Offline Tom Bishop

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Religious View of the Enlightenment
« on: May 18, 2020, 07:59:49 PM »
Since this project stated years ago I found myself more focused on describing the physical Flat Earth Theory, which I have documented from the general arguments from various forum discussions and put on the Wiki, rather than here. I think that we are generally satisfied with most of the often discussed issues except for the nature and layout of the South, which I believe future generations will tackle (I have never really put much effort into it, but recognize that there are many more variables to consider than commonly assumed, especially when questioning the assumptions).

Lately I have been meaning to focus my FE activities back to non-physical aspects.

For instance, did you know that father of modern physics, Issac Newton, had some pretty interesting religious views, including a belief that he was chosen by God? See the work of professor Robert Iliffe:


Robert Iliffe
Professor of the History of Science
Linacre College

"Rob Iliffe is Professor of History of Science at Oxford, Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, and a General Editor of the Newton Project."

From a video titled Professor Rob Iliffe on Newton, Science and Religion:

    "Newton himself is a deeply devout and radical original Christian thinker. He's not a member of any Church, he's not always serving as a minister in the church, but he's somebody who spends virtually all of his life in this extraordinary quest to understand how Christianity had, in his eyes, come to be corrupted. He's somebody who certainly believes in natural theology. He believes that his own role as a natural philosopher is a religious role. He believes that doing natural philosophy is reading the book of God, but he's somebody who does a lot more than that, and he spends most of his time and he devotes his life to doing theology. He's somebody who believes he's one of the elect. He's specially chosen by God. He will reign with Christ in the Millennium. So he thinks he's a very special boy, and that that kind of self belief, that radical immense self belief, energizes the originality of his work in mathematics, physics, and theology itself."


    "Newton privately is a man who writes millions and millions of words on theology, on the apocalypse, on the Whore of Babylon, the woman in the wilderness, the two horned and ten horned beasts, but publicly he's somebody who doesn't seem to be that religious. He doesn't seem to be that devout and that view of Newton is quite clear in the 18th century. It's only in the 19th century and the 20th century that we've come to understand the deep religiosity that Newton had, this immense undertaking that he did for many hours and each day of his life of studying the Bible."


    "Newton's achievements in science were so great that he was worthy of being worshipped, that in the eyes of one of his followers, Etienne Louis Boule, that it was worth creating a gigantic Cenotaph that was dedicated to the life and works of Isaac Newton. And some people have laughed at Boule's project, certainly people in the 18th century in Anglican England would have been dismayed by it, even though Newton was of course their great hero. But what I think it shows in a sort of pre-figurative way is the way in which science can become a form of religion.

    It can in some aspects take on the character of that thing that it sets itself against, and what you see in a number of people in the late 18th century and 19th century is a developing anti-religious animus that takes on the character of the very people that they hate. People become deeply upset that people still believe in religion. They preach the truth of science, they preach the necessity of Newtonian physics and other kinds of physics. They take on the the kind of evangelizing and proselytizing characteristics of that very practice that they detest so much."

Professor Iliffe appears to go as far as to say that Newton's science movement was a religion by another name.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 03:57:58 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy