Essay on Galileo by Bertolt Brecht

802 Words Mar 15th, 2007 4 Pages

Struggling to seek one's own identity, one's own passions, and one's curiosity has long been something that can cause conflict in society and within an individual. There are those, some great, who are driven to find some truth in life no matter the consequences, even if those consequences were death. In Bertolt Brecht's Galileo, the reader is presented with a man who is driven to seek scientific truths, while also working with the society/Church that would berate him for his studies and findings. The following paper utilizes the story of Galileo as a foundation for discussing the difficulties of scientists who seek the truth when it conflicts with the ideas of the society.

Galileo by Bertolt Brecht
Brecht's play actually
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He climbed one hill and had an assistant to climb another hill; both had lanterns with shutters, initially closed. He then opened the shutter of his lantern. His assistant was instructed to open his own shutter upon seeing Galileo's lantern. Galileo then measured the time interval for his assistant's shutter to open. Knowing the time interval and the separation between the hills, he determined the apparent speed of light.
Throughout history people have struggled against a society that does not want the truth. For example, it is likely that when ancient tribal people were told a truth about their world they were frightened and angered because of their belief in a religious system that explained everything. Changing one's religious basis is a dangerous thing in society, for it confuses people as to the real truth. This is what happened in Europe during the Black Plague for it made people stop and consider what good God was if he let this happen. European society changed a great deal after that as people saw no real safety in religion, no real truth. Scientists, as well as natural events, have proven that the truth is frightening to a society in terms of stability.
In today's world there is a great deal of research going on involving genetic research, cloning, and stem cell research. While this is not necessarily seeking a truth about the universe, it is a scientific endeavor that many scientists are finding to be

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