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Irresponsible science causes human destruction through technology

Irresponsiblescience causes human destruction through technology

TheCat’s Cradle seeks to answer simple human existence questions. Theauthor, Kurt Vonnegut, answers explores the reasons human exist intheir present universe. The book uses satire and humor to investigateand criticize human ethics, religion, and the influence of researchand technology. This essay hypothesizes that the socialresponsibility of leaders and ethics of war technology developers arecrucial for human co-existence.

Althoughthe science is crucial for humans because it has led to numerouscritical inventions, irresponsible scientists may lead to thedestruction of humankind. In the Cat’s Cradle, Vonnegut integratesblack humor, irony, and satire in illustrating his view. In ordinarysociety, religion and science are important, as it is the base forachieving ideal lifestyle. However, Vonnegut portrays science andreligion as major sources of lies, as well as possible causes ofhuman destruction (Vonnegut 13). The author portrays religion as aset of lies invented by a few wise individuals, and then taught tothe people so that they can live in a given way. For example, afterEdward McCabe and Bokonon arrived at the impoverished and diseaseinfested island of San Lorenzo, they had dreams of making the islanddeveloped just like in Utopia. However, Bokonon soon discovers thatpeople are resistant to the truth. To overcome this challenge, hedecided to establish a unique religion called Bokononism. Vonnegutasserts that, “Asthe scientist finds the truth that kills, the prophet looks for asaving lie (May31).&quot` The statement is an aphorism to mock the falsehood ofBokonon faith. The religion was based on attractive lies that weretailored to be more meaningful and exciting for its enthusiasts. Inaddition, the book illustrates believers as hypocritical persons whoprefer following outlawed ethics. This explains the reason Bokononrequested MacCabe to outlaw Bokononism in order to enhance its appealto the believers (Zins 172).

TheCat’s Cradle is not a description of an ideology for defensedespite the fact that it features prominently the past lifeexperiences of Felix Hoenikker. Felix was one of the founding fathersof atomic bomb technology. According to the United States, the atomicbomb developers’ objective was to save the lives of the humanpopulation. However, he portrays scientists such as Hoenikker stupid.For example, Felix gives ice-nine to his children despite the fact heknew the eminent danger he was placing the world through giving thechemicals to children. The statement is Vonnegut’s way ofcriticizing the 1945 atomic bombings in Japan. Instead of thescientists advising the president against approving use of the bombon human targets, they developed made assumptions that atomic bombswould work just like regular firebombs the US had been using duringSecond World War In short, Vonnegut implies that humans are at riskof destroying the universe because of their stupidity (Zins 171).

TheCat’s Cradle also communicates unique message that only the novelcan communicate. Vonnegut claims that his greatest fear is dealingwith intelligent people who can design technology with the capacityto destroy the world, and then give it to foolish persons. The authorclaims that the contemporary imagination is corrupt because leaderslack ethical value for life to the extent that politicians authorizeddropping of the atomic bomb that killed 71,000 people in Hiroshima(Vonnegut 33). In addition, the joint US and British militaryfirebombing operation in Dresden killed 135,000 people. Vonnegut aimsat portraying the modern society as harsh, violent, and volatilebecause of the advanced technology in the hands of the wrong persons.The Cat’s Cradle is satirical criticism to the US bombings anddomination methods on other countries. It illustrates that thedemocratic policies that the US is based on are probably creativedeceptions such as the ones used with Bokononism (May 29).

Vonnegutalso challenges the wisdom of seemingly intelligent persons. Forexample, Newt claims that his father, Felix Hoenikker never readother forms of books that could help him to improve his lifestylesuch as newspapers and novels. His interest was just readingtechnical journals, hence the reason he lacked basic parenting skillsfor taking care of his children (Zins 171). Felix’s children sufferfrom psychological torture because their faster does not give themparental love. For example, at onetime he looked out of the window tosee what the commotion outside was about. He saw Angela and Newtfighting rolling on the ground as they fought. Frank was laughing andcheering as his siblings fought. However, Felix just returned indoorsand just let the children continue fighting. He never bothered toknow the reason the kids were fighting, or even trained them thatfighting was unethical. The psychological torture the childrenexperience prevent them from achievings 100% development hence,three of them exchange their share of “ice-nine” for a positionin the society (Zins 171). For example, Angela Hoenikker gave a shareof her inherited ice-nine chemical to a handsome scientist calledHarrison C. Conners so that he could marry her. Vonnegut summarizesthat humans often blame their nuclear risk to the unrestrainedtechnology development, but the author blames the problem on thefailure of humans achieving full development (May 34).


Vonnegut,Kurt. Cat`sCradle.New York: RosettaBooks, 2002. Internet resource..

May,R. Jay. “Vonnegut`s Humor and the Limits of Hope.” TwentiethCentury Literature. 18 (1). 1972. pp. 25-36

Zins,Daniels.” Rescuing Science from Technocracy: &quotCat`s Cradle&quotand the Play of Apocalypse.” Science Fiction Studies. 1986. 13 (2).pp. 170-181.