GRE Issue Essay 72
“The true value of a civilization is reflected in its artistic creations rather than in its scientific accomplishments.”
A civilization is an advanced state of human society. It is a society that is developed in terms of culture, science, industry, and government. Development of all these aspects is equally important; any one underdeveloped aspect can qualify a society as uncivilized.
The importance of development is immense. It signifies growth and achievement. Every society tries to accomplish improvement in every sphere, be it art, literature, science, industry, governance or anything else. Accomplishment in itself can be quantitatively measured. For instance, the crime rate in a society is an indication of the state of law and order there, the level of scientific advancement is another parameter. On the other hand, the value that is attached with a society is not easy to measure. The estimation of a society’s worth is complex. The different parameters used for measuring accomplishment are not as useful when it comes to measuring the value of a civilization.
The author is trying to draw a comparison between the scientific accomplishment and artistic creations of a civilization as parameters for measuring its true value.
Scientific accomplishments are very important for any society and nation to develop. It is science that governs our lives and the more we exploit it, the more we benefit and advance. Countries like America that are centers of scientific research are the most progressive ones. Not only do scientific accomplishments make our lives more comfortable, they make our nations stronger, more sought after and secure. There is no denying the fact that if a civilization has to progress, it has to pay heed to its scientific advancement.
On the other hand, scientific development cannot gain a nation any respect if its people are not advanced. For a civilization to be respected, its people have to have great thoughts. Our thoughts govern our actions and hence our actions are a reflection of our states of mind. Artistically bent people in a society are its true leaders. They express their minds through artistic creations like literature, paintings, music, poetry, dramatics etc and cast an influence over millions. An artistic creation is not bound by a civilization. It transcends the barriers of location, time, language and culture and extends its influence across nations. Influence of a civilization across other civilizations is the true recognition of its worth. It brings timeless glory to the society like no scientific creation can.
A comparison between India and America should clear the point. Where America is scientifically advanced, India is artistically rich. People are attracted towards India because of its rich and varied culture and heritage.
History also stands witness to the fact. We observe how cultures developed in the past on the basis of their artistic accomplishments. Science, in fact, aids comfort only. It cannot have any influence over our minds; it cannot change our attitudes and values. Art is timeless and scientific developments are relative. Any great scientific development can be improved upon but art is complete. The worth of a civilization is known from its artistic background which is typical of the civilization, whereas scientific accomplishment is greatly influenced by other civilizations. Therefore, we can say that art is the true representation of a civilization.