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Is Science a Boon or Curse?


Category : Essays

Posted by Fri, October 19th 2012


Gone is the age of steam. We are now in the age of hydrogen bombs and electricity. The most fantastic dreams of H.G. Wells in his novel the Dream have come true. Thus, in this space age, where the wonders of science excel the wonders of nature, science affects our day-to-day life. Science has surpassed the old cobwebs of mythology and yesterday's faith has proved to be toddy's superstition in the crucible of science. Yet the problem is whether science is a boon or bane to society. Science is truth, truth is beauty and beauty is God. Science nurtures intelligence but leaves the will and emotions uncared for. It is said that knowledge comes but wisdom lingers. Science triumphs in automating processes but now it reigns over man. Automation is the order of the day. The spectre of war and destruction haunts , the world and nobody is safe. Controlling scientific knowledge with moral judgment may be a solution to this dilemma. Audio-visual appliances annihilate times and  distances. Science is the handmaid of modernity. But more valuable than these concrete achievements is the spirit of science. Science means systematized knowledge. It finds the causes of phenomena, and works through observation and , experiments. Science is the torch-bearer of the civilization.

Is science really a bane? It is said that science is a good servant but a bad master. As religion is a Matter of Faith, in the same way science is a Matter of Fact. Modern warfares are destructive beyond the wildest dreams of our unscientific predecessors. Machine guns, shells, submarines, the atom and hydrogen bombs can destroy the world in the twinkling of an eye. Aeroplanes in war act as engines of mass destruction. Not only in times of war but in times of peace also man lives in the midst of diseases. Though cures are being invented, diseases are multiplying too. If the former is in arithmetic progression, the latter is in geometric progression, fl That is why peace lovers blame science as a curse. It is said that Mathematics  makes men subtle and history makes men wise. Likewise, science whets the human  intellect. It supplements him with acute knowledge and adds to his comforts. It should be refined by the philosophy of love, by a desire to tolerate others and then only man will be able to avert the evil effects that may follow from the misuse of  science. An integrated educational pattern, which makes a scientist aware of his  social responsibilities, may be a panacea to the present pandemonium.   

More than ever, science has brought hope to the lives of many with its medical advances, genetic engineering, biotechnology, various inventions and discoveries.  Science has made it possible for man to live for longer time, decrease the death  rate, increased the life expectancy etc. Moreover, life has become extremely easy . only with the help of science. Going places is easy, staying connected with people  is convenient and keeping updated with the latest in world, and being entertained are all the blessings of science. Today even a child cannot imagine his life without cartoons, latest technology toys that can fly, dance, move around, talk etc, mobiles,  television, video games, movies and latest clothes. All these are the boon of science.

Let us go down to the basics too. We cannot live without electricity. An hour's power cut at our homes .and offices drives us mad and makes our routine and work go haywire. Telephones, television, radio, kitchen appliances like mixer, grinder,  LPG. refrigerator, ovens, microwaves etc make our lives easy, comfortable and enjoyable. Who can forget computers' Life has never been the same ever since the IT revolution took the world by storm. The entire world has been reduced to a cyber village. Any kind of information is just a click of mouse away. There has been an explosion of knowledge and wisdom. The leap of science in aeronautics and space . research is commendable. One cannot think of life without the satellites hovering  ever the earth for a variety of reasons. They make so many things of our daily life possible like—weather forecasts, communication, entertainment etc, Nuclear power  can do wonders if used for the betterment of mankind. But the tendency of man to tread the forbidden paths leads him into black hole of death, destruction and decay.

Everything in this world if used judiciously and constructively will be a boon. Why do we have to invent a virus with a computer or hacking for that matter? This is just one example of man's mind going on the wrong path. Why did we ever have to invent gun powder, or atom bomb or rifles and pistols, when we could have used more of our time and energy in inventing or creating something more useful—like finding cure for cancer, AIDS, remove poverty, end corruption, build dams etc.

Science is, in fact, the greatest blessing that man could ever receive. It is indeed a boon and a blessing, if used for the benefit of mankind and for constructive purposes. The moment it becomes a tool in the hand of a few selfish and evil-minded people, when used as a weapon to destroy, create fear, spread violence and annihilate people, then science becomes a double-edged sword destroying even the perpetrator. Thus it is useless to discuss if science is a boon or a bane. It is in our hands to make science a blessing for humanity or to convert it into a curse, a bane and destroy even the footprints of mankind on this planet.

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