„In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.“

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Contesto: As to that which is called nature, it is no other than the laws by which motion and action of every kind, with respect to unintelligible matter, is regulated. And when we speak of looking through nature up to nature's God, we speak philosophically the same rational language as when we speak of looking through human laws up to the power that ordained them.
God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon.
But infidelity by ascribing every phenomenon to properties of matter, conceives a system for which it cannot account, and yet it pretends to demonstration. It reasons from what it sees on the surface of the earth, but it does not carry itself on the solar system existing by motion. It sees upon the surface a perpetual decomposition and recomposition of matter. It sees that an oak produces an acorn, an acorn an oak, a bird an egg, an egg a bird, and so on. In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.

Estratto da Wikiquote. Ultimo aggiornamento 03 Giugno 2021. Storia
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Thomas Paine7
rivoluzionario e politico inglese 1737 - 1809

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„All these phenomena proceed from the same cause, which is the earth's motion.
Yet none of these phenomena appears in the fixed stars.“

—  Nicolaus Copernicus, libro De revolutionibus orbium coelestium

End of Ch. 10<!-- quoted in The Advancement of Science, and Its Burdens (1986) by p. 232 -->; the "Congregation of the Index" (the official inquisition censors) declared<!-- on 15 May 1620 --> that the last sentence of this statement was one of eleven passages which should be removed from the work, in this case because it was perceived as implying that God designed things in accord with the Copernican system, rather than that of Ptolemy.
De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543)
Contesto: The forward and backward arcs appear greater in Jupiter than in Saturn and smaller than in Mars, and on the other hand greater in Venus than in Mercury. This reversal in direction appears more frequently in Saturn than in Jupiter, and also more rarely in Mars and Venus than in Mercury. Moreover, when Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars rise at sunset, they are nearer to the earth than when they set in the evening or appear at a later hour. But Mars in particular, when it shines all night, seems to equal Jupiter in size, being distinguished only by its reddish color. Yet in the other configurations it is found barely among the stars of the second magnitude, being recognized by those who track it with assiduous observations. All these phenomena proceed from the same cause, which is the earth's motion.
Yet none of these phenomena appears in the fixed stars. This proves their immense height, which makes even the sphere of the annual motion, or its reflection, vanish from before our eyes. For, every visible object has some measure of distance beyond which it is no longer seen, as is demonstrated in optics. From Saturn, the highest of the planets, to the sphere of the fixed stars there is an additional gap of the largest size. This is shown by the twinkling lights of the stars. By this token in particular they are distinguished from the planets, for there had to be a very great difference between what moves and what does not move. So vast, without any question, is the divine handiwork of the most excellent Almighty.

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Origine: Caliban's War (2012), Chapter 45 (p. 493)

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Origine: Man's Search for Meaning

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„It may, perhaps, be true, though we cannot distinctly see it to be so, that as all finite things require a cause, infinites admit of none.“

—  Joseph Priestley, libro Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion

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Contesto: It may, perhaps, be true, though we cannot distinctly see it to be so, that as all finite things require a cause, infinites admit of none. It is evident, that nothing can begin to be without a cause; but it by no means follows from thence, that that must have had a cause which had no beginning. But whatever there may be in this conjecture, we are constrained, in pursuing the train of causes and effects, to stop at last at something uncaused.
That any being should be self created is evidently absurd, because that would suppose that he had a being before he had, or that he existed, and did not exist at the same time. For want of clearer knowledge of this subject, we are obliged to content ourselves with terms that convey only negative ideas, and to say that God is a being untreated or uncaused; and this is all that we mean when we sometimes say that he is self existent.

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Origine: Corazón tan blanco [A Heart So White] (1992), p. 227

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—  Isaac Newton, libro Opticks, or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light

Query 28 : Are not all Hypotheses erroneous in which Light is supposed to consist of Pression or Motion propagated through a fluid medium?
Opticks (1704)
Contesto: To make way for the regular and lasting Motions of the Planets and Comets, it's necessary to empty the Heavens of all Matter, except perhaps some very thin Vapours, Steams or Effluvia, arising from the Atmospheres of the Earth, Planets and Comets, and from such an exceedingly rare Æthereal Medium … A dense Fluid can be of no use for explaining the Phænomena of Nature, the Motions of the Planets and Comets being better explain'd without it. It serves only to disturb and retard the Motions of those great Bodies, and make the frame of Nature languish: And in the Pores of Bodies, it serves only to stop the vibrating Motions of their Parts, wherein their Heat and Activity consists. And as it is of no use, and hinders the Operations of Nature, and makes her languish, so there is no evidence for its Existence, and therefore it ought to be rejected. And if it be rejected, the Hypotheses that Light consists in Pression or Motion propagated through such a Medium, are rejected with it.
And for rejecting such a Medium, we have the authority of those the oldest and most celebrated philosophers of ancient Greece and Phoenicia, who made a vacuum and atoms and the gravity of atoms the first principles of their philosophy, tacitly attributing Gravity to some other Cause than dense Matter. Later Philosophers banish the Consideration of such a Cause out of natural Philosophy, feigning Hypotheses for explaining all things mechanically, and referring other Causes to Metaphysicks: Whereas the main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical.

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Origine: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 19
Contesto: We have seen that the law which causes rotation in the single solar masses, is exactly the same which produces the familiar phenomenon of a small whirlpool or dimple in the surface of a stream. Such dimples are not always single. Upon the face of a river where there are various contending currents, it may often be observed that two or more dimples are formed near each other with more or less regularity. These fantastic eddies, which the musing poet will sometimes watch abstractedly for an hour, little thinking of the law which produces and connects them, are an illustration of the wonders of binary and ternary solar systems.

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