SCIENCE-BLESSING OR A CURSE?
Science is one of the greatest blessings for us today. We live in an age of science. Humanity enjoys some of the best comforts of the present-day world to the development of swift means of transport. Railways on land, ships on sea and aeroplanes in the air enable us to travel from one place to another in the shortest possible time. Journeys now take only a few hours. Travel has become rapid and comfortable. We swim like fish in water and fly like birds in air. Space flights are today opening new vistas to mankind. Interplanetary travel may one day become a reality.
Besides this, the discovery of electricity and the diversity of ways in which it is being used have revolutionized life. Electricity is being used in homes, in offices and in factories. Electric fans, electric lamps, electric heaters and score of other electrical appliances have made life easy. Electric power has replaced human labour in numerous ways. The inventions of radio and television contribute greatly to our entertainment. Telephones and telegraphs provide us the swiftest possible means of communication.
Science has also reduced physical suffering. Cures and remedies have been invented for most of the dangerous body ills. Surgery has made a remarkable progress. Thousands of surgical operations are performed daily, and countless human lives are being saved from the jaws of death. The discovery of X-ray and the invention of anesthesia have greatly facilitated the tasks of the surgeons. Inoculations give us immunity against various epidemics. Numerous tonics and other drugs are available in the market for the treatment of different human ailments. Atomic energy is being employed in the treatment of diseases.
But if science has added immeasurably to human comfort, it has also increased human misery. If it is a great blessing to mankind, it is also a curse to them. Science can also be responsible for destruction and havoc in modern warfare. Countless weapons of destruction have been employed for massacring and slaughtering humanity. Submarines, magnetic mines, tanks, long range guns, and missiles are among the most devastating weapons of war. If aeroplanes have made long distance travel easy and quick, they were also used for bombing inhabited localities and killing. Bombs rendered millions of people homeless. Submarines wrecked countless ships carrying men and materials. Missiles caused untold misery in England. The invention of the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and inter-continental ballistic missiles and other war equipment are alarming. By the use of two atom bombs only, the Americans forced the Japanese to surrender and brought World War II to an end. Science is today undoubtedly the handmaid of destruction and annihilation. It was because of the use of scientific weapons that an incalculable loss of life and property was inflicted upon all the nations that participated in World War II. It is a tragedy, indeed, that science which gave men the power to control the forces of nature should also be instrumental in man’s ruin. Science itself stands for the pursuit of truth and the extension of knowledge. If the scientists have begun to devote themselves to the invention of fatal weapons it is because the exigencies of the international political situation compel them to do so. Necessity being the mother of invention it follows that the needs of their respective countries urge the scientists to place in the hands of their nations weapons that can cause maximum havoc. Science without conscience will, indeed, be the ruin of mankind. Today, science threatens to bring about the extinction of the human race.
Besides these destructive weapons, science has led to a complete mechanization of industries. The introduction of machinery has given rise to the problem of unemployment. Individual craftsmanship, too, is at a discount because of the widespread use of scientific machinery.
Science has also made us too materialistic. Spirituality has gone to the background. Spiritual values have dwindled and are crumbling. People are becoming selfish. Life is now meaningless and inconsequential.