Essay on Atlantis

This essay has a total of 1362 words and 17 pages.

Atlantis


Francis Bacon was the founder of the modern

scientific method. The focus on the new scientific

method is on orderly experimentation. For Bacon,

experiments that produce results are important.

Bacon pointed out the need for clear and accurate

thinking, showing that any mastery of the world in

which man lives was dependent upon careful

understanding. This understanding is based solely

on the facts of this world and not as the ancients

held it in ancient philosophy. This new modern

science provides the foundation for modern

political science. Bacon's political science

completely separated religion and philosophy. For

Bacon, nothing exists in the universe except

individual bodies. Although he did not offer a

complete theory of the nature of the universe, he

pointed the way that science, as a new civil

religion, might take in developing such a theory.

Bacon divided theology into the natural and the

revealed. Natural theology is the knowledge of

God which we can get from the study of nature

and the creatures of God. Convincing proof is

given of the existence of God but nothing more.

Anything else must come from revealed theology.

Science and philosophy have felt the need to

justify themselves to laymen. The belief that nature

is something to be vexed and tortured to the

compliance of man will not satisfy man nor laymen.

Natural science finds its proper method when the

'scientist' puts Nature to the question, tortures her

by experiment and wrings from her answers to his

questions. The House of Solomon is directly

related to these thoughts. "It is dedicated to the

study of Works and the Creatures of God"

(Bacon, 436). Wonder at religious questions was

natural, but, permitted free reign, would destroy

science by absorbing the minds and concerns of

men. The singular advantage of Christianity is its

irrationality. The divine soul was a matter for

religion to handle. The irrational soul was open to

study and understanding by man using the methods

of science. The society of the NEW ATLANTIS

is a scientific society. It is dominated by scientists

and guided by science. Science conquers chance

and determines change thus creating a regime

permanently pleasant. Bensalem, meaning "perfect

son" in Hebrew, has shunned the misfortunes of

time, vice and decay. Bensalem seems to combine

the blessedness of Jerusalem and the pleasures

and conveniences of Babylon. In Bacon's NEW

ATLANTIS, the need for man to be driven does

not exist. Scarcity is eliminated thereby eliminating

the need for money. "But thus, you see, we

maintain a trade, not for gold, silver or jewels...

nor for any other commodity of matter, but only

for God's first creature which was light" (Bacon,

437). This shows a devotion to truth rather than

victory and it emphasizes the Christian piety to

which the scientist is disposed by virtue of his

science. As man observes and brings the fruits of

his observations together, he discover likeness'

and differences among events and objects in the

universe. In this way he will establish laws among

happenings upon which he can base all subsequent

action. Bacon realized that sometimes religious

ideas and the discoveries of nature and careful

observations were contradictory but he argued

that society must believe both. The NEW

ATLANTIS begins with the description of a ship

lost at sea. The crew "lift up their hearts and

voices to God above, who showeth his wonders in

the deep, beseeching him of his mercy" (Bacon,

419). Upon spotting land and discerning natives

the sailors praise God. When a boarding party

comes to their ship to deliver messages, none of

the natives speak. Rather, the messages are

delivered written on scrolls of parchment. The

parchment is "signed with a stamp of cherubins'

wings... and by them a cross" (Bacon, 420). To

the sailors, the cross was "a great rejoicing, and as

it were a certain presage of good" (Bacon, 420).

After the natives leave and return to the ship, they

stop and ask "Are ye Christians?" (Bacon, 421).

When the sailors confirm that they are, they are

taken to the island of Bensalem. On Bensalem, the

sailors are 'confined' to their resting place and are

attended to according to their needs. The sailors

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