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October 28, 2012

God in a Scientific Universe Essay


God in a scientific Universe

Sir Isaac Newton has always been considered as the greatest mathematician and pioneer of physical laws that are still used in physical sciences for the explanation of planetary movements and other celestial bodies not only at macro but also at a micro level. However as far as the religious views of Newton are concerned it is important to mention that he belonged and as a matter of fact was a strong advocate of the anti Trinitarian school of thought. Even though many people can classify Newton as a deist to some extent there are a number of objections that can be related to this claim. Even though Newton called himself a monotheist he did not believe in Trinity as in his opinion worshipping Christ as God was equivalent to idolatry.
 In the opinion of famous historian Stephen D. Snobelen says of Newton, "Isaac Newton was a heretic. But he never made a public declaration of his private faith which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unraveling his personal beliefs."
Apart from these it is also important to mention that the laws of universal gravitation and motion for which Newton is most famous for also clearly outline that the depiction and synonimity of universe to a clock by Newton was only a form of comparison that he has provided to people in order to provide them a better understanding of the ways through which the universe functions. He said that Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done."  This comprehensibly manifests that unlike deists Newton believed that there was an overwhelming participation of God and his Divinity in all rules and motions of His planetary systems that work according to a defined set of rules created by God. (Force and Richard, 1999)
In addition to this Newton’s views on religious thought were also very different from his other contemporaries as he believed and looked upon God as the master creator whose existence cannot be refuted or debunked by looking at the grandeur of the magnificent and awe-inspiring creations that we have around us and it was because of his strong belief and conviction in the existence of God due to which he rejected the claim made by Leibniz about theodicy through which he declared God as completely free from all responsibilities regarding His participation in all universal and divine affairs.
 It is also important to mention here that even though Newton beliefs on religion and God were appropriate at their respective places, but that does manifest that he discouraged or an opposer to the use of rationale and application of reason in the understanding of even religious affairs as he completely understood that the visage of the European society was transforming rapidly and in such eye-winkingly changing times it is important to provide people with the ability to differentiate between reason and simple belief on all segments that influence even if it is religion or issues that concern divinity.
For many people it might be interesting to note that much of the work written by Newton is based on religion than on natural science. He was a strong believer of a rationally immanent world in which people like him believe in the existence of monotheistic belief but at the same time accentuated on the development of an understanding based on active reason through which universe can be understood and must be understood.
In his highly acclaimed work Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy or PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica as it is known as Latin Newton openly claimed "I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity" Apart from this he also emphasized upon the fact that divine intervention in this entire flawlessly designed system would be inevitable primarily because of the growth of instabilities that would occur due to periodic human participation or rather intervention in this entire system in an attempt made by humans to mold and fabricate the laws of nature according to their needs and requirements and when these interventions will reach harmful levels the response from God would be very disastrous.
Towards the conclusion it would be appropriate to say that the foundation of the conception lay down by Newton in the form of logically and rationally understood laws and rules harbingered ground for philosophers like Locke and Voltaire to base their teachings upon the struggle about the formation of a political system focusing upon the intrinsic rights of an individual and later for economists like Adam Smith to construct the foundation of the capitalist doctrine on the same principle.


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