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Francis Bacon's Scientifically Revolutionary Utopia

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Essay title: Francis Bacon's Scientifically Revolutionary Utopia

Francis Bacon's Scientifically Revolutionary Utopia

The New Atlantis is a seventeenth century depiction of a utopia by Francis Bacon. In this novel, Francis Bacon continues on More's utopian ideas. Unlike More, however, Bacon relied on societal change via advancements in science and ones own awareness of his environment rather than through religious reforms or social legislation. The seventeenth century marks a period in history where drastic social change occurred. This change, however, was not as much political or technological but religious. During this time, the introduction of ideas and theories, starting with the renown Galileo and Isaac Newton, spread a wave of enlightenment across Europe as people began to question the teachings and the overall infidelity of the church.

Beginning in the seventeenth century Europeans began seeing a shift from the med-evil teachings of the church to a more enlightened scientific world. Although the Catholics were still against science and political democracy, a wave of new Protestants were very progressive. With the Catholic Church becoming aware that it was losing

some of its following to science, it tried desperate measures such as the inquisition where they questioned and tried to get rid of people not committed and devout to the church. Despite these measures, however, the church was basically trying to hold back the tide as a plethora of knowledge began to flow into society.

Galileo was born in 1564 in a time where society was very conforming to the teachings of the church. Despite his discoveries, Galileo was very religious though he tied religion and science into his life. Galileo's great contribution to science was the telescope, however his greater contribution was the gift of awareness and knowledge. Before Galileo, it was generally accepted that the earth was the center of the universe. This was not based upon data or facts, but merely because the church said so. Prior to the seventeenth century, Europe was stuck in the med-evil era of church teachings. With Galileo's telescope, however, he was able to show that the sun rather than the earth was the center of the universe. Although this new discovery had a large scientific value, it had a larger impact to society on a religious level.

Dating back to med-evil times, the preaching of the Catholic Church was accepted as fact. What they said was not questioned and people truly lived their lives going along with what was told to them. With Galileo's telescope, however, he discovered that the church had mistakenly chosen the earth to be the center of the universe rather than the sun. Although this may seem like an insignificant error, it opened people's eyes and made them aware of the fact that the church could be questioned. Prior to this time period, many facts of life were preached by the church and accepted by the people without question. Galileo's discovery, however, proved to the people that the church could be questioned, thereby sparking the curiosity of the people and the beginning of a scientific revolution, which would last throughout the next century.

With the turn of the century and the beginning of the scientific revolution, discoveries made by Galileo and Newton lead to a new and more curious generation of people. With societies' newly found desire to gain knowledge and awareness of their environment and surroundings, even utopian thinkers such as Francis Bacon began to theorize that advancements in science and developing a better understanding of the world was the crucial step in arriving at the nirvana they dream of. A world where people apply their knowledge of nature, politics, health, and beauty to improve their lives and essentially become happier people.

From the beginning of New Atlantis, when the sailors stumble upon a community in the middle of the ocean, one is immediately impressed with the organization, etiquette, and ethical practices of the Bensalemites.

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