Enlightened Philosophers, the Light Bulb of the 1700's, Voltaire, Lock, Luther King and Galileo

Essay by Paul KrautHigh School, 11th grade October 1996

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Throughout history many people have changed society with their ideas and actions. Two philosophers whose ideas and actions changed society are Voltaire and John Lock. Martin Luther and Galileo also changed society.

John Lock and Voltaire both fought for basic human rights. Voltaire fought for basic religious freedom. He claimed that if god created the Catholic religion and god loves all people, then why does the Catholic religion have the right to torment other religions. As a result of this, Voltaire was exiled. John Lock also fought for human rights. He thought that government should protect the people. John Locke and Voltaire both spoke against a major power. Voltaire spoke against the church while Locke spoke against the government. Thus, change began occurring in both the church and government. John Locke and Voltaire changed society, because now people were beginning to challenge authority. John Locke influenced Thomas Jefferson because Thomas Jefferson believed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Martin Luther and Galileo both disagreed with certain things that the church believed in. Martin Luther said that the only way to atone for your sins were through prayer and contrition. In his 95 Thesis he established that salvation is within oneself and that individual faith in God is very important .But the church did not see it that way. The church believed that the only way to atone for your sins were through indulgences. Indulgences were paying for the removal of your sins. Martin Luther was later excommunicated from the church. Galileo also disagreed with certain things that the church believed in. Galileo proved Aristotle's theory wrong about gravity. One night during dinner, Galileo picked up two pieces of fruit of unequal size. He then dropped them and established that they dropped at the same...