Is science a boon or a curse for humankind?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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We can argue that science is both a boon and a curse for humankind.  I will make both arguments and you can decide which you find more compelling.

You can argue that science is a boon for humankind.  This is because science has improved our lives in many ways.  Perhaps the most obvious of these is the fact that science has allowed us to live longer.  Because of scientific advances, we do not die of infections any more.  Women rarely die in childbirth in advanced countries.  Science has also made our lives easier.  Scientific discoveries have given us airplanes that let us go on vacation, TVs that entertain us, and smart phones that both entertain us and let us communicate with others.  In all of these ways and many more, science has made our lives easier and better.

You can also argue that science is a curse for humankind.  Many scientific discoveries have ended up hurting people or the Earth in various ways.  For example, science allowed us to have cars and electricity, but the fuel we burn to get these things has ended up causing global warming which could have very negative effects in the long term.  Science was also used to invent gunpowder, which has been used to kill millions of people over the years.  Finally, science allowed us to create nuclear weapons, which are a menace to people everywhere.  These facts all make it look like science has been a curse.

Which of these arguments, on balance, makes more sense to you?

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