What is the Value and Importance of Science?June 28, 2021
People have thought about the effects of science in the face of scientific developments and have made opinions on the subject.
These views, shaped on the value of science, have led to the formation of two perspectives in general. These are the point of view that thinks science is beneficial for humanity and the point of view that thinks it is harmful.
Scientific information; It is an empirical and objective information created to be a solution to a problem or to explain a situation. This knowledge, which is acquired during or as a result of the studies of scientists, takes different values according to their use, as well as their existing values on the things they focus on. This situation, which is considered as the theoretical and practical value of scientific knowledge, constantly attributes value or worthlessness to it within its sphere of influence. Scientific knowledge that seems valuable at one time may be seen as worthless at another time. The opposite is also possible. New situations in terms of the use of scientific knowledge can either increase or decrease its existing value. As a matter of fact, human history is full of examples of this.
People who value science state that science increases people’s comfort of life, based on the view that it gives people confidence in solving problems. Negative people point to the use of science as a destructive force. Considering that science is intertwined with life, it is seen that these two views have their right sides. For example, a tomography device in which the atom is used can be beneficial in the treatment of a disease, and the radiation received due to its incorrect or unnecessary use can initiate a serious disease.
In addition to the theoretical and practical value of science, its intellectual value can be mentioned in terms of meeting people’s curiosity to know. The value of science can also be mentioned in being a guide to the moral life of people through the characteristic features of the scientist and the scientific method. The person who gains the attitude of objective thinking can show the virtue of being impartial in the face of events. A person can move away from shallow thinking by gaining the ability to think patiently and in detail.
Science is the most valuable branch of knowledge, born out of human curiosity and desire to learn. It is the most important force in the effort to understand nature and to control it to a certain extent. Thanks to science, man can understand nature and social reality. Again, thanks to the data of science, technology can be produced. Again, thanks to science, people gain a scientific consciousness.
Thanks to the scientific revolutions, there have been positive changes in the forms of production, the use of mass media and state administration. There are also those who are against the view that values science and sees it as the most reliable guide of social life. Those who take a negative attitude towards science can be gathered in two groups: In the first group, there are those who are afraid of the enlightenment of science, while in the second group there are those who attribute the negative effects of technology and the abuse of science to science. Even some famous thinkers had a negative attitude towards science and said negative words. For example, the French physicist Blaise Pascal (Blez Paskal, 1623-1662) says: “Man loses his humanity by knowing the sciences more than not knowing.” Albert Einstein, on the other hand, “Science has only created slaves; it serves to poison us in times of war, it serves to shatter us; peace It makes our lives unbearable and unstable at the time. Instead of dedicating people to minds and freeing them from slavery to a large extent, the sciences make them slaves of the machine.” Albert Bayet gave one of the best answers to such negative criticisms.
In his work titled “Science Ethics” he says: “A scholar can be as guilty as any human being, not as a scholar, and unfortunately he has been (criminal) for a long time. When used in crime, science is not an accomplice, but rather a victim.” Advances in science and technology can be used to the benefit of humanity as well as to its detriment. For example, developments in physics and chemistry led to the discovery of the atom. The atom can be used to produce energy for the benefit of humanity by establishing atomic power plants, or it can be used to kill people by making an atomic bomb. In the same way, gunpowder can be used to break up rocks, dig tunnels and build passages, as well as destroy cities and kill people. As can be understood, the problem is that the discoveries of science are not used for the benefit of humanity.
With the use of the results of science for the benefit of humanity, the problem will disappear and science will no longer be declared guilty.
– Necessity of complementing scientific knowledge with other types of knowledge
– The intertwining of life and scientific knowledge
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook