Science Fiction Influenced Teachings of Enlightenment thinkers, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Nicolas de Condorcet

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Enlightenment thinkers, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Nicolas de Condorcet were influenced by teachings of the Scientific Revolution. Reason and logic were used to dissect what was good and valuable apart from what was tyrannical and unable to be proven from the old teachings of philosophers and religion. It was this process of reason and logic that gave these thinkers the confidence in man’s intelligence and potential to improve that showed up in their writings.
According to our course textbook, “The new critical spirit (of questioning laws and rules formerly accepted as true without proof) led the thinkers of the Enlightenment to doubt the literal truth of the Bible and to dismiss miracles as incompatible with what science teaches about the regularity of nature” (CP 62). This new way of thinking, reasoning, testing what led the Enlightenment thinkers to question the status quo. Thomas Paine was one whose work and writing was influenced by the new views of science and the universe. Paine questioned old superstition and doctrines that could not be proven with evidence. It was the new discoveries of this time that gave people like Paine the confidence in their own minds and thinking.
While this new way of thinking left Paine questioning the validity of the bible and doctrine, it did not change his belief in God. Paine says, “I believe in one God, and no more” (CP 66). Paine was a deist and did not believe in Gods everyday involvement with man but he believed that it was man would should get involved with the daily lives of fellow mankind and try to make others happy (CP 66). Aside from believing these things Paine chose to explain why he didn’t believe the traditional Christian beliefs. It was why...

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...he time will therefore come when the sun will shine only on free men who know no other master but their own reason” (CP 75). Condorcet believed that through the education of mankind that men can be taught to defend themselves from things in which those without knowledge might fall snare to. It is this education and improvement of man that comes with the influence of the Scientific Revolution and the call for more reason, experimentation, and education of all.
In conclusion, the Scientific Revolution helped influence the great thinkers of the Enlightenment and the future progress of mankind. Paine, Franklin, and Condorcet all used reason and logic when examining the former tyrannies of religion and the teachings of the middle ages. They removed the dogma and doctrine and extracted what was good and valuable for the teaching and improvement of mankind.

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