How can science and technology help to resolve or prevent conflicts and thus help the cause of peace?
We may now ask in what way have science and technology, the scientific method, scientific knowledge, and technological advances, developments, helped or can help resolve conflicts arising on account of the factors mentioned above, or prevent such conflicts from arising ? We describe below, in brief, the role that science and technology have played and can play as determinants of peace in respect of conflicts of each type mentioned above .
Religious fundamentalism emphasizes dogma
Science can help by showing that while science stands in direct contradiction to the dogma of all religions, which dogma separates and identifies one religion from the other, today's science provides valuable support to the ethical aspects of a religion which are virtually identical between religions. The synoymity of science with ethical values that have stood the test of time could act as a major unifying force between religions and thus help to resolve religious conflicts that have been a major cause of disturbance of peace around the world, not only in modern times but all through history.
The basis of colonialism of yesterday and neocolonialism of today has been largely the disparity in respect of knowledge and the status of science between the coloniser and the colonised. From history, one can take the example of India itself. East India Company which laid the foundations of the subsequent British conquest of India, came here to exploit our natural resources. They were able to do so because they had the technological ability to add value to our resources, for example cotton. We thus exported cotton to the Lancashire mills of England and imported the finished product, the cloth . As a colony of Great Britain we didn't even make sewing needles, pins and blades, leave aside cutlery and machines. It is only after we became independent that this situation was transformed within a half-century into one where we acquired the capability of making virtually everything.
It is true that manifest colonisation is now a thing of the past, but neocolonisation is not. Since even neocolonisation always has seeds of conflict in it which would sprout at the slightest provocation, it is important to ensure that these seeds do not sprout. An important step towards preventing neocolonisation would be to ensure that the level of scientific and technological development in the country that is likely to be affected, is at par with that of the other countries that might have the tendency to dominate. It must be immediately added that it is not important that the country trying to protect its de facto independence, has the state-of-art expertise in all areas of science and technology; it would be impossible for smaller countries to do so. What is important is that this is so at least in one area of science or technology.
From what we have said above, it is clear that the ability to defend against colonisation or neocolonisation would be today directly proportional to the scientific the technological development of the country itself. The recent attempted takeover or "colonisation" of Kuwait by Iraq was prevented on account of the superior technological ability of the countries that helped Kuwait.
We must also point out in all fairness that technological and scientific superiority also provides a means to colonise - de facto or de jure - another country which is inferior in this respect. Such disparities, therefore, always have in them the seeds of conflict. While we do not underrate the role of moral pressures on the scientific and the technologically strong today in preventing exploitation of the scientifically and technologically weak, we strongly believe that the only way to ensure that such exploitation does not occur is by raising the scientific and technological level of the country that otherwise runs the risk of being...
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