were not pushed from societies for their radical ideas, how much further could a society be? If scientists study only mathematical problems, less people would have trouble understanding it. Mixing scientific beliefs to religious faiths naturally has created tensions. There are places which both can be properly taught, each having equal amounts of truth.