Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon was the founder of the modern
scientific method. The focus on the new scientific
method is on orderly experimentation. For Bacon,
experiments that produce results are important.
Bacon pointed out the need for clear and accurate
thinking, showing that any mastery of the world in
which man lives was dependent upon careful
understanding. This understanding is based solely
yyon the facts of this world and not as the ancients
held it in ancient philosophy. This new modern
science provides the foundation for modern
political science. Bacon's political science
completely separated religion and philosophy. For
Bacon, nothing exists in the universe except
individual bodies. Although he did not offer a
complete theory of the nature of the universe, he
pointed the way that science, as a new civil
religion, might take in developing such a theory.
Bacon divided theology into the natural and the
revealed. Natural theology is the knowledge of
God which we can get from the study of nature
and the creatures of God. Convincing proof is
given of the existance of God but nothing more.
Anything else must come from revealed theology.
SCience and philosophy have felt the need to
justify themselves to laymen. The belieft that nature
is something to be vexed and tortured to the
compliance of man will not satisfy man nor laymen.
Natural science finds its proper method when the
'scientist' puts Nature to the question, tortures her
by experiment and wrings from her answers to his
questions. The House of Solomon is directly
related to these thoughts. "It is dedicated to the
study of Works and the Creatures of God"
(Bacon, 436). Wonder at religious questions was
natural, but, permitted free reign, would destroy
science by absorbing the minds and concerns of
men. The singular advantage of Christianity is its
irrationality. The divine soul was a matter for
religion to handle. The irrational soul was open to
study and understanding by man using the methods
of science. The society of the NEW ATLANTIS
is a scientific society. It is dominated by scientists
and guided by science. Science conquers chance
and determines change thus creating a regime
permanently pleasant. Bensalem, meaning "perfect
son" in Hebrew, has shunned the misfortunes of
time, vice and decay. Bensalem seems to combine
the blessedness of jerusalem and the pleasures and
conveniences of Babylon. In Bacon's NEW
ATLANTIS, the need for man to be driven does
not exist. Scarcity is eliminated thereby eliminating
the need for money. "But thus, you see, we
maintain a trade, not for gold, silver or jewels...
nor for any other commodity of matter, but only
for God's first creature which was light" (Bacon,
437). This shows a devotion to truth rather than
victory and it emphasizes the Christian piety to
which the scientist is disposed by virtue of his
science. As man observes and brings the fruits of
his observations together, he discover likenesseees
anbd differences among events and objects in the
universe. In this way he will establish laws among
happenings upon which he can base all subsequent
action. Bacon realized that sometimes religious
ideas and the discoveries of nature and careful
observations were contradictory but he argued
that society must believe both. The NEW
ATLANTIS begins with the description of a ship
lost at sea. The crew "lift up their hearts and
voices to God above, who showeth his wonders in
the deep, beseeching him of his mercy" (Bacon,
419). Upon spotting land and discerning natives
the sailors praise God. When a boarding party
comes to their ship to deliver messages, none of
the natives speak. Rather, the messages are
delivered written on scrolls of parchment. The
parchment is "signed with a stamp of cherubins'
wings... and by them a cross" (Bacon, 420). To
the sailors, the cross was "a great rejoicing, and as
it were a certain presage of good" (Bacon, 420).
After the natives leave and return to the ship, they
stop and ask "Are ye Christians?" (Bacon, 421).
When the sailors confirm that they are, they are
taken to the island of Bensalem. On Bensalem, the
sailors are 'confined' to their resting place and are
attended to according to their needs. The sailors
reply, "God surely is manifested in this land"
(Bacon, 424). Upon talking to the governor the
next day, he exclaims "Ye knit my heart to you by
yyasking this question, [the hope that they might
meet heaven], in the first place, for it showeth that
you first seek the kingdom of heaven" (Bacon,
427). This is not true. The sailors have already
sought food, shelter and care of the sick. In other
words, they had sought self preservation. As
Bacon put it, "they had already prepared for
death" (Bacon, 419). After the Feast of the
Family, the father of Salomon's House has a
conference with the travelers. The fater says, "I
will give