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deem Heliocentrism

The impact of the Heliocentric Theory Heliocentric: Relating to the sun as a
center; appearing as if seen from the sun's center.(Webster,447) The
heliocentric theory was first introduced to the world by a Polish astronomer
named Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus published his views on the heliocentric
theory in his book Commentariolus, in 1514, which sparked the time period now
known as the Copernican Revolution. Heliocentrism was proven true by the
discoveries of Galileo, Kepler, and Newton; through their efforts to prove the
validity of the heliocentric theory people began to find truth in science
through experimentation rather than religion with no proof. Many scientists went
through great ordeals for their scientific beliefs, thus making the heliocentric
theory the most electrifying idea in human history. Ancient people's believed in
Gods and deities for causes to nature and the unexplained. Once the fourth
century BC rolled around, people began to see "astronomical phenomena"
as "natural compound products of simple operations repeated in
perpetuity" rather than the actions of Gods. (Morphet, p.6) Greeks did not
revere celestial bodies very strongly in their religion, despite having deities
for the Sun and Moon. (North, p.78) Different peoples beliefs varied greatly in
ancient times. Different countries progressed in thought at different speeds.
During the Renaissance, many began to "toss aside medieval preoccupations
with supernatural forces and turned to secular concerns" like fame. (Yamasaki,
p.50) With the "Age of Discovery," people began to think for
themselves and ponder truths through philosophy, science, astronomy, astrology,
etc. Philosophers' minds began to turn, the human mind was finally awake. Plato,
a famous Greek philosopher, believed stars were Gods that the creator gave life
to. This view was very influential and proved to be sort of a religion for
intellectual idealists, no longer for the populace. At the time, the thought of
heavenly bodies being divine, and stars being eternal objects in unchanging
motion were common knowledge. Thinking otherwise was considered Atheistic.
(North, p.78) Fellow famous Renaissance man, and Plato's pupil, Aristotle, was
also a very important figure. Born in Stagira in 384, Aristotle is regarded as
the most influential ancient philosopher of the sciences. Aristotle refined
Callippus' geometrical and spherical concepts, and developed the geocentric
theory, which was believed for two thousand years. (North, p.80) Aristotle
believed that the sphere is the most perfect figure because when rotated to any
diameter it occupies the same space; and that circular motions are a sign of
perfection, which is why Heaven is considered divine. The spherical nature of
the Earth and Universe according to Aristotle, is the natural movement of
Earthly matter from all places downwards, to a center, around which a sphere of
matter will build up. "Only circular motion is capable of endless
repetition without a reversal of direction, and rotary motion is prior to linear
because what is external, or at least could have always existed, is prior, or at
least potentially prior, to what is not." In Aristotle's book De Caelo (On
the Heavens), he speaks of the celestial sphere, the Earth's center being the
same shape, and dismissing the idea of the Earth rotating at the center of the
universe. He also dismisses the idea of an orbital motion of the Earth. (North,
p.81) Contradicting Aristotle, Heracleides, an astronomer, believed in the
rotation of the Earth on it's axis and is known to be the earliest astronomer to
stand by it. He was thought to have taken the first step in "Copernicanism."
It is believed in the years to follow that Copernicus was said to have mentioned
Heracleides' name in this connection. (North, p.85) Aristarchus of Samos was the
first astronomer to clearly put forth a true sun-centered theory, learned from
Archimedes. (North, p.85) "...Aristarchus' hypotheses are that the fixed
stars and the Sun are stationary, that the Earth is carried in a circular orbit
around the Sun, which lies in the middle of it's orbit, and that the spheres of
fixed stars, having the same center as the Sun, is so great in extent that the
circle on which the Earth is supposedly carried is in the same ratio to the
distance of the sphere has to its surface." (North, p.85-6) If Aristarchus
did believe in heliocentrism, he still could not prove the differences in the
Earth's motion and seasons, which explains its failure to be accepted. (North,
p.86-7) Although scientists such as Eudoxus, Callippus, and Aristotle all came
up with Earth-centered systems based by providing a center for all motions,
Ptolemy was triumphant for he was able to explain sphere sizes and achieved a
single system, which was not ... more

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Thomas
Aquinas


Saint Thomas Aquinas, as a philosopher, wrote several works that
justified Christianity in a philosophical context, taking cue on Aristotle's old
writings. Naturally, Aquinas took up on the Church's
"ultra-conservative" views on sexuality and worked to rationalize them
through his own theory of natural law. Aquinas argues against any form of sex
where the intention to produce children is not involved. He explains this
through his theory of natural law, where sex is purely for the purpose of
reproduction to ensure the continuance of the human race, only in the context of
a monogamous relationship, and not for simple physical pleasure. There are many
laws that Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks of, such as eternal law, human law, divine
law, and natural law. All humans are part of "God's plan" and
therefore subject to eternal law, where we are guided to God's
"supernatural end in a higher way" (47). According to Aquinas, humans
in particular follow God's eternal law through a natural law, and inborn
instinct to do good. Something is said to be part of natural law if "there
is a natural inclination to it" and if "nature does not produce the
contrary," (51-52). Natural law includes such ideas as self-preservation,
union of the male and the female, and education of the young, which is easily
found in nature. Humans also have a unique knowledge of God and were meant to
live in a society. Aquinas explains that even though concepts such as slavery
and personal possessions are not found alone in nature, they were created by
human reason, and in such cases "the law of nature was not changed but
added to" (52). Because we can do such things, we are separated from the
rest of God's creatures. After explaining his theory of natural law, Aquinas
goes on to explain sexuality in the context of it. According to him,
"promiscuity is contrary to the nature of man" because "to bring
up a child requires both the care of the mother who nourishes him and even more
the care of the father to train and defend him and to develop him in internal
and external endowments" (78). Therefore, he finds fornification to be a
mortal sin because "it is contrary to the good of the upbringing of the
offspring" (79). Curiously, though, he does not bring up the more likely
scenario where fornification does not result in the impregnation of the woman.
His reasoning makes much better sense in the case of adultery. Not only does it
upset one's obligations to his family, but also because the Ten Commandments
specifically condemn adultery as a great sin. The Ten Commandments are God's
laws and are not relative, so there is no disputing their validity. However,
Aquinas' argument that monogamy is "natural" for humans is not easily
justified. If we look carefully at nature, most mammals have to be raised by
their parents just as humans are, but only for a few years. Also, in many cases,
the mother may raise her young with a different male, or on her own altogether.
Therefore, this makes it harder for Aquinas to appeal to natural law to prove
his case for monogamy and life-long relationships. Also, Aquinas does not agree
that a male should have the option of leaving a female who has had a child even
if it is properly provided for, making an indirect case against divorce (79).
Curiously, in Islam, the Koran allows divorce and remarriage, and it is based
for the most part on the very same Bible that Aquinas defended. Aquinas makes
clear that sex is right only when it is for the purpose of reproduction and it
should only be between a male and female in a monogamous relationship; all other
forms are sinful. However, he brings up a very striking exception. The acts of
fornification or adultery are not considered sins at all if they are performed
under the command of God (52). This is simply a case of common sense, but it
explains clearly any such indiscrepancies to natural law in the Bible. Aquinas
goes on to define more serious mortal sins which he refers to as indecent sex.
This includes homosexuality and bestiality. He quotes bestiality from the Bible:
"'[Joseph] accused his brothers of the worst sin they had relations with
cattle'" (80). Perhaps he is right, but homosexuality, on the other hand,
was accepted in societies even before Aquinas' time. For instance, the ancient
Greeks accepted intercourse between a younger and older man as a higher form
love. Even if Aquinas tried to ... more

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