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Science and War Essay

Introduction

For a number of centuries science kept itself aloof from warfare. It was not until the Chinese invented the gun-power that science became an active and powerful associate of war. It is curious that the gun-power was invented for a very innocent and harmless purpose to be used in firecrackers. The evil nature of man, however, soon began to misuse the gun-power for destructive purposes. And in sheer disgust we speak ill of science for all those acts of cruelty.

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Science is a vehicle of war

Endowed with tremendous power modern science is yoked to the chariots of war. It is bound to annihilate life on earth. It is very intriguing question whether advancing science is the cause of world devastating war or wars are the cause of the advancement of science.

Scientific inventions and war

Modern wars are being fought with scientific weapons like tanks, aeroplanes, guns, bombs, missiles and rockets, etc. The warriors are simply media for the application of the scientist’s inventions. Ingenious scientific inventions are made every day in order to render war more and more destructive. Science extended the war front from the land to the sea and then to the air. It is said that the science is relegating human values completely into the background. Man in increasingly becoming the slave of the machines. His attitude towards himself is becoming increasingly mechanical. Man is regarded either as a chemical phenomenon or as automation. Thus the aesthetic and spiritual significance of human personality finds no place in the scientific conception of the political organization of humanity.

Science is for man and ought to be for man, not against him

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Science has its significance for the human race only if the later continues to exist on earth. If humanity is extirpated (rooted out), if the earth itself is vaporized by science, obviously it would mean the death of science too. Scientists are therefore beginning to realize that science is for man and ought to be for man, not against him. This is the third stage which has been reached by science in the course of it evolution. This may be called the ethical stage of science when science considers it absolutely necessary to develop its own morality towards human values. The scientists have realized that science should cut as under from politics and join hands with ethics so that human race, civilization and culture may be preserved on earth.

Modern wars are more deadly and destructive than ancient ones

Modern wards are more deadly and destructive than ancient ones. They work havoc on an alarmingly large scale. The loss of life and property is so enormous that even the bloodiest wars in the past fade into insignificance as compared with a modern war. Loss of life and property in modern war is stupendous.

Science has eliminated manpower

To a very great extent science has eliminated man power. Now machines rather than men are deciding factors. A country with a comparatively smaller population but possessing a bigger armament can threaten another country which has larger population, but inadequate armament. In modern scientific wars civilians also have to contribute their share as well as to face the onslaught. Modern wards are not confined to one battle field like the ancient wards. Now, schools and hospitals are all bombed indiscriminately from the air. Ships carrying women and children are not spread and most mercilessly torpedoed.

The navy plays an important part in the warfare. It is with its help that foodstuffs and raw materials are imported to the countries affected by war. Then there is economic warfare. A country with which hostilities are likely to commence is first assailed economically. A campaign of economic boycott in the international market is launched in. The supply of raw materials and the supply of foodstuffs are stopped.

Conclusion

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Every country now-a-days aspires to achieve supremacy in the new scientific inventions, which should create havoc over the area it traverses, disregarding the resistance and obstacles it meets with. The question is often asked whether scientists are responsible for the horrors of modern war. The answer is- War mongers rather than scientists are really to blame.

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