In the 18th century, the collective advancements in energy and how to apply it to businesses within society has inspired minds like Priestley of a new philosophy, a new way of thinking that could disturb the very roots of England. He states, “this rapid process of knowledge will, I doubt not, under God, of extirpating all error and prejudice and putting an end to all undue and usurped authority in the business of religion, as well as science” (Johnson, 148). The progress Priestley is talking about was first discovering how to turn the massive amount of coal under England into energy. Energy to power a new age of industry, progress, and time. Free Time as Johnson would put it was the real enemy of 1780’s England’s old system. With it, people had the resources and new found knowledge to take a fresh look at the world around them and see the flaws that now could be fixed, at of course, the expense of the politician. Priestley finding himself in this very position could not seem to look at faith the same way. He was disturbed and could not stand the corruption within the church, thus writing The Corruptions of Christianity. Reflecting on Harari’s thoughts, common beliefs keep society close knitted and flowing, to disrupt that cycle could be catastrophic.
Today controversies are different and the same, a good controversial example would be abortion. The very existence and commercialization of this tech has weighed heavy of America’s morals. Because of its direct effect on society, government officials must grudgingly pick a side or be forced on the notion of “For” and “against,” “Good” and “Evil.” Our government just may have no escape from natures grind for advancement.
1 thought on “Start Thinking, the goverment hates it.”
I thoroughly enjoyed your perspective of looking down into the individual thought processes of men like Priestley during the thriving Industrial years of 18th century England, as it really reaches the foundation of why science holds possibly immense power over governmental and religious institutions. One critique I still hold after reading your post, however, was that I was confused by your mentioning of Harari. If you were framing The Corruptions of Christianity around a narrative saying that institutions like Christianity should tremble before science coming from men like Priestley, then I wholeheartedly agree, which ultimately highlights why Priestley was such a crucial figure during this period for science, technology, politics, and religion. Priestley upset the foundation of imagined truths with a crashing bang, thus leading to a wild and violent aftermath and more importantly, an excellent example showing why institutions with power and control should certainly fear electric machines and air pumps.
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