Abstract of The PaperToday, we are at the cusp of a new era, which I would like to entitle as ‘the Post-scientific Society’ – the period of the Spiritual-Scientific Enlightenment with spiritual-scientific base. Though the word ‘post-scientific’ do not mean ‘non-scientific’, ‘anti-scientific’ or ‘neo-scientific’, it is different from the word ‘scientific’ - it is a next step to the scientific approach in the evolution of human thinking. This period will be characterised by the re-structuring of, and the combination of both science and religion: replacement of the information technology in the post-industrial period (based on the digital electronics) by the human-mind-based technology: and more importance to moral and spiritual sciences than the natural sciences and engineering. It is ‘the human valuing society,
Emerging Post-scientific Society and the Future of Mankind
Emerging Post-scientific Society and the Future of MankindSince the 18th century, ‘science’ & ‘technology’ are being used as the catchphrases of all the schools of thought and mass media. But, though in future, in the next coming decades of the 21st century, science & technology will continue to play there vital role in all the sectors, all the schools of thought will have conceptual framework different from that of the conventional scientific treatises. This new era may be termed as the post- scientific society.
Today, generally, the conventional wisdom says that emergence of the scientific attitude is the final stage of the evolution of human ideology; and that all the innovations, in future, will eventually take place within the closed boundaries of the scientific methodology. Also August Comte, the founder of sociology, states that “each of our leading conceptions, each branch of our knowledge passes successively through three different theoretical conditions: the Theological, or fictitious: the Metaphysical, or abstract: and the Scientific, or Positive”.* For Comte, in the third stage, it was the science-valuing society that was the highest, most developed type of human organization.
Today we are at the cusp of a New Age entitled by various concepts like ’Post-industrial Society’, ‘Post-modern Society’ or ‘Post-scientific Society’. All these concepts are interlinked, confusing and ambiguous in meaning. The subject ‘The Post-scientific Society’ is yet to be discussed in the main sociological stream.
Due to the ambiguity of the meaning of ‘Post-scientific Society’, as it is difficult to give its short definition, it’s better to present a detailed description of this concept. Following are some excerpts from the writing of Christopher T. Hill (professor of public policy and technology in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia) which explain his concept of the Post-scientific Society with special reference to the hi-tech society in the United States.**
1) A post-scientific society will have several key characteristics, the most important of which is the innovation leading to wealth generation and productivity growth will be based principally not on world leadership in fundamental research in the natural sciences and engineering, but on the world-leading mastery of the creative powers of, and the basic sciences of, individual human beings, their societies, and their cultures.
2) The leading edge of innovation in the post-scientific society, whether for business, industrial, consumer, or public purposes, will move from the workshop, the laboratory, and the office to the studio, the think tank, the atelier, and cyberspace.
3) The new science that underlies innovation in a post-scientific society will often appear in U.S. organisations not as data and theory, but as knowledge embodied in devices, components, systems, and routines obtained from anywhere else in the world.
4) In the post-scientific society, the demands on innovators are very great. They must not have only a core understanding of scientific and technical principals, but an equally strong preparation in business principals, communications, skills, multicultural understanding, a foreign language or two, human psychology, and one or more of the creative art,
Actually, all this explanation presents the profile of a highly developed post-industrial society or post-modern society or that of a neo-scientific society instead of a post-scientific society. Daniel Bell, who was a sociologist and professor emeritus at Harvard University, coined the term ‘Post-industrial Society’ characterised by knowledge economics, behavioural economics, information architecture, shift of innovation from mass production of industrial goods to flexibility in production, cybernetics and Game theory. The above excerpts of the writings of Christopher T. Hill depict the picture of the second generation of Daniel Bill’s post-industrial society which is not the post-scientific society.
Though the word ‘post-scientific’ do not mean ‘non-scientific’, ‘anti-scientific’ or ‘neo-scientific’, it is different from the word ‘scientific’ - it is a next step to the scientific approach in the evolution of human thinking. The world-leading mastery of the creative powers of and the basic sciences of individual human beings, their societies, and their cultures may be one of the key characteristics of the post-scientific society. But just the shifting of leading edge of innovation from the workshop, the laboratory and the office to the studio, the think tank, the atelier and cyberspace; or appearance of new science as knowledge embodied in devices, components, systems, and routines obtained from anywhere else in the world; or strong preparation in business principals, communication, skills, multicultural understanding, a foreign language or two, human psychology, and one or more of the creative art, etc are not the key criteria of the post-scientific society. Rather, these are the signs of a hi-tech scientific society – better to say, a neo-scientific society (not a post-scientific society).
Just as the industrial society challenged the agriculture-based social structure of the medieval period, the post-industrial society also challenged the industry-based social structure of the modern period. But, as we see, there is no any strong challenge, in the post-scientific society depicted by Christopher, to the science-based social structure of the present Age. Rather it is based on the re-structuring of science without any challenge to it. Then how could it be entitled as the ‘Post-scientific Society’?
In the industrial society, innovations in science and technology took place to have mass production in big industries. But in the post-industrial society, the trend of innovative practices shifted to the collection and storage of more and more information of, and implementation of the knowledge about, the process of production, with an intention to have flexibility in production and services, to make the economic sector more friendly-user. And, now in the future, in the post-scientific society, to make the economy even more friendly-user, the attention of the major innovative practices will be the human being himself (who is the end-user of all the economic gains, services, information and knowledge) and the instinct drives of human beings, their belief system and ethics, their subjective nature and the attitude towards life which are behind the motivation of all the economic processes and all the other activities in the society. And, the innovations about the instinct drives of humans, their belief system and ethics, there subjective nature and the attitude towards life - all these factors are the matter of metaphysics and spirituality or religion, and these factors are far away from the scope of the science which is empirical, objective and ethically neutral.
Thus, the society in future will be characterised by the re-structuring of, and the combination of, both the science and religion (or spirituality). Thus, in true sense, it is worthy to be entitled as ‘the Post-scientific Society’ it will be the period of the spiritual-scientific Enlightenment..
Due to the automation, over-mechanization and computerisation, the industrial and the post-industrial societies dehumanised the social structure. Mr. Furukawa, President of Hitachi Limited, quotes “And, what sort of new industries can we expect to produce in the future? I believe that the key word for future industries is again ‘human’. Yes, ‘human’. A century of human affluence”.*** Thus the society in future, the post-scientific society will be ‘the Human-valuing Society. But, it’s very difficult to guess about the nature of religion and science in the post-scientific society. Moral and spiritual sciences will be valued more than natural sciences and engineering. The information technology (based on the digital electronics, computerisation, cybernetics, etc) in the post-industrial period will be replaced, to a large extent, by the human-mind-based technology which includes telepathy (direct mind-to-mind interaction between persons at the remote distance), astral projection (out of body experience), Tratak (concentration of mind on an object), practise of deep hypnotic trance and meditation – which work at the level even more subtle than, and much more effective than, the micro-electronics and nano-technology.
Possibly, India will emerge as a world power. In his speech (organised in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, by KCE Society’s Vividhata Sanshodhan Kendra and Loktirtha Swami Maharaj), Vijay Bhatkar, the creator of the ‘Param Ten Thousand’ super-computer, says “The scientific progress in India has the foundation of spirituality. Therefore, in the coming age, India will lead the world by combining science and spirituality”.****
Even in the scientific western society, there is an observable and increasing tendency of the people to turn to spiritual practices to get achievements higher than the material or economic gains and to have peace of mind, Spiritual cults like Bahai religion, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Brahma Kumaris, All World Gayatri Pariwar, etc are getting more importance all over the world. Also some of the world famous scientists are a little bit post-scientific in their attitude. Max Plank, world famous Physicist, says “There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other”.***** Are not these the signs of the coming of the post-scientific society of the spiritual-scientific base?
REFERENCES* From ‘The Positive Philosophy’ of August Comte (Trans Harriet Martineau, London, 1853), Vol. 1, pp. 1
** From the article “The Post-Scientific Society” by Christopher T. Hill in the “ISSUES in science and technology (a publication of the University of Texas at Dallas), the fall 2007 issue.
*** From the 7 minute speech about ‘Science and Technology and the Future of Humankind’ by Mr. Furukawa Kazuo, President and CEO, Hitachi, Limited, at the 5th annual Meeting of the Science and Technology Forum, Kyoto International conference Centre.
**** See the Marathi news ‘Vidnyanala adhyatmache adhishthan have’ in Dainik Maharashtra Times (Nashik and North Maharashtra edition) dated. 5 Jan 2009.
***** From the book “Where Is Science Going?” (1932) by the Phystcist Max Plank, pp. 168.
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Congratulations, Bhai.new knowledge wrote:Dear forum members, here I would like to present my research paper about the emerging Post-Scientific phase of the evoluation of human thinking i.e the emerging Spiritual-Scientific Enlightment in near future. This is my sociological research-paper which I presented in the international conference on 'Science, Technology and Society' at Indore Christian College, Indore on 12/13 March 2011.
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