The Loss of the Way to Freedom

3 December 2529

The Loss of the Way to Freedom

The process by which to achieve freedom (and peace and happiness) is called development (bhāvanā), and in Buddhism, as far as man is concerned, development is synonymous with education (sikkhā). Just as freedom is of four levels, development or education is fourfold, viz., physical development, leading to physical freedom, social development, leading to social freedom, emotional development, leading to emotional freedom, and intellectual development, leading to intellectual freedom.

As for physical freedom and physical development, a considerable contribution to success must be credited to science and technology. The immense achievements of science and technology must be appreciated. They must not be underestimated, though also not exaggerated. Through scientific and technological development, great material abundance has been provided, to such an extent that goods and facilities are more than enough to serve all people to make them happy. Science and technology have brought physical freedom within easy reach. It is up to people themselves whether they will utilize them to contribute to their happiness or to their unhappiness. In other words, people of today are equipped with almost unbounded technological potential, either for positive purposes, to make all people live in affluence, or for negative purposes, to put mankind to wholesale destruction. Here end the function and responsibility of science and technology.

Nature may be increasingly produced by certain groups in the interests of wealth accumulation, thereby widening the gap between the rich and the poor and causing prevalent poverty and starvation; greater and greater amounts of money may be spent on the arms race to serve the international power contest, indirectly rendering food, education and health care inaccessible to large numbers of people through misdirection of resources; more and more people may die in armed conflicts between religious groups and ideological parties who resort to force and might for the decision of who is right and who is wrong, or what is true and what is false; natural resources may be selfishly exploited and lavishly consumed in such manner as to cause resource depletion and environmental pollution. If such problems arise, it is not science and technology that are to blame. The fault lies with mankind himself, who fails to make wise and proper use of science and technology, but seeks their services as occasions for the discharge and maximization of his three self-centred tendencies, or impulses, of selfish desire for pleasures and acquisitions, egotistical lust for dominance and power, and clinging to views and ideologies. How can we find fault with them while scientific and technological developments are merely products of human creation?

ตอนก่อนหน้า/ตอนต่อไป<< Proper Assessment of Science and TechnologyThe One Solution >>

No Comments

Comments are closed.