Science Mankind’s Friend or Enemy Essay Outlines:
1. Introduction. Science is a neutral but powerful source of energy It can be a friend or an enemy depending upon how it is used.
2. Science as a friend. (a) science and medicine; (b) science and means of agriculture; (c) science and industry; (d) science and means of transport and communication; (e) science has helped to spread knowledge; (f) science has brought comforts to mankind.
3. Science as an enemy. (a) science has given lethal weapons of war. (b) science has led to large-scale industrialization which has concentrated wealth in a few hands. (c) life has become mechanical. (d) wars have become global wars. (e) science has given rise to competition among people. (f) science has destroyed man’s faith in God as well as in himself.
Science Mankind’s Friend or Enemy Essay with outlines
“Science,” says Huxley, “is nothing but trained and organized common sense.” And Holmes equates it with “knowledge”. Is common sense or knowledge mankind’s friend or enemy? The question is not hard to answer. Knowledge is neutral. It’s being beneficial or dangerous depends upon the man himself. Common sense declares what is right and what is wrong. It is man’s own discretion to follow this guidance or to spurn it. Thus it is man himself who is his own friend or enemy. As simple as that! Science is knowledge or common sense with illimitable possibilities of application. We can apply our knowledge to establish a new factory or destroy another one already functioning. The decision lies in our own hands.
Science has proved mankind’s friend in numerous ways. It has wrought miracles in the spheres of medicine and surgery and greatly alleviate human suffering. Till only a few years back diseases like leprosy, cancer, tuberculosis and polio were considered to be incurable. Patients suffering from them would strike horror and pity on the one hand and dismay and despair on the other. But today most of these diseases can be diagnosed and at least in their early stages, they yield themselves to treatment. Plague, cholera, and influenza epidemics used to carry off millions. Today an epidemic is a rare occurrence. Operations used to be so painful that most of the patients would die of shock. But the discovery of anesthetics has made possible even the most complicated operations like the transplantation of the heart. Science has given eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, legs to the crippled; it has lowered the infant mortality rate, improved the standard of health, checked the incidence of disease and increased the longevity of human life. Plastic surgery can even change a monster into a fairy.
In unscientific agriculture, a farmer was wholly dependent on the inclemency of the weather and the vagaries of the rain-god He might pray for rain and get a drought or pray for dry weather and torrential rain. Sometimes, he would grow crops after months of painful labor, only to be cheated by floods that would sweep off the entire produce. Science has helped man to build dams and dig canals. The flow of water is now controlled. Canals prove a perennial source of water for irrigation. Then there are tractors and other mechanized implements to make a play of the farmer’s hazards, tilling, sowing, weeding, hoeing and harvesting. Fertilizers improve soil productivity while insecticides and pest killers check the diseases of the plants. On account of refrigerated storage, even distribution of grains throughout the year is ensured. Science has substantially contributed to the development of the large-scale industry. Hand-made goods took inordinately long to make, and they were neither very refined in appearance nor very durable. Large-scale industry ensures quicker, cheaper production of goods which are aesthetically more satisfying to use. Machines relieve man of all heavy and unpleasant work. They create new openings of employment; at the same time, they provide man with more leisure.
Science has brought about incredible rapidity in the means of transport and communication. Travel amenities now available have made traveling a luxury. Only a couple of centuries ago, pilgrims going to visit various religious places despaired of returning and said final good-bye to their friends and relatives before they left. Today man has even reached the moon and safely came back. And the whole journey does not take more than six days. The flight from Moscow to Lahore takes just a few hours. This quickness has very far-reaching consequences. It is now possible to rush help to any part of the world in case of an epidemic flood earthquake etc., it has reduced the world to the size of a small family.
It has promoted trade relations among even the most distant countries. It has brought everything within the reach of everybody. Even an ordinary man can command at his table the daintiest dishes beyond the reach of the past emperors. But above all, it has multiplied interdependence and released mankind from narrow nationalism and inculcated a new spirit of internationalism. Science has helped the large-scale dissemination of knowledge. The scholarship is now no longer the monopoly of a few. The printing press has taken knowledge to every household. It has expelled ignorance and promoted enlightenment thus bringing about a radical change in outlook. Modern man is a rational being. He works by reason and logic. He does not attribute disease to black magic and is no longer the slave of superstition and blind faith, mortally afraid of the worth of gods.
Science has brought innumerable comforts to human life. We need no longer sweat in the heat, nor shiver from cold. Nor do we have to cower in the dark at night. Electric gadgets can finish cooking in half an hour. Washing, drying, and pressing can be mechanically done. This liberates the housewife from much monotonous work and makes her free for more useful employment. Science has also provided us with very quick means of entertainment. There is the radio, cinematography, and television. We can relax in our bed and witness a cricket match being played in some far-away stadium. The cinema transports us to a world of fantasy.
But science has also given the world highly destructive weapons of war. God-sent epidemics have been checked but man has acquired the power to spread the live germs of any disease and cause an epidemic. Dams have been raised to check floods. But a single bomb can smash any of these dams and play havoc with the entire population of a country. Nuclear weapons can destroy in a moment what takes centuries to build.
Even other scientific innovations have not proved an unmixed blessing. Machines that were meant to be man’s obsequious servants have instead become his cruel masters. Large-scale industrialization has caused the concentration of wealth in a few hands leading to the exploitation of labor. It has also alienated man from nature. If a man has developed an international outlook, his wars have also become international. If aid can be rushed to a center of earthquake, explosives can also be rushed to a distant center of war. A country can simultaneously fight on a number of fronts. This is what explains the fact that a world war is only a twentieth-century phenomenon. A minor skirmish in any remote corner of the world can flare up into a world war. Better living standard has caused competition. People vie with each other for greater materialistic possessions. A mad scramble for the acquisition of material goods destroys the sleep of many.
If a man does not believe in black magic or witchcraft, he is no longer content with his lot. He is too absorbed in material pursuits to strive for spiritual flights. He has gained the world but lost his soul. But all this happens because man allows himself to be ruled by his scientific discoveries and inventions rather than use them discreetly. Related topics. The uses and abuses of science. Science is a blessing or a curse. (Lethal-deadly, Spurn-to reject; Alleviate-to reduce, to mitigate: Inclemency-severity; Vagaries-whims; Perennial- permanent; Amenities-facilities; Daintiest-most delicious; Dissemination-spread; Cower-to sink through fear; Wrath- anger; Monotonous-dull; Fantasy-imagination; Obsequious-obedient like a servant; Skirmish-quarrel; Scramble-mad rush; Disgruntled-discontented.)
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