- Science in the service of mankind.
- Scientific knowledge trains observation.
- Disadvantages of scientific knowledge.
- Art and literature.
- Study of art and literature and its advantages.
Science in the service of mankind:
Not only human society, but even human happiness depends on the submission of individuals to certain laws. Whether Science expounds those laws most vividly to mankind or art and literature is a matter of deep controversy. An education in science is receiving more and more attention every day which makes the Hedonists believe that science is contributing more to the happiness of mankind than literature and art. A deeper examination will, however, reveal that the reason why scientific knowledge is so much pursued is that most of the professions in modern life require a knowledge of the science; for example, engineering, medical, forest and agriculture, and various other industries. The greatest scientific achievement of the twentieth century is the airplane. The service that electricity has rendered to mankind is beyond measure. The various botanical and chemical researches have added a great deal to human knowledge, but science has failed to bring happiness to man. Comforts it brought many but the joys of comfort are equally counterbalanced by the miseries that accompany them. With the increase in speed risks to human life have also increased. Statistics reveal that ten percent of deaths annually in big cities are due to electrocution.
Scientific knowledge; trains observation:
The advance in the knowledge of nature makes it essential for every child to know what is going on around him. It is believed that scientific education trains a man’s power of observation. He begins to observe things minutely, becomes industrious and learns to think clearly and systematically. All these things must be readily granted. Science does all that is claimed for it but it teaches a man to value the physical side of things more than their real significance. An artist will look at things as they are. He will look at a flower and derive pleasure from its beauty. A botanist on other hand will disect the flower into sections until he has found out its various parts and by doing so deprives “a thing of beauty” of its charm.
The disadvantage of scientific knowledge:
“Do not all charms fade at the mere touch of cold philosophy?” Keats.
Very few people make a right use of the eyes, or hands, or mind trained by scientific education. They become pure materialists depending on what they can sçe and handle as the end of life and a materialist ipso facto is fat. from ever even having a conception of such an abstract thing as happiness.
Art and literature:
Literature and art do all that science does for mankind. But they go further and teach a man to see the spiritual side of life as well as its physical. Art and literature help men to set themselves free from this materialistic world and to ascend to those ethereal heights that are well nigh perfection. Men rejoice in the contemplation of the divine in the conception of the beautiful and in the practice of the good.
Literature inspires and elevates the human mind, art teaches us to reason logically and clearly without losing sight of the beauty of sentiment and feeling. It seeks to bring about a harmonious combination of the two which results in happiness. Our ideas of right and wrong, good or bad may change from. age to age, from society to society but the fact that there is a difference between right and wrong never changes. All men are expected to respect this difference because our experience teaches us that human happiness can be achieved only through that means. Literature and art help to make this distinction very acute and thus urge men to do the right and to abstain from evil.
A scientific education does not fit a man for the uses of life as well as an education in literature and art and a man can never be happy unless he finds himself fit for his vocation in life. The happiest man is he who knows his environments as a scientist, understands their significance as a philosopher, and above all sees their beauty as an artist.