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A Multitude of Truths

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A Multitude of Truths

Alex Nelson

CLS 101 Midterm Essay

A Multitude of Truths

Could you ever imagine living in a world where one plus one could not equal two? Living in a time where fact had little to no power over a higher authority. In this time there was a man named Galileo who had to put his very life on the line to fight for what he believed in. He was a man of science who was also very spiritual. He simply believed that there was "a multitude of truths" (Galileo, 87) and that some passages in the Bible needed to be reinterpreted to learn new lessons and account for new truths. Galileo was very spiritual and never intended to go against the church in any way. He merely wanted his discoveries to try to be tied into the Holy Scripture so that they can uncover a deeper meaning to discover new truths and lessons.

The actions of Galileo to some might be that of a heretic. The Catholic Church, which was very powerful and influential in Galileo's day, strongly supported the idea of a geocentric universe. When Galileo began publishing papers against the suggestions and beliefs of the Catholic Inquisition he was regarded as being a heretic, a person who opposed the Church's teachings. Heresy in this time was a crime in which people were sentenced to death. Galileo escaped the charges of heresy once, but continued to publish his thoughts that were not accurate with the Bible. This time the Inquisition found him guilty of heresy.

Galileo was a man who did go against the church, but he never intended to be a heretic. He only wanted his knowledge to be used to advance a previous theory and be used to reinterpret the Holy Scripture. He says this when he states:

"For my purpose is nothing but the following: if these reflections, which are from my own profession, should contain (besides errors) anything that may lead someone to advance a useful caution for the Holy Church in her deliberations about the Copernican system, then let it be accepted with whatever profit superiors will deem appropriate; if not, let my essay be torn up and burned, for I do not intend or pretend to gain from it any advantage that is not pious or Catholic." (Galileo, 91-92)

Galileo is plainly asking for someone that is more competent in the areas of the Holy Scripture to help him in his quest to reinterpret the Bible. He is in a sense begging for someone to prove him wrong using factual evidence. He is showing his sometimes over the top confidence that can make him appear as a heretic. But this is not what should only be looked at. Later he says that he doesn't want to upset the church with his findings when he asks for help from someone that "is more petent than I in these subjects" (Galileo, 100). We know that he does not intend to go against the church because when he states: "I always defer to their judgment." (Galileo, 100) he is saying that the power to decide that his discoveries are true does not lie in his hands.

Galileo is not saying that he should have the power to decide what is true or not, he is purely saying give me a chance to prove myself. He says this when he states: "I propose not that this book should not be condemned, but that it should not be condemned without understanding, examining, or even seeing it, as they would like." (Galileo, 90) Galileo has a voice that he wants to be heard. He knows that his ideas have the power to change minds, and he knows that the Church knows this too. Galileo is fighting for the facts that he discovered to be true to be held in the same value of truth as the Holy Scripture. He is convinced that there is "a multitude of truths" (Galileo, 87) in the Bible. Since two truths can never contradict, the truths in science should always correspond with the truth of the Holy Scripture. Galileo feels

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