Personally, I find the Halls’ arguments convincing, maybe because they are consistent with my previous experience. My opinion is that science is a more reliable way of exploring the world. Its advantage is that there is only one science with the scientific method universally recognized in all or most parts of the globe, whereas the marginalization of different parts of society often occurs because there are different religions and people follow different views.
The diversity of religions is another argument why science as a universal world outlook should take precedence before it.
The scientific method seems to be a far more reliable method of exploring the world. It is based on observations, not some obscure revelations of prophets and messengers from God, and the scientist is expected to be thorough and honest in documenting the outcomes of the experiment. Of course, there is also room for the construction of hypotheses that come arbitrarily out of somebody’s mind, but these have to be substantiated with factual evidence in order to become valid knowledge.
Presupposition of the existence of some kind of transnatural forces will inevitably mar the investigation of scientific facts because it leaves too much space to issues that arbitrarily affect the results of the investigation. Some people can object to the scientific method because they think it will leave the world very dry and boring.
People have to understand that this mystical view of the world can leave it unexplored because consideration of issuers irrelevant to the process will have to become part of it.
2. The essay by Edwin A. Locke does include ideas that merit attention. However, it sounds too supremacist with regard to other nations.
The problem with identifying the success of the West with its more sound ideology lies in the fact that it many factors contributed to the prominence of the West. Some would say that it simply managed to rise ahead of other states, suppressing them with colonialist policies. That other nations did not embrace technology often means that they had poor access to it.
Robert Wright in his essay takes a different viewpoint. He critically assesses the notion of ‘manifest destiny’ for America that supports the idea of its greatness. Besides, he advocates that ethnocentrism is actually wrong for America because it conflicts with multiculturalism that permits peaceful coexistence of all people in the same land. International relations can also profit if American stop asserting their superiority and turn a more open eye toward other nations.
3. Lukacs believed that the dominate ideology of the 20th century was nationalism. Alliance between people on the basis of nations proved to be more powerful than affinity that was based on class as the one assumed Marxists.
Lukacs argues that people were swept by nationalist feelings that outstripped other ideological quirks such as Communism. The Cold War was, in the opinion of Lukacs, protracted because of the persisting anti-Communism embraced by many in the West. In Lukacs’ view, this is a spontaneous, often irrational feeling that surfaces only within the bourgeoisie, but also among workers themselves.
The main reason for its existence is the desire of respectability. His criticisms can also be applied to anti-terrorism rampant today, a feeling that also leads to oversimplification and overstatement of the challenge – for example, manifested in the proneness to blame the whole Muslim world for the acts.
The author identifies problems with the dissolution of the empires with the rise of nationalist feelings in these areas, spurred on by masses and desire of local officials to become leaders of new states.
Nationalistic feelings also fuel wars for independence that occurred in the colonial world in the 20th century where the people sought to throw off the yoke of foreign powers, not necessarily for the benefit of their own nation. The state in Lucacs’ perception is the political entity that is formally constructed: for instance, the Soviet state was dominated by one party. The nation, on the other hand, is more easily identifiable with people.
4. Fundamentalism is going to be one of the key issues that dominate American politics and the national policy-making worldwide. It represents the trend to address religious texts for guidance on all historic events, a road map to success and an accurate prediction of future events if humans interpret it correctly.
This tradition leads people to interpret modern history in apocalyptic terms, viewing the world as a battlefield between the Christ and the Anti-Christ. This can lead to the inclination to discard all technological innovations because the Satan is expected to make use of them in order to take control of the earth. Moreover, people will expect the second coming of the Christ.