The bubonic plague that killed approximately 20 million people in Europe occurred during a period of decay with food shortages and war between England and France. After the plague, there were many changes in the social and political structure across Europe. These changes helped the world evolve. The plague fueled the scientific revolution. People, especially the poor, had depended on religion. With the plague and death of entire families which mostly struck the poor, people lost their faith in God and were more open to scientific explanations. With the death of many priests, papal scandals, and the church being materialistic and involved in politics when an epidemic ravaged people, the church weakened, and the people lost their zeal for religion.
The weakening of the church meant the nobles lacked something to control the serfs with. Religion previously required the serfs to be humble and accept their position in life with a view of inheriting the heavenly kingdom. As Marx stated, religion is the opium of the masses. Without this hold, the people realized their enslavement which readied them for the political revolutions to come. There was an extreme labor shortage after the plague. Lords established better and more attractive conditions or risk leaving their land unattended, hence wage increases across the board. When the Lords tried to tie down serfs to their land, after the population recovery, there was a peasant revolt and political upheavals across Europe.
If I lived during this period, I would have fought for science and logic based on historical knowledge. During the plague, the Church was involved in political wars and exploited the suffering people by levying high funeral fees. The Catholic Church was the accepted religion and everything they stood for looked wrong while the scientific revolution was coming up with undeniable facts.
In his letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Galileo says that people who are unable to understand both the Bible and the science perfectly far outnumber those who do understand them. These people that lack understanding of these two things are usually quick to give themselves the authority to declare laws of physics incorrect based on the strength of a verse they have misunderstood or taken out of context. According to me, his words hold much truth as it is usually people that are ignorant of the matters they argue about that are loudest in the argument. Scientists agree on many facts and in the case of discovery, they are usually able to test the validity of the hypothesis individually and agree or disagree with it. The basis of religion is that it attributes all creation and all events to an all- powerful being. Science, on the other hand, gives rational explanations for daily events. I, therefore, think that including science in religion would make religion lose its value. People would like to think that there is a larger picture of their sufferings, but science would disprove it. Including science in religion usually ends up with scientists disproving the existence of God and believers in the religion refusing the basis of science bringing us to Galileos situation. As mentioned above, many people lack a good understanding of the Bible and science. The few people who can reconcile this science and religion lack the support of the ignorant masses which is what led to the stoning of Galileo. Science and religion should, therefore, be kept apart from each other.
Philosophers in this age, Emmanuel Kant, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes among others tried to explain scientifically all social phenomenon, government, economics, and religion. There were essay competitions with philosophers writing papers that the masses could understand and reason with. With time, people became more evolved and civilized with governments based on constitutions and freedom of religion.
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