17. Science and Values by Bertrand Russell

17. Science & Values

Influence of Science on Human Life OR Science –A Good Servant but Bad Master

Q: What are the uses and abuses of science? Discuss in the light of Bertrand Russell’s essay “Science and Values.” OR What influence science has exercised on human life? OR Discuss which good things science can increase and bad things it can diminish. OR What are the pleasant possibilities achieved by science that Russell has mentioned in his essay “Science and Values?”

Answer: Bertrand Russell has expressed his views on science and its influence on human life. It is a good servant for mankind. Its major advantage is eradication of poverty and excessive hours of labour. In the past, starvation was frequent. However, modern methods of cultivation have increased production. In industry machines have brought great revolution. But, this advancement in agriculture has also caused slavery and serfdom.

Second, death rate has been under control due to use of science. Vaccination and anesthetics have played a great role in alleviating the sufferings of man.

Third, it is science that has made better the law and order situation in big cities. It has controlled crime rate. The art of fingerprint reading has done great job in this regard.

Forth, science has made the people open-minded, impartial and realistic.  But, Russell opines that it is also a bad master for mankind. It is not harmful in itself because it is knowledge of life. It can foster war and tyranny. It has given birth to lethal weapons and chemical gases for the destruction of mankind.                               (Words: 179)