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Man and science

Science + Conscience = Freedom

RabelaisThe beginning of all sciences is the astonishment that things are what they are. Aristote

Towards happiness of humanity

Science without conscience is that ruin of the soul, says François rabelais. The last century unfortunately allowed us to verify this maxim. Yet, despite all the abuses of science, even today, scientific ethics continues to evolve. This corporation becomes more aware and responsible. Only a tiny minority of its practitioners *, chooses to assign their talent to the empire of "evil".

* I think, for example, to those surgeons agreeing to collaborate in the trafficking of organs, or this part of the science miring in venality.

The two faces of Science

For Jacques Ellul, speculation and abstract thinking characterize the state of mind of science. Its application is rather technical. Therefore, it is difficult to dissociate the scientific world from the values of the time.
It is the reason for which, the behaviour of science seems sometimes ambiguous. When times are ethical, science is ethical. When the period sinks into venality, science is tainted.

  • On the one hand, the positive contributions along scientific progresses (health, longevity, knowledge, etc.).
  • On the other hand, her bad marriage with negative industries (i.e. the arms industry).
  • On the one hand, hopes engendered by its discoveries, its conquests and benevolent innovations.
  • On the other, its Mister Hyde’s side when it married extremist ideologies.

But overall, science is on the positive side. Sometimes, by accident, obligation, or weakness, bits of it join the ill-fated side but always with regret.

A factor of freedom

Of course, this dark part of the scientific world, fuels suspicions against progress. Some philosophers consider its mistakes as negative points; then they come to doubt of a positive progress. This remains to me of Herbert Marcuse’s philosophy; for the american philosopher, the diversion of impulses produces progress, which becomes the process of the civilization. But for Marcuse, its positive contribution is more an illusion than reality; benefits, at the same time, generate a loss of individual freedom.
Indeed, benefits of progress also cause a loss of individual freedom. But we are inclined to put this loss of freedom on the positive developments’ side. The "natural" freedom deficit, leads to spiritual freedom.
« La compression progressive » des libertés individuelles, induit deux choses fondamentales pour l'humanité.

Man must abandon its primate freedoms for the freedom of the Wise

"The progressive compression" of individual freedoms, induced two fundamental things for humanity:

  • On the one hand it gradually crushes "the authorization to flourish at the expense of our congeners" (an old natural reflex from which humanity must break to move towards peace and universality.
  • And on the other hand, it directs outgoing energy to the privacy of the individual to interiority.

Science and technology are not the only mechanisms at work in the slow rolling of primate freedoms; taboos, law, morality, education, are also involved in the crash...
Cette compression générale doit conduire l'humanité vers sa véritable liberté.

A factor of danger

Some thinkers believe that alliance between science and the market is relatively dangerous. The last inconsistencies of the food industry show that they are not wrong. Inventing meat food for herbivores friezes simply madness (and science has not shown at this time any awareness of its responsibilities; the idea was rather to make as little fuss as possible).

Compulsivity and omnipotence

Since the fall of communism, the market is in a sort of omnipotence; its desire to grow is over passing all boundaries. Without safeguards, its use of science, points the sword of Damocles on the human species. Obviously, these accidents are not today; unconscious creations punctuate our history.
Humanity often runs after its errors, to correct them. When man will finally take power on his impulses, these disasters will cease. We still operate by "attempt, errors, accidents, and corrections”. Once this model left, the human progress will access to serenity.


We are going in this direction. Gradually we learn to take into account our past mistakes. For the first time in history, the human responsibility to his descendants is committed.
Little by little, the human awareness takes over on the unconsciousness of the market. Critical thinking is developing. A new openness finally offers hope to quickly end the era of excess. Recently, we take into account the dangers associated with pollution. Ethical industry and fair trade, take more market shares. The number of researchers committed to the noble causes, gives hope for new horizons.

Time to change

To pass without violence from one model to another, humanity needs time. Prevailing systems are still the longest to change. They have acquired privileges that are difficult to release. Science and the market are in this case. Decades of acute liberalism have left traces. Gradually corporations will have to accept that it is time to retake human before profit.

The release of counter powers

This is mainly focusing on ecological balances, which awareness has been essentially initiated by citizens; of course help from counter powers will be needed; that are, intellectuals, trade unions, justice and political parties. These corporations have been weakened in the brutal rise of new liberalism; now, it is necessary to suppress the obstacles posed by the dominants.
Science without conscience is actually a ruin of the soul; but science with consciousness is richness for humanity.


Science is fundamental

Spirituality is the first.

pythagoreScience alone is unable to answer to all questions and, despite its development, it will not. Claude Levi-Strauss

Neither science, or philosophy, or technique can be the ultimate purpose of things

Historically, techniques used to appear before science, but the trend reversed. Most of the time, thinking is the source of creativity. A large part of the technical progress achieved today is developed by science. Scientific research and industry carries out.

Finding the sense of priorities

Neither research, nor the techniques are goals in themselves; they are tools to serve human evolution; they are intended to improve the mental and physical human comfort. We want to understand in order to appease curious minds. We are looking for technical comfort to enjoy more softness in existence.
Because it offers some pleasure, research mask its goal to us; we did not see that it actually seeks to liberate the mind. Certainly curiosity leads us to dissect the material, time, the beyond, and the universe; but those reflections are mainly meant to allay our anxieties.
Certainly, man seeks continuously to modernize his own way of living, to improve his objects; but, above all, this is to be able to "feel" the life as better as possible. It is to progressively increase the heritage of good sensations in our society.

  1. Errors of interpretation

As all living forms, man aspires to happiness and flees suffering; he searches for joy, tranquillity, peace... he attempts to repel sadness, anxiety, distress, suffering...
Subject to our impulses and the values of society, we are well often mistaken about the right path; we confuse happiness with pleasure, love with honours, and popularity with fame. We take domination for friendship, richness of being for greed of having.
However, these errors (that is the ruse of reason), also helps building our society.

Reflection, feeling

Herbert Marcuse, philosophe

Herbert Marcuse, né le 19 juillet 1898 à Berlin, mort le 29 juillet 1979 à Starnberg (Bavière) était un philosophe, sociologue, marxiste, américain d'origine allemande. Membre de l'École de Francfort avec Théodore adorno et Max Horkheimer.

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