Science: a Threat to Society?

Last updated: March 10, 2017

Science has shown itself capable both of killing and curing – on balance, for which does it have more potential?

Science: a Threat to Society?
Yes because...

Science gives man the ability to ‘play God’, and to interfere in things that we know nothing about. ...

Science gives man the ability to ‘play God’, and to interfere in things that we know nothing about. Cloning of animals has already occurred, and maverick scientists have recently announced they will attempt the cloning of humans. Such meddling is irresponsible and potentially dangerous, and it is taking place in the name of scientific advancement.
No because...
Talking of ‘playing God’, aside from assuming the existence of a deity that many people in this day and age do not believe in, implies a violation of set boundaries. What boundaries ? Set by whom ? Any attempt to define them runs into problems of definition. In actual fact, the proposition is simply afraid of things it knows nothing about. There is nothing wrong with the principle of scientific advance; the accusation that we are meddling in areas we do not understand is a call for better regulation of scientific enquiry, not its abolition.

Science: a Threat to Society?
Yes because...

Science has greatly increased the capability of men and women to kill each other. Wars which used to...

Science has greatly increased the capability of men and women to kill each other. Wars which used to be fought face to face on the battlefield, with comparatively few casualties, are now fought from miles away in anonymity. Stockpiled nuclear weapons give man the capability of obliterating the entire world ten times over, and at certain points in history, such as the Cuban missile crisis, the world has stood on the brink of destruction.
No because...
Science does not kill; man does. Science cannot be blamed for the flaws in human nature, and suffering cannot be attributed to it any more than religion or philosophy, both of which have caused wars. In fact, the example used by the Proposition illustrates how science brings with it accompanying responsibility; Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) ensured that wars such as the Cold War were bloodless events.

Science: a Threat to Society?
Yes because...

Science has perverted the fundamental basis of human relations. The word ‘society’ itself comes from...

Science has perverted the fundamental basis of human relations. The word ‘society’ itself comes from ‘socialisation’ – the idea of interaction and communication. With the advent of inventions such as the Internet, television and computer games, we are now communing with a lifeless collection of microchips, not each other.
No because...
On the contrary, science has greatly increased the ability of people to communicate. Telephones and email enable people on opposite sides of the world to stay in touch where before they would have had no possible way to do so. The Internet allows people unprecedented access to information – anything from sports scores to debating crib-sheets. And any study of pre-industrial society will show that computer games appear to have taken the place previously held by recreational violence.

Science: a Threat to Society?
Yes because...

Science is despoiling the natural world. Electricity pylons ruin the countryside, acid rain from coa...

Science is despoiling the natural world. Electricity pylons ruin the countryside, acid rain from coal and gas-fired power stations kills fish, and animals are cruelly experimented upon in order to further research. Not only does science give us the potential to destroy each other, it takes a massive toll on out natural surroundings.
No because...
Any consideration of the modern world will reveal the fallacy of the proposition’s argument. Modern medicines have more than doubled our life expectancy, and enabled children to be vaccinated against diseases which before hand had ensured a massive rate of infant mortality, whilst the population could not be fed without fertilisers and pesticides to increase yields and machinery to collect them efficiently. Science and technology are essential to modern existence. Like any of mankind’s inventions, it must be treated with care and not abused, but it is ludicrous to condemn it in itself as a menace.


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