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Has science made us gods even before we've become worthy of being men?

"Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men"
said the biologist and philosopher Jean Rostand almost 70 years ago, at the beginning of the Nuclear Arms race.

Is that quote even more true today or have we grown to be better people? Has science given us too much power? Will we ever be able to use that power responsibly?

I believe that science has given us power to create and destroy at "godlike" proportions, but we might've not grown enough morally to be able to use that power responsibly. I don't deny science, nor I think scientific knowledge can go "too far". What I'm worried about is how we use (or don't) that knowledge today and how shall we continue to use it in the future.

Just to clear things up: For me this question is purely a question about morals. I don't put any spiritual meaning in it. I don't believe people are divine, gods or anything "special" like that. Even with science we're still men with all the good and bad parts that come with us being just human.

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  • Jun 27 2011: I believe this to be a complex subject and requires that several factors be looked at extensively. These factors include social change, morality, knowledge, wisdom and arguments such as "Nature versus Nurture" - who we really are and how we become to be who we are (Which I will not address as then my post would be too long).

    Nuclear destruction is on a lot of peoples minds. Many people believe that we will be our own end. It's almost universal that people realize that we are, in some shape or form, "in over our heads", or "too naive". I wonder if anybody has paused to ask why this actually is?

    During my life I have observed the human race to be very efficient at passing down knowledge from one generation to the next (comparatively to other things, such as wisdom). We have several different types of schools for hundreds of different branches of knowledge. Just look at the differences in science 500 years ago, or even 50 years ago - unlike then, scientists have been given almost free reign over their research.

    There is no doubt in my mind that knowledge is growing exponentially.

    During my observations of human race, I have found that in terms of wisdom, we seem to reinvent the wheel. We all seem to make the same mistakes as we go through life, we grow as a person through our experiences - whether its in love, or in science, one of our main approaches to life is to "live and learn".

    In my opinion, we haven't an efficient way of passing on wisdom. The only sure-fire way of understanding something to it's fullest extent, is to experience it, to make the mistake ourselves - and even then, some people are prone to making the same mistake again.

    We haven't the wisdom, the understanding to use the knowledge which is exponentially growing, until we find a way to pass down wisdom as efficiently as knowledge, the gap will only widen.

    As that gap widens, I feel our room for error only gets bigger.
    • Jul 17 2011: That couldn't be more true. We humans, morally, are still pretty much the same as we were a few thousand years ago. Of course, yes we don't really behave the same anymore, but that is more due to us being restricted to do so by rules. We still need incentives to to right, we still need punishments to stop wrong. IWe need to ensure a durable way to transmit not only knowlege, available to the grasp of any willing to work hard enough on it, but wisdom.

      If I wanted to give an easy answer, I would say ensure the elderly live on long enough to transmit their experiances. However, as you so effectively pointed out, most people nowadays feel not the need to seek them out, not untill it is too late. Another problem with this mistake is that not all elderly are the wise and knowlegable patriarchs and matriarchs. They are also humans, and as so, may be flawed.

      I believe storytelling is a very effective way to instill this at childhood. Not the modern, debilliting stories of piggie the puggy pink pig, but true actual stories, with deep morals and examples. As they grow up, don't indoctrinate them, use the Pythagorian kind of learning, in which they must develop their own thoughs rather than gobble up those they are given. Be a guide, not an instructor.

      Truth be told, there is no better way of obtaining wisdom than earning it. Forbidding something leads to indoctrination rather than comprehension, and hiding some things only makes them more vulnerable to them. Thus is indeed the greatest riddle of our time. How do we transmit wisdom?

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