Science is of little direct use to the masses. The function through which science should really help the people is in the field of understanding, but the role it in effect plays is by and large through technology, which does not improve understanding by any means.
In what direction does technology assist humanity? Mostly in consumption, often nourishing either greed (lobha), hatred (dosa), or delusion (moha). Television is invented, and so we watch television. But when people watch television, they don't look at things which are going to increase their understanding and intelligence, they look at things which make them even more indulgent and heedless. We have communications technology, but it is not used for developing wisdom and discernment, but too often to encourage delusion.
Science does not seem to take responsibility for these things, throwing off any such role and leaving technology to help the masses. Technology, however, doesn't always help; sometimes it is downright harmful. As I said, instead of becoming a tool to create benefit, it becomes a tool for seeking benefit. Thus, science leaves the people in the hands of religion. Who can you blame? One may ask, Why does religion make people so gullible and stupid?, but then it can be countered, Why does science abandon the people to religion?
Science has become a subject which only very few people can approach. All people can do is believe it, they can't really know it. Nowadays science has become more and more a mattered of belief, or faith, not of knowledge, which puts science on the same standing as most religions.
At this time America still faces the problem of scientism, blind faith in science. Science is the direct opposite to credulity, it deals with knowledge, and the reasoned and systematic verification of truths, but nowadays people have become credulous of science. Scientists should be accepting some of the responsibility for this situation, because it is their duty to impart understanding to mankind, but nowadays people relate to science with credulity, at times verging on foolishness. Without knowing or verifying the truths of science, they simply believe them.
Before moving on from this point, I would like to offer a refection on the statement, There are many religions, but only one science.
Firstly, the presence of many religions but only one science at any one time is a natural phenomenon, arising naturally on account of human nature. This condition is therefore science. To put it another way, science, as the understanding and knowledge of the natural way of things, should also understand this situation.
Secondly, the existence of many religions side by side with science indicates that science is still unable to satisfy mankind's highest aspiration, to answer the fundamental questions of the universe, or to obtain a complete description of the nature of reality. Science is still not fully developed, for which reason religions are still required to fulfil a need, even if only provisionally, which is not fulfilled by science.
Thirdly, when science is finally able to arrive at the truth, to answer mankind's ultimate questions, it will be a perfect science. Many religions will no longer be sustainable. Conversely, any religion which is able to show the highest truth, to lead humanity to reality, will be in a position to unify with science, becoming one and the same body of knowledge. At that time science and religion will have reached another meeting point, their last one, where religion becomes science and science becomes religion, the division between the two gone forever.
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