Understanding the Newtonian Mechanism

  1. How do the Galileo Affair and the Copernican revolution lead to a Newtonian Mechanism? God is seen no longer as Theistic, but rather as Deistic, if at all. Explain the difference between the two. What does Hume say about God as explained in Chapter 2 of Barbour? Does he argue that there is no God? Why or Why not? Please explain in detail.

The existence of the Copernican Revolution and Galileo Affair signaled the dawn of the Newtonian Mechanism. Experts and scholars explained that Newtonian mechanics would relate to the application of laws of motion as introduced by Isaac Newton. It would be correct to say that this Newtonian Mechanism served as the third round or third wave of the scientific move toward advancements. The law of motion explains the concepts of distance, time, and mass in which this idea of motion serves as the inertial frame. Even if this Newtonian idea infringes on the theory of relativity by Albert Einstein, this Newtonian Mechanism served as the tool to fill the void of scientific advancement after the Copernican Revolution and the Galileo Affair. Of course, the Copernican system and the Galileo Affair contained numerous blunders and errors due to lack of pieces of evidence and proof; however, those scientific attempts performed their functions and roles to advance scientific knowledge. Despite the errors committed by the authors of the Copernican Revolution and the Galileo Affair respectively, their works were not heretical. In the end, the Copernican Revolution and the Galileo Affair led to the Newtonian Mechanism.

The Newtonian Mechanism would require serious advanced research, as well as critical thinking. For example, Newton’s law of universal gravitation draws a parallel to Galileo’s and Copernicus’s previous discoveries about the movements of the planets and their orbits, as well as the center of the solar system – the sun. It seemed that this discussion on the movements of the planets around the sun did not appear as a coincidence. Based on the Newtonian law, all particles attract one another in the infinite universe with forces. The question would be on who played the dice to draw all moving planets around the sun in one solar system. The compelling work of Richard S. Westfall revealed the idea of Supreme Being during the time of Isaac Newton. Of course, Newton’s principle revealed his close associations of the deistic principles and stances. Philosopher Thomas Aquinas supported this claim and asserted that God or any Supreme Being has been responsible “for the creation of the universe and the movement of the planets and objects in the universe” (Westfall 173). As close as deism, Newton, as a Christian, believed that God could cause the physical movements in the universe. In this case, the concept of deism and theism emerged. To define the concept, deism referred to the belief that an impersonal god created the universe and creates and masterminds the movements of all planets and planetary particles (Westfall 173). Deism, as mentioned, would forward the belief that this Supreme Being did not have any interest and desire to build and form a personal relationship. Theism, on the other hand, referred to the belief that a personal god would form a personal relationship with human beings. Copernicus and Galileo in their theories and theses assisted Isaac Newton to stress the view of the gravitational law and the law of motion. The perception to proclaim “the most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets would only correspond to the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being” (Westfall 173). Newton’s ideas about deism and theism would face a challenge as philosopher David Hume established his religious agenda. In the end, further deliberations have been crucial to Newton’s theological view to clash with Hume’s argument.

David Hume’s belief in God seemed controversial. According to Hume, people should avoid thinking of any object or Supreme Being if they never felt and sensed it. He argued that people should consider this discovery and understanding to reconcile various controversies. To point out Hume’s private correspondence about God, critics would argue that his belief in God appeared to be problematic. It would be correct to assume that Hume’s standpoints and grounds about God have been ambiguous. However, the only thing that made it clearer was the idea that Hume believed in Supernatural Being. Additionally, he asserted that this Supreme Being had the power to move the planets and objects in the universe. Out of confusion, he succeeded to forward his argument that any person could conceive something or someone that existed without any cause. In this case, Hume just played by the rules of his mind that anything would be possible; however, he did not have a fixed argument to where he stood his compelling arguments. In some of his articles, Hume argued that a miracle remained a violation of natural law and that strong possible testimony to support the claim for miracles would go against the law of nature. In this case, Hume demonstrated his refusal to confirm the presence and the existence of God. He did not even mention that God existed. Perpahs, It would not be right to judge Hume based on this account, but it would be correct to ask why he had doubts in his mind. In the end, Hume and many other philosophers and scientists managed to keep their reasons behind them while uncovering the truth about the existence of the Supreme Being, the cause why all things, other objects, and many planets without someone pushing and touching them. Going back to the knowledge and discovery of scientific advancement, the existence of the Copernican Revolution and Galileo Affair helped forward cutting-edge knowledge. Perhaps, without this first wave and second wave of scientific advancement, there would be no chance of scientific knowledge. It would be safe to say that those scientists who invested their time in research and risked their lives from persecution and burning them alive helped create this world where freedom and liberation transpired. Of course, there might be flaws and errors that Copernicus, Galileo, and many others had. However, they helped reshape the world and produce a new world of advancement.

Works Cited

Westfall, Richard S. Isaac Newton. OUP  Oxford, 2007.

Copernican Revolution: Where Religion and Science Fight

You would remember the year 1543. It was a time when Nicolaus Copernicus from Torun, Poland died. Before that, he published a compelling and thought-provoking book titled On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.

In the book, he supported the idea and the theory of Pythagoras and Aristarchus that the earth moves and revolves around the sun. He explained that the earth would rotate on its axis daily. All these ideas being advanced by Pythagoras and Aristarchus would claim that the earth did not stand still at the center of the universe. “It was the sun…” as Copernicus, Pythagoras, and Aristarchus said.

With this idea, Copernicus promoted the idea of heliocentrism. This idea proved to be true after five centuries of accruing circumstantial, experimental, and observational evidence. However, the Roman Catholic Church charged him with heresy for advancing knowledge of science.

As well, Copernicus supported an old idea of Pythagoreans and heliocentrists being universally rejected for two millennia. The ancient Pythagoreans and the heliocentrists were not able to uncover heliocentrism; however, Copernicus managed to prove the known facts about the motions of the heavenly bodies. He explained in quantitative detail that the sun rather than the earth is the center of the universe.

Though this theory that the sun was the center of the universe was faulty, Copernicus was right about some things. Copernicus was right when he thought that the planets orbited the Sun and that the Moon orbited Earth. However, he was wrong when he said that the Sun was the center of the universe. He, as well, was wrong when he said that the sun and the stars did not move.

And yes, Copernicus had mistakes. However, he did not spread heresy. He was just advancing the field of science. If religion was true, why would the Roman Catholic Church and others worry about the truth?

Some Roman Catholics, such as the Spanish theologian Diego de Zuñiga (1536–97) and the eclectic philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) used Copernicus’s arguments. Giordano Bruno expanded Copernicus’s theory and asserted the possible plurality of inhabited worlds. The Roman Catholic Church was mad at Bruno’s scientific exploration and condemned him. The church listed and named Giordano, Copernicus, and others heretic.

For Giordano Bruno, the church condemned him due to his support of the Copernican doctrine that earth would revolve around the sun. In 1600, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake. And please, do not ask who killed him. Just do the math!