Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 7 Make Up

This week's readings in the last of Hobsbawm's novel was mainly focused on science and revolution. In this final section, Hobsbawn elaborates on the nature of the rise of science and its impact on religion, and subsequently, revolution and war. How are these related, one may ask?

Religion had been the basis of people's beliefs as long as history books were written. People didn't question why the sky was blue or why the grass was green, because the answers were all in whatthe priests told them. All they knew was to go to mass and do their prayer and they would be rewarded in heaven. But all of a sudden, the Scientific Revolution came along and upturned all this earlier religious dependence. People started questioning things, and scientists came up with solid, factual answers to age-old questions. Religion was no longer the panacea to all problems and questions in the world. Therefore, due this rise of the education of the masses, religion began to fall back. As it fell back, it made more room for even more questions by science, leading to more answers and eventually led to more inventions and technology. These new found innovations provided an even greater sense of identity for nations, strengthening nationalism.

There is also the question of revolution. A point, or rather, a question, that was stressed in the book was the reason for why people will revolt. What is the fundamental reason people will rise up and protest something? The answer: dissatisfaction. When someone is dissatisfied with something and feel like the possibility of being satisfied is very well within reach, they will protest and speak out. And if this certain individual gains enough supporters that follow behind his cause, it will become a revolt. The switch from religion to science was a sort of quiet revolution, seeing as the people were no longer satisfied with pat answers like "Because God made it that way." So, they saw satisfaction and cold hard facts in science, and revolting against religion, switched to science as "the favorite."

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