Home » Galileo Galilei » Compare And Contrast Galileo Galilei And John Locke Essay

Compare And Contrast Galileo Galilei And John Locke Essay

Throughout time, mankind has always been afraid to speak or act against authority; the majority of people did what they were told. For this reason, dictators and monarchs were able to do as they please without much opposition. John Locke and Galileo Galilei both stated that God has endowed humans with reason to make rational choices. Both argue that each human should question ideas as they desire. Humans should not obey an authority figure without reason.

Their ideas provided society with new ways of viewing life. The second Treatise of Government” written by John Locke and “Science and Scripture” written by Galileo Galilei explain the importance of human rationality. According to John Locke, a successful community depends on the mindset of its inhabitants. In order to create such a community, individuals must use reason as his or her tool. To be able to choose a prosperous leader, requires rational minds to recognize how a leader stabilizes and secures everyone’s values. A leader must put the community’s value before his or her selfinterest. If the ruler puts their self-interest before the people, it would be considered tyranny in John Locke’s’ view.

John Locke states “When the governor, however entitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rules and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion” (SB, 37). In other words when the people choose a leader this does not necessarily mean that he holds the supreme power. He has the same power as the common man, and the community itself is where the power lies. God gave mankind all the ability to reason and rationalize.

His role is to represent the ideals of the people as one entity. For instance if the leader is abusing his power the people have to reason among one another and revolt. Not only do the people have to watch out for the leader stepping over his boundaries but also have to keep one another in control to prevent tyranny. The population of individuals cannot turn a blind eye to one another. If someone is being taken advantage of, everyone must step up and aid the victim. In choosing not to participate in the well-being of others, society will crumble and laws would cease to exist.

This requires rationality from people because if they want to be safe and enjoy life they must bond together. Everyone must be aware of their own rights as well as protecting everyone else’s. Locke also states “God, who has given the world to men in common, has also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage in life and convenience” (SB, 35). This quote represents that God did not create one person better than the other. He has blessed the people with equal status. One cannot be angry at another for having more. God has created a system where if one applies himself they can advance in life.

God has given humans this gift and they do not realize it. People need understand the power they have, and use it. As stated in the previous quote, people use their rationality that God gave them to elect a leader, and if the leader abandons his people the community has a right to over throw them. This relates to the importance of human rationality enabling society to recognize when someone is abusing their power and to denounce him from society. An important element that keeps people from expressing their voice is fear. This emotion manipulates people by keeping them under control.

If a person is to speak up and defy the leader’s will, they get punished. Galileo Galilei was a scientist who spoke against the church and got thrown in jail. This is an example of how an authority figure provokes fear to keep people in control. Galilei in turn explains the truth behind humans and what God has given them. Galilei claims that people are ignorant to the world and they believe everything the Bible says. He states that the Bible is not supposed to be taken literal and emphasizes the fact that God has not given humankind the answer to everything.

God has given humans a brain and the ability to reason to and figure out any question. Galilei writes”… I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them. He would not require us to deny sense and reason in physical matters which are set before our eyes and minds by direct experience or necessary demonstrations” (SB, 21-22). In this quote Galilei emphasizes that God has given us senses to reason and it is important that society does not neglect the privilege.

If people neglect to think, people would be like any other animal. The ability to rationalize and speak is the distinction between animals and humans. Inspiring others to learn more about all life has to offer, is Gods ultimate goal. In “Science and Scriptures”, Galilei draws attention to the fact that God doesn’t want people to ignore the physical world. Everyone is allowed to look at the physical world and question how everything came to be. The Bible which God created is only a book for moral values, not a science textbook.

The Bible is about being in touch with the spiritual world. And if not, let my book be torn and burnt” (SB, 20). Galilei argues the fact that if his observations about his theory are wrong, then let them be wrong. It does not bring anyone harm, he will move on from there. He is stressing the fact that individuals must use reason to determine answers of the universe. Why not experience the world? He is implying that there are truths beyond the bible and society must be aware of the restrictions the church places on this knowledge. Galilei hints that people are ignorant when he states”—matters infinitely beyond the comprehension of the common people” (SB, 21).

Humans will never improve and understand life if they choose to remain oblivious to the world around them. Mankind is supposed to use their rationality in order to improve their knowledge and apply it to every encounter in life. Society is not meant to stay the same every day, it is supposed to advance by each question answered. John Locke and Galileo Galilei both enlightened society on their beliefs in human rationality. Both their views on human reason are very similar. John Locke stated that God empowered people with reason to stand up and revolt against an unrighteous authority.

He gave individuals this gift to protect their freedom and property. Locke asserts the fact that if another individual tries to claim someone else’s possessions that all men should stand up and fight the offender. Locke States “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker” (SB, 35).

Locke explains that humans are all equal due to the fact that God created them that way. If someone breaks a law, takes another person’s life, or property they shall be punished by the entire community. Galileo Galilei promotes the same behavior as John Locke when he states “No one should be scorned in physical disputes for not holding to the opinions which happen to please other people best… ” (SB, 22).

Galelei states that just because every individual has different ideas from the majority does not give the right for anyone to be looked down upon. Humans should help one another to create a prosperous society. People need to conform together with reason in order to balance power. This reasoning is what holds the community together. In doing so, people will no longer relinquish total control to just one individual. Allowing everyone to be equal and state their opinion without fear will create a world without judgment.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.