— Jeremy Ramirez
Alexander Pope, An Essay On Man is one of the most profound poems I’ve ever read. It left me feeling confused and unsettled because it hit on topics that I always been curious about. Pope argues that man shouldn’t be poking their noses into nature, leave nature as it is because then we would disrupt the natural order of things. His argument leaves us with a huge debate whether or not the study of nature or what we call as Science, is actually good for humanity. It’s a very tricky argument because many people see the benefits that Science brought us; such as electricity, vehicles, the internet, etc. The contributions of Science are all around us and continue to shape our society. There are some scientists who are concerned with the advancements of Science, which is why they have symbolically created a Doomsday Clock for the existential threat of humanity. The two leading threats to humanity are a nuclear war and global warming. As it currently stands, The doomsday clock is now 100 seconds to Midnight. This is the countdown to the end of humanity. The irony that the advancements of science & technology to improve our lives could lead to our extinction. Science has been beneficial for mankind, but there is always a potential risk when we imitate God, or focus only on rationality. It makes me think about Denzel’s Washington’s movie: The Book of Eli, where he’s in a dystopian society where there is no religion and the negative consequences of that. I think about sci-fi movies like Ex Machina, where the robot killed its creator. These movies are to show the danger that could happen if we don’t add morality into Science and Society. We could end up creating robots- Artificial Intelligence with no concept of feelings, don’t know right from wrong or a society with no morals, it’s just survival of the fittest. What can we do moving forward? I think that it’s really difficult to answer what can we do because it is inevitable Science and technology will continue to advance and influence our world. For now we can study history and literature to make rational-moral decisions. It was inevitable that the Age of Enlightenment gave rise to the social sciences, the study of man, such as Sociology and Psychology. I see how An Essay On Man is important. It relates with many philosophers and sociologists who criticize “rationalization”. These thinkers see that where people falsely believe it to be progress, there are negative and dehumanizing effects on society. Old text are more meaningful to me and makes me want to study it closer. Old religious text is not to be taken always literally, for it contains metaphors, universal truths and hidden messages. I see that we are much like the stories in the bible, such as the story of Adam and Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. We are like the story of The Tower Of Babel, man building a tower to reach God, but then God destroying it and separating people into different languages. Interpreting these passages are interesting and I could go into depth to find the underlying meaning of it and relate it to the modern world. It changes my perspective on God, the bible and the meaning behind it. It will be an interesting conversation to have with one day with my cousin Miguel; a genius who recently joined NASA and converted to Islam. And a conversation with my older sister Stephany; who’s amazing and whom I’m closest with. She has a degree in Psychology, working in Education, and is Catholic. Then there’s me, pursuing a Sociology degree, and consider myself agnostic. As I have to keep myself a skeptic, questioning everything, and keep an objectivity while doing research. I could also be subjective at the same time when necessary, or applicable, adding morals and ethics into the Sciences for man’s future endeavors.