Uses and abuses of Science
First journey of science: The first scientist of the world was a prehistoric man. He used his brains to invent the simplest device to make his life less painful. Science started its humble journey from that day.
Science grew richer and richer and it has reached its golden age today. It has revolutionized man’s life so thoroughly that we like to cal this age the age of science. It is science that tells a modern man how to live.
Science is a mixed blessing. Though the basket of gifts of sciences is full to the brain, science has not been an unmixed blessing to man. If used property, science is helpful for us. If abused, science may become a threat to humanity.
Uses of science: We use countless gifts of science every day.
- Science has modernized our homes. Pressure cooker, gas ovens, washing machine, refrigerator have changed the look of our kitchen.
- Trains, buses, planes, motor cars, bicycles have made our journey quicker and more comfortable.
- The radio, Television (TV) adds to our knowledge and pleasure.
- Telephones, mobile-phones are important communication devices.
- Electric light, fan, air-conditioners, cooler,etc. make our life comfortable.
- Science has given us life saving drugs and medical facilities.
- Science has taught us how to use the gifts of nature.
Abuses of science: Man uses science for the bane of his fellow beings too.
- The industrial and vehicular pollution is a major harmful effects of the abusive usage of science.
- Man has used science to make deadly weapons.
- Two Great World wars killed a great number of people and destroyed big cities.
- Nuclear bombs can put the entire cities out of existence. The nuclear bomb, explosives, the hydrogen bomb, poisonous gas, missiles, chemical warfare, etc. are extremely destructive application of science.
- Man has become over-dependent on scientific equipment and devices.
- Children and adults wastes immense time and energy watching television and surfing the internet.
Conclusion: On one hand, science has given us the physical comfort. But, on the other hand, it has caused many problems for mankind. People have begun to fight against the misuse of science.
Yes your argument does depend on these undeclared assumptions. You are studiously avoiding dealing with the arguments. You are cherry-picking your data. (Ignoring the example of the effect of US bioweapons research shutdown and other matters and invoking the name of the sainted Einstein.) ÃÂ
A. You conflate my point about the implicit presumption that Scientist X in our bailiwick will be the only one to discover something with your follow-on conclusion that by withholding information Scientist X will accomplish good as intended. While these points are related, you do imply that this is the case.
However, if I accept that you do not think Scientist X will be the only one, then your thesis is even more flawed. Because how can Scientist X know if Nefarious Y has also discovered it? And if Nefarious Y has made such a discovery, then won't withholding information definitionally damage the society of Scientist X?
And if, as you seem to be possibly suggesting, Scientist X is only responsible to withhold information for as long as he/she knows nobody else has publicized it, that adds yet another layer of impossibility, perfect information.
B. It appears from your response that you propose that what is awful is an absolute standard? You, a philosopher, suggest that? If so, exactly how far do you carry this? Obviously, by your standard, all the scientists who worked on nuclear weapons would be, in your thesis intending awful things. Therefore, your contention that intending awfulness is relatively rare is rubbish. By your standards, it is as common as grass. And yet, you say it isn't. But in your article you specifically use the example of nuclear scientists? Eh?
C. Yes, you do require scientists to be perfect forecasters. You cannot get away from this, because according to you, they must know that by withholding information they will do more good than they do by disseminating it. Or, if they don't know it, then you do.
"But", you say, over and over, "they are only responsible for what they can foresee." So maybe you don't actually think they will necessarily do good by withholding. And yet, you tell them to do so.
Dear god. A philosopher, and a chair no less, who has never heard of the road to perdition being paved with good intentions? You have seriously never entertained so much as a smidgen of thought about unintended consequences?
Ah, I can almost hear you say, "Of course I have. But only the foreseeable matters." Silliness. Even the law recognizes responsibility for results of acts that are unintended.
D. Yes you have made recommendations. You have said that what happens with the work of a scientist is on the shoulders of that person. You have specifically mentioned withholding information. And your general position is the foundation upon which the laws that Congress passed to lock the barn door were made. So don't play games. You know exactly what you are pushing on the world. You think it is right, and you think it is so obvious that everyone should agree with you.
Come, Ms. Douglas. You are penning sophistries worthy of cartoons! This is like having a debate with a freshman.