Science And Human Values

Lines by Keats from ‘Ode and Nightingale’ quite aptly define the attitude of those people who believe that there is a visible conflict between the human values and science. They are convinced that term ‘science’ drives away all the nation of the human values whereas for the reason the science deals with the facts and recognize nothing but only fact, values and norms are based on fanciful ideas of human welfare and spiritual well being. Interestingly and curiously, such convictions are held by some of the well known intellectuals.

Aldous Huxley in his famous book ‘Science, liberty and peace’ laments that many technicians, scientist and consumer of gadgets tend to accept the world picture implicit on the theories of science as complete and exhausted account of reality and to regret those aspects of experiences which scientist ignore for one reason or the other, as being less real. The attitude is the natural result of the prestige enjoyed by science as a source of power on the one hand and the general neglect of philosophy on the other. This kind of attitude is termed by him as ‘nothing but thinking’.

According to this way of thinking, human beings are assumed to be nothing but bodies; animal, even machines and the only real element of fact are believed to be matter and energy in their measurable aspects. Therefore values are considered to be nothing to illusions that have somehow got themselves mixed up with our experiences of world; mental happenings are regarded to be nothing but Epiphenomena.

Because of the indifference, various inhuman practices have found among so called civilized people of world. There has been, first among all these, the rival of slavery in its worst and most inhuman forms-slavery imposed. Then there has been increasing indiscriminate slaughtering during wartimes, resulting in a methodical and scientific general massacre and destruction. Another consequence has been employment by civilized people, with quite high standards of scientific and technological training of torture, human vivisection and systematic starvation of whole population.

All these have happened in the past and continue to happen in future because of the misconception about the science and scientific attitude. There is a need to adopt the correct concept of science to save the whole world.

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