Does Man Have the Answers?
HAVE the world’s experts provided the guidance needed for creating strong, unified families? Do science and technology point the way to a secure and happy future?
Consider what the experts themselves are saying about the guidance they have given to parents:
Do not these admissions show that the experts cannot be depended upon for supplying the right kind of guidance for successful family living?
Is Science the Answer?
What about science and technology? At the close of the nineteenth century people were enthused about the marvels they thought science and technology would bring about in the future.
“Scientific American,” in its issue of July 1899, looked ahead optimistically to the impact the automobile would have on city life. This publication envisioned “light rubber-tired vehicles moving swiftly and noiselessly” over “clean, dustless and odorless” streets, eliminating much of the “nervousness, distraction, and strain of modern metropolitan life.” What a far cry this is from the actual situation today—noisy streets clogged with cars, buses and trucks, spewing deadly gases into the air.
True, science and technology have produced more laborsaving devices, made possible more leisure time for many and given people greater mobility. But, sadly, all this has been accompanied by additional pressures that fragment families, lead to frustrations, ruin the health of many and, in fact, threaten human existence.
Writing in the New York “Times” of January 7, 1975, René Dubos, scientist and author, observed:
“In the United States, the average consumption of energy per person is today approximately double what it was thirty years ago and double also what it is now in Europe. Does anyone really believe that this difference is reflected in more happiness, less suffering, greater longevity among present-day Americans, or in a more rapid progress of American civilization toward more desirable goals? A recent study based on measurements of various social indicators in 55 countries failed to reveal any beneficial effect of increased energy use on the quality of life; if there was a correlation, it was that the greater the energy consumption, the larger the percentages of divorces and suicides!
“An abundant supply of energy is, of course, essential for the production of more and more industrial goods, but this is not all that there is to happiness and civilization. . . .
“I shall go even further and claim that in the highly industrialized parts of the world a decrease in energy use could have a multiplicity of beneficial effects in the long run. These would include improvements in physical and mental health, sounder agricultural practices based on ecological principles, architectural styles more interesting because they are better adapted to local conditions, policies of rural and urban planning that would favor a revival of community spirit—and of course a less disturbed global ecology.”
Regarding the dangerous situation in which man finds himself, Barry Commoner, in his book “Science and Survival” (p. 126), writes:
“Despite the dazzling successes of modern technology and the unprecedented power of modern military systems, they suffer from a common and catastrophic fault. While providing us with a bountiful supply of food, with great industrial plants, with high-speed transportation, and with military weapons of unprecedented power, they threaten our very survival.”
Obviously, the problems facing mankind, in many cases, stem from things that were viewed as promising a better world. There can be no question about the fact that shifting and conflicting opinions of men cannot be depended upon to lead the way out of the present bad situation. Does this not suggest the need for a guide from a source higher than man? Moreover, since many people do things that they know to be wrong and harmful to themselves and others, such a guide must also provide incentive for them to change their ways. It must give them a real purpose in life. Does such a guide exist?
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New York Times, March 2, 1974, P. 31
A Guide to the Perplexed Parent
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The Milwaukee Journal, January 22, 1974, p. 2, part 1
Spock Blames Self for Brats