Kepler on Creation, Math and Reason

On Creation:

Should… the kind Creator who brought forth nature out of nothing… deprive the spirit of man, the master of creation and the Lord‟s own image, of every heavenly delight?… We must not ask therefore why the human spirit takes such trouble to find out the secrets of the skies. Our creator has given us a spirit in addition to the senses, for another reason than merely to provide a living for ourselves… But our creator wished us to push ahead from the appearance of the things which we see with our eyes to the first causes of their being in growth, although this may be of no immediate practical avail to us… But man‟s soul is something quite different from the other part of man, and the soul is kept alive, enriched and grows by that food called knowledge. The man who does not long for these things is therefore more of a corpse than a living being. Now nature sees to it that there is no shortage of food for the living beings. We are therefore well justified in saying that the variety of the phenomena of nature is so great, the hidden treasures in the dome of the universe so rich, that nature should never run short in material for the human spirit, that the human spirit… ought never come to rest, but that there should be always in this world a workshop open for the training of man‟s spirit


On Math:
For if there is anything that can bind the heavenly mind of man to this dusty exile of our earthly home and can reconcile us with our fate so that one can enjoy living – then it is verily the enjoyment of … the mathematical sciences and astronomy


On Human Reason:

Those [laws which govern the material world] are within the grasp of the human mind. God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts… and, if piety allows us to say so, our understanding is in this respect of the same kind as the divine, at least as far as we are able to grasp something of it in our mortal life


Source: The Heavens and the Scriptures in the Eyes of Johannes Kepler, Dale L. McIntyre, Mathematics Dept., Journal of the ACMS, 2008-2009 Issue


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