The solution to the problem of values in science is not to try to get rid of them. It is not necessary for science to try to evade values. It is more a matter of trying to clarify the values that science does, or should, have. Otherwise, science may unknowingly become the victim of other values, values which obstruct the truth, and cause science to become a negative influence, one that could even threaten the complete destruction of the human race.
In the preceding parts of this lecture I have tried to show the connection of science to values on two levels, the highest value and the provisional value. This highest value is one that science must adhere to in order to be able to attain to the highest truth, because the highest cattle is in itself the truth and thus an indispensable factor in the attainment of ultimate truth. However, this highest value, the highest good, or freedom, is an ideal, it is an objective, and as such will not exert a major influence on the quality of science in general.
The value which will have the most immediate influence over science is the secondary value, of which there are two kinds: that which is derived from, and harmonious with, the highest value; and the phony value which has infiltrated into science as a result of a lack of reflection on values.
Conversely, if scientists, or those seeking truth, realize the connection between abstract values and the physical world, they will also realize that to search for and understand natural truth is to understand the nature of man; that for man to understand himself is to understand the nature around him. When there is this kind of realization, the secondary value which is derived from the highest value will arise of itself. It will automatically be fulfilled. When there is right understanding, the result will be two-fold, namely:
If research is based on this right understanding, the right kind of value will automatically be present.
The highest kind of value is a condition that will be attained on the realization of truth. It is not necessary to strive to attain this value in itself, simply to bear it in mind. When this is realized, a balanced kind of secondary value, which is congruous with the highest value, will arise.
Even though in the path that is directed toward, and harmonious with, the truth, the assurance of values is not necessary, being already included in the awareness of truth, in practical terms, such as when scientific knowledge is transferred into technology, it may be necessary to emphasize some values in order to clarify the direction of research and to prevent the infiltration of inferior and destructive values. Examples of some of these positive values might be: the search for knowledge in order to attain freedom from human imperfection, or to search for knowledge in order to solve problems and further the evelopment of mankind ... even including lesser values, such as contrive to do everything as circumspectly as possible, with minimal harmful results.
At the very least, the realization of the importance of values will enable scientists to be aware of and to understand the way to relate to the values with which they have to deal in their search for knowledge, such as greed, anger, hurt, jealousy, envy and soon, such as in the case of Newton. More importantly, they will see the benefit of a correct set of values and know how to use them effectively, even in the advancement of the search for knowledge. At the very least, scientists will have a sense of morals and not become the mere servants of industry.
One value which is of prime importance to humanity and its activities is happiness, or the qualities of happiness and stiffening. The value of happiness lies deeply and subconsciously behind all human activities and is thus an essential part of ethics. One's conception of happiness will naturally influence all one's undertakings. For example, the values of the Industrial Age saw that happiness lay in the subjugation of nature, after which nature could be used as humanity wished. This has led to the developments which are presently causing so many problems in the world.
In order to address the problems successfully we must see the truth of happiness and suffering as they really are. Conversely, if we do not correct our values in regard to happiness and suffering, we will have no way of addressing the problems of human development.
To correct our definition of happiness means, in brief, to change our social values, no longer trying to find happiness in the destruction of nature, but instead finding happiness in harmony with nature. In this way we can limit the manipulation of nature to what is necessary to relieve human suffering, rather than to feed pleasure-seeking.
Mankind must realize that if he continues to seek happiness from the destruction of nature, he will not find the happiness he is looking for, even if nature is completely destroyed. Conversely, if mankind is able to live happily with nature, he will experience happiness even while developing the freedom from suffering.
Roughly speaking, there are three main values with which scientists will inevitably have to deal. They are:
Science has still some unfinished business to do in regard to these three values.
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