Modern Mindset Each person develops their own perspective of life and the world based on their own human experience. However, no one person is completely separate from his or her society, consequently the mindset of a culture tends to reflect the individual’s beliefs. The Western society is no exception. Their perception is mostly consisted of materialistic mindset, revealing enormous influence of science and avocation for rational thinking. This modernized materialistic mindset not only dominates people’s views, but it also effects their actions against nature and the world. Materialistic mindset views the world as matters and machines.
It emerged during the Scientific Revolution of seventeenth century. Before the innovation, the general belief was that the universe consisted of a spiritual and physical world and that a supernatural being, God, controlled both realm. Kings and Popes were regarded as ruling by divine right, and humankind was thought to be the ultimate creation of God. Four scientist destroyed these medieval ideas and brought forth new ways to approach inquiries. Galileo Galilei, famous for discovering the law of falling bodies, proposed that one should only study the quantifiable: numbers, measurements, and shapes.
Using this method, one would gather inarguable facts and would not be inclined by feelings or values. Francis Bacon contributed to the idea by formulating a clear theory of inductive reasoning. He applied his empirical method to the human relationship with nature, going far as to believe that scientists had to torture “nature’s secrets from her. ” To Bacon, world was just a machine that existed to aid in scientific discoveries. Rene Descartes practiced radical doubt. Uncertain of his and the world’s existence, he reduced everything to its parts, until he arrived at a conclusion: if he thinks, he must exist.
Descartes is known for his reductionism. Reductionism consists of breaking up problems into small pieces, arranging them into logical order, and analyzing the separate parts; it is completely different from the medieval view, where one was taught to revere and accept the bible as the truths. The scientist who completed the Scientific Revolution was Isaac Newton. He combined the ideas of Galileo, Bacon, and Descartes into his book. After the revolution, people could no longer trust the pope’s interpretation of the bible as the truth, nor could they tolerate king’s divine rights from God, a being that could not be proven to exist.
The four scientists killed God. Of course in present society, there are millions of people devoted to religion. However, the religious method and ideas are very different from those of the medieval times. Now, many religions are integrated with science, explaining phenomenon that can be proven with science, and leaving the unexplainable to religion. Study of evolution and the belief of spiritual world are examples. Even to many believers, the bible’s story of creation is mostly viewed as fiction or as a metaphor, because improvements in science allow people to collect fossils and conduct experiments that support the theory of evolution.
Yet, believers are firm in their religion’s spiritual world: the afterlife or heaven. That is because people do not have the means to test the belief to declare it either false or truth. Consequently, the Western world is a mix of materialism and spiritualism. Materialism can be helpful and beneficial to both human and nature. It is a method of discovering with facts and it encourages questioning everything. Furthermore, because science and technology improved vastly since Bacon’s time, modern people are not as extreme and ignorant as to believe torturing nature for its secrets would do humans any good.
For example, a flower could exist for its aesthetic values, but people now know that every organisms, even a flower or a small butterfly, are vital to their respective ecosystem, which, if disturbed, would also affect human. In some circumstances, materialistic mindset can be unreliable. Discouraging the influence of one’s thoughts, morals, and senses in one’s judgment is absurd. Human are creative animals, and people use their opinions and other’s to live their life; remaining unbiased is impossible. For each person, his or her moral and principals are the truth.
Therefore, in the human world, only considering matters and the quantifiable would not necessary guarantee the truth. Finding the good balance between objective and the subjective view is essential and is the ideal way of knowing. A major component of Western culture is science and technology. As a result, people think and decide applying their values to a problem. Their mindset is mostly composed of materialistic thinking: using logic and inductive reasoning. However, in a society, people cannot rely on reason alone. Emotions and faith helps them interact with other people. The ideal use of both fact and belief is what makes up humankind.