Puritans vs Rationalists

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Htaw Mon
Mr. O’Neil
English 10
19 October 2010
Puritans vs Rationalists
Two major philosophies dominated the American lifestyle back in the 1600s and early 1800s. These two were the Puritans ideas and the Rationalists. Rationalist ideas resulted as a reactant to the Puritants’s beliefs and because of this, they share some of the same basic beliefs. This paper will take a look at some of the similarities in their philosophy, and also the difference in their beliefs. Three topic that will be analyze in this essay will be on the religious, governmental, and literary aspect of the beliefs of the Puritans and Rationalists. The first topic to be discussed is the role of region between the two philosophies. Now, it was because of religion that forced the Puritans to settled in the U.S so it can be infered that religion plays a very big role with the Puritans (O’Neil, 1). Although Rationalists do indeed still have faith in God, their beliefs on it contrast greatly.Puritans believe that humans are born evil and bad called “Oiginal Sins”. This beliefs can be seen in Jonathon Edward’s Sinners In the Eyes of a Angry God. The Rationalist on the other hand belief is is good and want the best of his creatures. That’s the major difference.

The second topic to be discussed is the roles and set ups of the government between these two philosophies. Puritans believed that everyone had an equal contact with God and that He makes and dictate the law. This is evident in Mary Rowlandson’s journal because thru every hardship she faces, she justified it by reasoning that everything have a purpose and that God was testing her faith. On the other hand, Rationalist believe otherwise. Althought they believe in God, they see God’s role in human affairs as being a ‘clockmaker’ as stated by Sir Issac Newton, discoverer of gravity. They believed that God created his creatures and gave it reason to make decision for itself. God want happiness for his creature but he doesn’t intervane in...
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