THE BIRTH OF THE MECHANISTIC WORLDVIEW (AND CONSEQUENTLY: THE REDUNDANCY OF THE GOD CONCEPT)

P J A Fourie

Abstract


Western civilization, dominated by modern technology, finds itself in a theological crisis, because of the experience of the redundancy of God as far as the efficient functioning of the world is concerned. The article traces the origin of this development to the astronomer Johannes Kepler. His successful critique of Aristotelian physics is particularly illustrated by his laws of elliptical planetary movement, challenging the Aristotelian teaching that heavenly bodies must move in circles.

The further significance of Kepler’s work lies in its breaking of the century-old ontological bond between theology and science, which subjected scientific knowledge to the alleged supreme judgement of theology and teleological speculation. By giving natural sciences a dignity on a par with that of theology and metaphysics, the result was a bitter conflict between science and theology – a conflict of which the search for a solution is only lately showing signs of being taken seriously. 

Keywords


Western civilization; Theological crisis; Redundancy of God; Johannes Kepler; Aristotelian physics; Laws of elliptical planetary movement; God concept

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/25-0-1892

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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