A Paragraph on Science and Superstition

Science, like art, is concerned with the quest for truth and reality. Side by side, it works for the betterment of
humanity. Science encompasses and nourishes modern life in such a way that a modern man, without the help of science, is a non-entity. Science has changed every aspect of life at a rapid pace. Blessed by science, the modern man no more laments with Shakespeare-
“As flies to wanton boys
Are we to the gods.
They kill us for their sport”.

Science frees us from hardships, dangers, and sufferings. It guarantees man’s success in life. It acts as a driving force behind any human excellence. It is an instrument of man’s quest for knowledge and truth.

Science weighs the evidence. It refuses to accept superstition. Superstition is a belief without reason. It thrives on ignorance. Many men are superstitious. Some consider the number 13 unlucky. Some belief in ghosts and spirits. For some, the sound of a lizard is ominous; if someone sneezes or calls from behind, it is considered a bad omen by some; the cry of an owl or a raven is inauspicious; a comet is a portent and so on. People attribute their failures to these superstitions. For example, a man sets out on a business and a black cat crosses his path. If the man fails on his mission, he curses the black cat. A dog howls before a door and superstitious people think that someone in the area will die soon; a new bride is considered to be good luck. To see a washerman’s donkey at dawn is a sign of good luck. On the other hand, meeting a widow while beginning a journey is considered unlucky. Even educated persons wear gems to ensure good fortune.

Superstition means a faith that is unfounded. Superstitions are the creations of whimsical and disturbed minds. Superstitions are born of ignorance and lack of scientific spirit. They destroy our self-confidence. They dampen our will to work.

Superstitions must be given a permanent farewell. They tend to weaken the scientific approach to life. We have to encourage the power of reasoning to combat them. A scientific-minded person has no faith in silly superstitions. He looks upon such superstitions as ridiculous. Superstitions can be dispelled only with the spread of education and scientific spirit. But the scientific spirit must go deep into our social system and change our attitude from within. We should remember that the scientific way of life is bound to triumph. As Rabindranath Tagore put it, we must get rid of “dead habits” if we want to enjoy freedom.