How Does Galileo View The Issue Of Religion And Science? How Does He Resolve The Tension Between Religion And Science?

1127 words - 5 pages

The New Science Versus the Old FaithDuring the 18th century, the age of Enlightenment, traditional thought patterns about the world were beginning to be challenged by scientific discoveries. Both Galileo and Descartes believed that one could believe in the teaching of the Bible and simultaneously accept the findings and conclusions of modern science. Galileo is credited for saying, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." He strongly believed that we should not deny the things that God has bestowed upon us because they allow us to learn more about the world in which we live. Descartes, who is regarded as the founder of modern Western philosophy, did not anticipate any conflict between science and religion, but recognize that our physical realities might deceive us. The Letter to Queen Christina was Galileo's attempt to resolve the tension between religion and science; his letter tried to open the minds of people to new findings. It also examined the true meaning of the scripture and then correctly interprets it.Church officials were unwilling to except new findings because of their own self-pride and fear. Galileo accused them of, "showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for the truth, they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own sense would have demonstrated to them" (Galileo 1). Galileo brought to light the idea that the laws the Church held in high esteem could be wrong. The church's unwillingness to except the new ideas could be compared to a game of dominos. If one domino falls they all fall. If the church opened themselves up to one new idea they would have to be willing to except other ones, and before they knew it their whole belief system would have to change.Galileo also argued that, "There were others who denied them or remained in doubt...because they had not yet had the opportunity to see for themselves"(Galileo 1). He had a problem with people who saw the discoveries for themselves and still doubted. He was frustrated with those who reputed his finding because of their own self-pride and fear.The tension between church and science went beyond Galileo's views on astronomy. "I hold the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth rotates on its axis and revolves about the sun"(Galileo 2). Church authorities did not like Galileo, "but to go so far as to cast against me imputation of crimes which must, be and are, more abhorrent to me than death itself."(Galileo 1) Galileo was able to strongly support his argument, because not only could a person view it with his or her own eyes the celestial orbs. Joshua 10:13 says, "so the sun stood still, and the moon stopped...the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day"(Bible 304). Galileo uses the same argument in page 18 of his letter....

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