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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 22, Issue 3, 2012

Civilization and Science

Vir Singh
Pages 27-37

Science, Civilization and Happiness. A Vision of Hope

Science took a wrong turn with the birth of its daughter, the technology, with whose guidance the civilization ushered in the Industrial Age in mid-18th century. From here a drama of science’s increasing dominance over civilization began. The science–civilization marriage has been quite inconvenient. However, the civilization, at this juncture, cannot divorce science. Its dependence on science and technology has increased to an extent that without it the world will come almost to standstill. Science and technology have not only changed social, cultural and economic values but have also posed a challenge to the very sustainability of life. From the plunder of nature to the disruption of climate system of the planet, science could be held responsible for its lifeannihilating role. Science and technology have compelled us to transform our biosphere into a technosphere; and technosphere is not a safe place for the civilization to prosper and evolve to attain its climax. A civilization in its natural way always evolves through evolving happiness. Happiness, in fact, is the gist of civilization. Institutes, creativity, spirituality, democracy, freedom, knowledge and beauty are the major attributes of the civilization to create conditions for happiness. Happiness must flow from our thinking, every policy, every program, every project and every philosophy. As our economic development models based on the over-exploitation of nature and the capitalistic ideology are happiness-devouring, our contemporary civilization cannot bloom with happiness in such an environment. The small Himalayan nation Bhutan has shown the world how to gauze national progress through Gross National Happiness, rather than through conventional Gross National Product or Gross Domestic Product. The Skolimowskian philosophy, a new philosophy sprouting out like a beautiful lotus amidst the mud of analytical philosophy, envisions a civilization in the Third Millennium empowered enough by the values to reconstruct a new world, search new horizons of happiness and sustainability and design a new cosmology that could lead us to fertilize the universe.

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