Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Science and technology can be more harmful than useful." What's your view?

Whether it is the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the house we live in, or any other goods and services we use on a daily basis, almost everything is the gift of science and technology. Our current life is impossible without the aid of science and technology. The credit of inventing and discovering all the modern tools, techniques and equipment goes to technology. However, the excessive commercialization of scientific inventions and their use for destructive purposes have made human life more threatening than ever. Therefore, whether science and technology are harmful or useful is a debate of how we use their product.

Although the size of land is fixed, the productivity of land can be increased. That is exactly what is done by the combination of scientific knowledge and technology. The seeds quality has been improved.  The fertilizers are being used according to the requirement of the soil. The irrigation system has also been improved. As a result, the farmers are successful to increase yields from the same area of agricultural land.

The manual work at ores and mines is risky to the labourers. However, the advent of robots and automated machines has helped to replace the labourers in such areas. Now, the difficult and risky jobs are done by robots automatically, thus leaving safe and easy jobs for the humans. All of this is possible because of the advancement of science and technology.

Similarly the credit of discovering many mysterious and interesting things goes to the science and technology. The evolution of life on Earth, the occurrence of various natural phenomena in the Earth and space, the explanation of the causes of diseases and their treatment, etcetera are a few such things. Therefore, science and technology has dramatically helped in the expansion of knowledge and wisdom in almost all the sectors of human endeavour.

On the contrary, pollution, ozone layer depletion, climate change, and use of weaponry all are the consequences of the developments of science and technology. They have serious negative impact upon our health and living conditions which wouldn't have occurred if there was no advancement in science and technology.

Weaponry, a product of science, is made for destructions and devastations. Guns and bombs never end or reduce wars but promote it. Development of more sophisticated and more destructive weapon ignites a feeling of avenge thus inducing more wars. Germany, being heavily defeated in First World War, was forced to sign Versailles Treaty. Everyone thought that the war was over and the opponent has been sidelined when in fact worse war was yet to come. Within two decades Germany prepared itself to avenge the unjust treaty it was forced to sign.

Computer is also a product of science and technology. It has revolutionized everything and made tasks faster and easier. This is a good thing. However, along with that it has created new forms of jobs and has made us busier than ever. This has compelled us to spend a large part of our time with computers. For the advertisers, online service providers, software developers, website designers, etc working with computers is a compulsion. Similarly, the social networks like Facebook and Twitter have made almost every individual busy with their computers.

The computer related jobs and prolonged stay in front of the computer are harmful from the health point of view. For example, introduction of computers in the workplace has contributed to causing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) to the workers. The mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces) of elbow, sustained or awkward positions for a long duration, repetitive tasks like typing, etc cause RSI. Therefore, technology has become curse for the workers who perform highly repetitive job by sitting in the same place for a prolonged period of time.

In short, science and technology has both positive and negative aspects. Whether science and technology is harmful or useful depends largely upon how we use it, and in which direction do we further research on it? Devoting our time to create weapons, bombs, and other destructive things might bring adverse consequences whereas improving our living conditions, creating balance in the environment, and reducing the harmful effects of the technologies will bring positive consequences. The answer to whether science and technology can be harmful or useful lies, therefore, depends more upon us and our activities rather than science and technology in itself.

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