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Is science the true driving force of humanity?
in Philosophy

By AlexOlandAlexOland 307 Pts edited July 3
 I could probably explain both sides of the story myself but I think it would be better for everyone here to listen for themselves. I am going to link 2 different videos of scientists talking; one is from James Burke and the other is from Richard Feynman. Do not mind the background, it is from a video game (I could probably find the originals if I tried but the game is not really distracting or anything.). Only the first part of Feynman's video (the black and white part) is relevant to the discussion but the second part is still interesting nonetheless (it IS Richard Feynman talking after all). I would suggest you watch Burke's video first as it is a good introduction to the debate. (James Burke video) (Richard Feynman video)

 When I first listened to James Burke I kind of agreed with him. But after I heard Feynman's explanation of "hierarchies of ideas" I felt like Burke's reasoning was starting to fall apart, down with everyone who think like him. Anyways, if you have time, watch the videos and make your argument for either side. I am really curious as to how people will respond at this one. If you have no time to watch the videos or respond, you can give a vote!


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  • I wouldn't say Science is the "driving force" of humanity.. It's a great tool (arguably the best one) to find out things about our universe and its workings, it's an "enabler" of sorts.
    But what "drives" humanity is just a biological imperative to survive and reproduce and we have no control over that drive, or so little, with great effort... 
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • AlexOlandAlexOland 307 Pts
    @Plaffelvohfen Well, James Burke did not mean "driving force" in a literal way. He tried to say that scientists are the people who make the real changes and tried to argue that science is above things like art and literature. I really suggest you watch the videos sometime. There is no way you can understand what the actual argument is without watching them. 
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 553 Pts
    edited July 3
    Well, as with James Burke there is plenty of room for criticism. Not so much for Richard Feynman however. The difference is between the two is that James Burke is using scientific terminology in an epistemically loaded sense, whereas Richard Feynman is using it in an epistemically neutral sense and that is how I think science should be like. 

    As for me, I don't like to attach the label "true" to science. So what I will say is that science is a driving force and a strong one for humanity but we should be careful not to up-play or downplay scientific things. 

    Also, if it wasn't for the likes of other scientists that differed in their views from James Burke is expressing in the video you linked we would still believe the earth is the center of the universe.

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • maxxmaxx 89 Pts
    @AlexOland no, behind all of the branches that are driving us, be it science, religion, and so on, there is a force behind all of them tht is driving us and I believe that it is simple curiosity. Curiosity is the driving force of all humans, without it, we would not follow any of the sciences.
  • No, God is.
  • piloteerpiloteer 478 Pts

    God gave us all free will, and left humanity to it's own devices. God doesn't drive humanity.
  • @piloteer God in the form of Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead to save repentant sinners. I would say that is pretty involved with humanity, however, I do agree humans and angels have free will.
  • AlexOlandAlexOland 307 Pts
    Okay, it seems that everyone is taking the "driving force of humanity" in a literal way. If you have no time on your hands, just watch James Burke's video (it's just 4 minutes long) because now I see that it is essential to understand the debate and the question.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1934 Pts
    I think what is driving us is our desire to make life better tomorrow than today. If we had nothing to look up to, no expectations of improvements in our lives, then we would have no reason to live, and humans usually become very apathic and lazy when they have no hope for a better future.
    Science allows us to understand how the world works and what to do to make it work better for us, so it definitely contributes to what drives us significantly - but it is only one variable in the equation, in my opinion. Not any less important is the social and the economical areas, where the opportunities for betterment of one's life are limited and don't necessarily have anything to do with any scientific/technological improvements.
  • RS_masterRS_master 31 Pts
    I think we all evolved from one celled species like bacteria. I believe in the evolution theory.
    What about before?
    I think atoms evolved to eventually create DNA.Maybe god helped with both evolution, we don`t know. We simply cannot tell how we became smarter and adapted to these conditions. Before that I believed in big bang. God may have helped and existed, may have not. We don`t know.
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