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The Folly of Science

S. W. Moore teaches spoken English, business English and U.S. history at Datong University in China. He writes articles on various topics.


Do you believe in God?

Often whenever I ask anyone if they believe in God or not, I usually get one of three answers: yes, no, or I don’t know. From those who say no, I usually get one of these three answers: I believe in science, I believe in mankind, or I believe in myself. These answers, of course, get me to pondering.

I believe in science.

Although not completely sure, I would venture to guess that when they say science, they don’t just mean chemistry, biology, and such, but rather they also include such things as technology, math, discoveries, and so on that have made our lives better. Therefore, in the next few sentences, when I say science, I will also include these other disciplines in my interpretation.

Science is good, but...

It is doubtful that anyone would contest the reality of science being an ameliorating part of our lives. Without a doubt, it has made grade strides, especially in the last two centuries, in enriching our lives. Science has not only made it possible for us to live longer lives, but it has also allowed us to live healthier and more enriched lives than ever before. Because of science we now have airplanes that can fly us all around the world in record breaking time, cars that (almost) drive themselves, and trains that get us from city to city in relative comfort and ease. Doctors are discovering new medicines and eradicating once devastating diseases. Computers are advancing ever more quickly, making our lives easier and more interesting. Through the contributions of science we are now able to produce more food than ever before. The list could go on and on, but before we get ahead of ourselves, we must stop and take a quick look at the vileness on the other side of the coin, for not only has science succeeded in improving our lives, it has also contributed to a darker side. For science has brought us discoveries that are far more devastating to mankind than the good things which are endearing to us.

Science, let's be realistic.

Through science we have discovered how to make weapons that are more powerful and more deadly than anything we have ever seen or could have imagined. Because of science we have guns, bombs, missiles, planes, tanks, and countless other elements that we use to utterly slaughter each other on a regular basis. Science has allowed us to create things that may seem benign at first sight, but when we take a deeper look, we find that these things which we believe are improving our lives, are actually slowly destroying us, whether it be mentally, physically, or spiritually. We have access to instant foods, imitation ingredients, super disease resistant vegetables, and more that are slowly destroying our bodies. More and more toys and games are becoming increasingly more digitized leading to a decrease in the creativity and imagination of our youth.

Is science good or bad?

This is not to say that science is bad. On the contrary. Science is neither good nor bad; it is, rather, neutral. Science has many positive attributes, many still untapped, but whether those assets are used for right or wrong is solely up to the person who makes use of them. Science is just like anything else that we have gotten our hands on: guns, cars, books, and so on; good people will use them for good, bad people will use them for evil. So even though this might be considered the folly of science, i.e. its inimitable use for evil, this is not the folly I wish to dwell on, but rather this: its mortality.

Science and its fatal flaw.

It is without a doubt that science has granted us the power to live longer, healthier, and perhaps happier lives, but it has one giant flaw (and the same could be said for mankind and self), it is only good as long as you are alive. Once you take that last breath and step into eternity, neither science, nor mankind, nor yourself can do anything for you. Whether you believe that Methuselah was the longest living human being ever at 969 years, or that it was Jeanne Calment who was reported to have lived to be 122 years and 164 days, it is inconceivable that anyone would ever disagree with the argument that no matter how long you live, you will in time have been dead longer than you were alive. So by all means, make use of science while you are here, but once you reach that distant plateau where science is no longer viable, make sure you have something that is.

© 2018 Stephen Moore

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