“New Atlantis” an Utopia by Francis Bacon Essay
Francis Bacon’s scientific New Atlantis originally written in 1627 dwells upon the lost civilization which lives on an island and has some particular principles, laws and vision of live. This isolated society has created personal norms and people there are not aware of other rules which may exist in other countries. Looking at the social and political life of people on the island, we may say that hey live in a kind of utopia, an intellectual one, as people there are devoted to learning, scientific sciences and nature. The whole principle of the life there is based on the idea of reason as all the actions people perform, all the ideas they express are based on the reasoning rather than on feelings or emotions. Therefore, it is possible to state that Francis Bacon’s (2007) New Atlantis is aimed at criticizing the use of reason as the central principle for creating an intellectual utopia as the practice shows that the possession of the information does not presupposes the wise ideas and correct use of that information.
Looking at the situation discussed in New Atlantis, it is possible to believe that people live perfectly, they enjoy what they have and they are happy. The main idea of the Bacon’s utopia is as follows. People live in the world where they can get all the information they are required, where people are educated and this knowledge allows them to lead happy lives, without crimes, violence, prostitution, etc. All people are satisfied with what they have and they are eager to get more facts to know how to make their lives better. Bacon (2007) called this imaginary world intellectual utopia and never believed that it is possible to achieve this condition. However, he was wrong.
Looking at the modern world, it is impossible to disagree that people are able to get all the facts they want, that having a desire to find the information people will be able to do it. But does it mean that we live in ideal world? Have we managed to reach create utopia? No, of course not. So what is the problem? If to follow Francis Bacon’s (2007) New Atlantis, we have an opportunity to get all the facts, but is that enough to live in crime and violence free society? Is the world we live in may be called utopia? The problem is that having an opportunity to get facts and information, people do not generate those in the appropriate ideas and do not use them for improving human life. Thus, this is exactly the fact why reason cannot be used as the central principle for creating an intellectual utopia. Reasoning is not that important as the modern technologies have offered the opportunities for creating utopia, but the inability to use the reasons and to apply those in the useful direction makes the utopia in accordance with this principle impossible.
Therefore, it may be concluded that having created an imaginary world with utopia in it, Francis Bacon has failed to think further and make sure that the theory is going to work. The possession of the knowledge is not enough to create utopia as the inability to use those knowledge appropriately is exactly the thing which does not allow the utopia to exist. Francis Bacon’s (2007) New Atlantis is a great example of the world where people can get the facts and can use those by creating ideas based on the background knowledge they possess. Still, the modern life situation shows that his is impossible.
Bacon, Francis. The New Atlantis. New York: NuVision Publications, LLC, 2007. Print.
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