My books haven’t come from Amazon yet, which is putting me behind for my Spirituality and Technology class, but I need to get blogging on my experiences with it, so I’ll talk a bit about the last class.
There were a few things that I noticed last class that I think I can better summarize by writing than I could in the class, so for all you students who got tired of listening to me ramble with incoherent sentences, this is for you with a solid dose of opinion.
Technology is not inherently evil. It is how it is used that makes it evil. The Bible is a beautiful book of spirituality that in many way encapsulates the spirituality that we have today because so much of it is shaped out of how Christians have interpreted the Bible for the past 1800 years or so. The Bible does not see technology as evil in and of itself but sees it as a tool that people can either use for good or for evil. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, the people gathered together to build a tower with bricks (their modern technology) and God separated them and caused their work to crumble. It was when technology was used to make themselves equal with God is when it became destructive and evil.
Technology now is no different. We want to use it to make ourselves like God. We want to use it to control (or at least give us the illusion of control) of everything from weather to death to science. We can access any information in the world almost now with the internet which gets us pretty close to being omniscient. We can fly anywhere in the world, which gets us pretty close to being omnipresent. We can build things that will destroy the world which gets us pretty close to being omnipotent.
We need to get away from the questions asking if technology is evil or not and start asking ourselves about our motives and if they are evil or not. I used the example in class of the internet. The internet was created originally out of good intentions to pass important information to people in important times. It didn’t take long though until people with evil intentions created it into the biggest distribution market for pornography in the world. Does this mean the internet is evil?
Coming to this understanding doesn’t bring us too far. We are still stuck with the fact that technology is used for evil constantly and by associating ourselves with some technologies that can so easily be twisted into evil makes us look awfully close to full-blown supporters of the evil. So how can we allow technology to become a tool that we use to help mankind and not give it the false impression that it is in equality with God. How do we make technology and progress not an end in itself that we seek after? How do we prevent defaulting to a choice between two evils and see the third option? These are the questions now that haunt me. They are the questions now that I will be approaching in the future.