Galileo Was a Cynical Opportunist Essay

Galileo Was a Cynical Opportunist Essay

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In this discussion I will argue that during the Scientific Revolution, Galileo was indeed a cynical opportunist. He was also a patient genius who, by luck, was given a chance to become an engineer, but he died a coward with the impact of a modern Socrates.

Galileo played a great role in the Scientific Revolution by bringing classical Greek knowledge back into view and discovering new concepts. Many of these concepts contributed to the revolution of science having a bigger part in the culture of the Western world, compared to a previously religion-based society. Despite his great contribution, Galileo was a cynical opportunist, and this is evident in the way he presents his ideas, beliefs and findings to the public. Often, Galileo was only concerned with his own interests, and disregarded standards in order to reach them, both of which are characteristics of someone being cynical.

An opportunist, Galileo seized chances as soon as they come his way. For example, when Galileo some of his most daunting critics including Bellarmine passed on, knowing that his critics were no longer present to prevent him from presenting his ideas to the community, Galileo seized his chance to create the Dialogue, a debate between advocates of the old and the new sciences. In the mock debate, he allowed his opponents to win, but not without bringing in a comprehensive argument for Copernican theory to support his own views. Although this technically did not violate the papal decree of 1616, this was done in disregard to the authority of the church, which rejected Copernicanism, and it also disregarded political judgment. This shows how Galileo is indeed cynical, as well as an opportunist.

When Galileo was working on theories, he took the hard path...


... middle of paper ...


...eo “bent rather than let himself be broken”, which means that he allowed the Church to punish him and place him under house arrest, rather than choose to continue working on and discussing Copernicus’s Ideas. This may be due to the fact that Galileo knew logically that he could not fight against the authority of the Church, and saw backing down as his only way out. In this way, Galileo may be seen as a coward in the sense that he did not stand up for his own views till the end, unlike Socrates, who held firmly to his beliefs until death, despite a harsh death sentence.

However, like Socrates, Galileo was seen as “a man of great insight, integrity, self-mastery and argumentative skill”. Leaving behind legacies in both Mathematics and Philosophy, Galileo, like Socrates, left a huge impact on the societies of their day, providing a new perspective to view the world.

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