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Essay on “Science and Ethics” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Science and Ethics

It is generally believed that Science and Ethics signify contradiction in terms. On the face to it, it appears to be difficult to find a compromise between Science and Ethics because their scope is different and they are apparently exclusive of each other. But a closer look at the two will show that, contrary to the general belief, Science and Ethics are not poles apart, nor are they mutually incompatible. Rather they are complementary to each other. One without the other is incomplete and they have to co-exist and reinforce each other.

If science is divorced from ethics, it can run a muck and cause great ruination all round. Science has, therefore, of necessity to be properly tamed by religion or ethics and ethics must take note of science and reckon with it. If Science meets our materialistic needs, Ethics satisfies our spiritual hunger. Ethics seeks to find out the ultimate truth. It investigates the nature of the supreme ends of values, viz., truth, goodness, beauty and piety and their relationship with stark realities of life. The Western countries, which have made tremendous .advance in the field of Science and Technology, are now desperately trying to find solace in the spiritual message of the East. They have discovered, to their own cost, that science without ethics does not mean much. It may take us to the Moon but it cannot take us to the depths of our own heart. It fails to satisfy the emotional appetite of man. No wonder, then, that they are on the lookout for some spiritual light in our spiritual heritage and religious doctrines.

It is now acknowledged by all intellectuals and thinkers that Science alone is unable to make our life any better. If it has given us hundreds of its inventions and discoveries for our material well-being, it has also brought great misery to mankind through its various engines of destruction. Therefore, if Science is really to serve some useful purpose and to bring real happiness to mankind, it must be wedded to religion. Likewise, if religion has to become the real mentor of mankind, it must rid itself of all superstitions and acquire a scientific base. The hard fact of life is that Science without Ethics is blind, and Ethics without science is lame. Ethics cannot be allowed to reduce it to mere dogma or a pack of superstitions. Similarly, Science should not be allowed to go ahead unbridled and bring about annihilation of mankind.

During the early Middle Ages, there has developed a rivalry between the Church and the scientific enquiry. Any invention or discovery which upset the traditional approach to religion or which found fault with the popular religious dogmas, was branded anti-Church and hence anti-God. Galileo was accused, tried and persecuted and made to recant his scientific discoveries because they were not in keeping with the traditional religious beliefs. The Church at that time spared no scientist, no innovator and no critic of religious dogmas. Even when the Church was in the wrong, the blame was placed at the door of the innovator. In this way, Ethics and science remained in a state of war during the Dark Ages, which was really unfortunate. But now things have changed.

Religion does not mean bigotry or fanaticism, dogmas or false beliefs. It means a life devoted to love and service to mankind, humility and tolerance, compassion and sympathy for the poor and the suffering. Religion stands for a ceaseless search for truth. It stands for light as opposed to darkness. It leads us from darkness to light, from falsehood to truth, from hatred to love, and from sin to piety. Its ultimate goal is universal love, and happiness. Science, too, stands for human welfare. It has added so much to human comfort and modern civilisation that it has come to be regarded as the new God. Science has tremendously helped man to spread the word of God in the world through the telecommunication revolution.

By definition, Science is a systematised body of knowledge. But all knowledge is the knowledge of God. Our journey is from God to God. To get at this as a spiritual presence is the aim of religion.

Materialism advocates mechanism. It denies the reality and uniqueness of life and mind. It denies the existence of God. It denies that nature as a whole, as in its living parts is the creation of God, that minds, whether human or animal, are operative in the behaviour of the living beings. But Science has also killed distance and thus led to the unification of mankind. In the process, the world has been knit together. While Science has removed natural barriers, religion has filled the spiritual gaps. If Science and Ethics work in unison, with each other, Christ’s dream of bringing Heaven on Earth will become a reality. There will be universal peace and prosperity for mankind. The present march of Science towards destruction can be checked only if religion and morality impart a healing touch to Science. Science can be weaned away from the path of destruction by men of religion. The crying need of the hour is that, on the one hand, religion should rid itself of mere ritualism, meaningless dogmas, useless rites and ostentatious ceremonies and, on the other, science should be restrained from using its inventions for devastating and destructive purposes. Neither a dogmatic religion based on unscientific superstitions, nor a Godless and conscienceless unholy Science can save the humanity from the impending physical and moral disasters. Pope Pious IX has rightly said that those who speak of the incompatibility of Science and Ethics, either make science say that which it never said, or make ethics say that which it never taught.

In this nuclear era, war has become useless as an instrument of resolving differences between nations because the atom bomb has obliterated the former valid distinction between combatants and non-combatants, front and rear, victor and vanquished. The institution of war has been turned into a kind of mass murder. Therefore, we must work for the development of a world community in which war will be a taboo and violence a rejected creed. And nothing, short of spiritual reconstruction can help us in achieving this object.

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