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Considering the violence that occurred during the previous century, can the Western ideas of science and reason be considered "progress"?

The twentieth-century witnessed the most technologically advanced nations in the world (i.e. Britain, Germany, France, Japan, and Russia) engage in two World Wars which killed millions of innocent civilians. Not only did the wars itself create unprecedented destruction, but atrocities such as the Holocaust were perpetrated by advanced, "civilized" nations. Although we have not had a major world war in seven decades, the most powerful nations in the world have created nuclear arsenals with the potential to destroy ever inhabitant on the planet. Finally, the Western lifestyle, perfectly exemplified by the United States, is warming the planet and destroying fragile natural ecosystems. Can this be considered progress?


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    Mar 12 2013: Can you blame our fire-discovering ancestors for the burning of accused witches in Salem? No. You cannot blame a scientistific discovery for the atrocities that people commit with them. Everything we use on a day to day basis is a tool. The tools are not evil. However, people can be. I argue that anti-science propaganda is rooted in the distrust of secular peoples. This is religiously motivated.
    • Mar 13 2013: I agree that it isn't science that is the blame but what people have done with this newly acquired knowledge. How is this connected to religion in anyway? I am all for science and do not practice a religion, but I am having difficulty connecting this to religion.

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