It must be remarked that fear, within certain limits, is an appropriate emotional response which should lead to practical action in order to avoid impending harm or threatening situation. But when it is used as a basis for intimidating People and as an instrument of social control such as fear of eternal hell fire, it could have devastating consequences for the individual.
Deep seated fear of hell fire, enthusiastically promoted by clergy for psychological manipulation of believers, for instance, has minds cringe with horror at the Prospect of eternal damnation. Belief in hell has no scientific Foundation.
Thus, an individual who approaches life from the scientific prospective knows that hell is a myth. The scientific attitude encourages one to look at the universe without the distorting blinkers of superstition. Such a person can intelligently appreciate the wonders of nature with a sense of awe blended with humility, and yet understand that in the midst of incredible harmony and beauty in the universe, there is heart rending ugliness and evil as natural by Products of cosmic evolution.
To have a scientific attitude entails appreciating the good, the bad and the horrible in the world without ascribing them to supernatural forces. I am firmly convinced that on the question of death, which fills People with sense of foreboding and utter helplessness, science offers a more realistic and practical solution than religion. Most religions teach the doctrine of immorality, together with the notions of divine reward and punishment after death. People usually do not realize that for thousands of years, Belief in immorality has fostered unspeakable wicked practices, most especially internment of important personalities like kings and queens with living human beings. Furthermore, they are unaware that research findings in the relevant biological sciences tend towards disbelief in immorality, for there is credible that there is nothing in a human person that survives death in a meaningful subjective and persona list sense. In other words, in spite of decades of research, there is no well documented evidence demonstrating that a dead person can continue to live as the sentiment being anywhere in the universe.
Therefore, knowing that human beings have only one life to live here on earth because life has no duplicate, a person with a scientific mind set has a powerful incentive to maximize the singular opportunity she or he has to live meaningfully and productively. There is a serious misconception, even among highly educated People, that science is completely opaque to values and, as such, cannot contribute meaningfully to the domain of norms. Every human activity is teleological or goal directed. Therefore, the Products of scientific research are value laden, either implicitly or explicitly.
Moreover, eminent scientists and philosophers such as Albert Einstein, Karl popper, Erich Fromm, Richard dawkins and others recognize that the quest for truth, objectively and beauty are fundamental in science at its best. The scientific attitude encourages truthfulness, because science is at the bottom, the quest for unraveling the truth about how nature works: it also inspires humility, together with a healthy dose of skepticism and open mindedness, because science has shown that we are fallible beings without guarantees anywhere that our best epistemic efforts will yield true theories. The notion that science fosters a dry, mechanistic and materialistic world view is equally wrong. This idea stems from ignorance of the impressive research results from the various branches of science, including
Physics, chemistry, biology and astronomy. Consider the astonishing facts that have emerged in the last 50 years from quantum physics, molecular biology and evolutionary genetics: as well as from investigations of the largest structures in the clusters of galaxies.
Reports by researchers in these Fields reveal astonishing poetic and aesthetic blend of complexity and simplicity in nature. The level of wonder, poetic imagination aesthetic appreciation inspired by science is as rich as if not richer than what obtains in the arts and humanities. Doubtlessly, deep scientific insight into the workings of nature is even more spiritually elevating than the mythologies of religion. For instance, Richard dawkins, one of the most eloquent advocates of scientific weltanschauung in the world avers that: not only does the Darwinian Theory command superabundant power to explain; its economy in doing so has a sinewy elegance, a poetic beauty that outclasses even the world’s origin myths. We started by agonizing over the unchallenged domination of the mind set by religion.
For millennia, human kind has relied on superstition and religion doctrines to guide its conduct. But history seriously indicts religion for the most atrocious instances of human folly, cruelty and wickedness. I do not want to create the erroneous impression that science has never been misused. The point i wish to reiterate is that only the adoption of a scientific attitude, the resolution to base our
Beliefs on evidence, the awareness that our strongest convictions might be mistaken, can save humanity from ultimate ruin which pig headed adherence to antiquated dogmas is likely to bring. I know that science has several limitations and that, unlike religion, it cannot offer certainties. But I also know that the attitude fostered by science is an invaluable asset for coping with our ever changing mysterious universe.