Sunday, August 19, 2012

Guest Blog - Advances in Technology by Christina Freeman

Image by Christian Freeman

This is a subject I've gone back and forth on for years.  In the wrong hands technology can be such a dangerous tool and the fear of course is in figuring something out that turns out to be this generations' atomic bomb.  But I think I've finally settled on my answer:

In all ways it seems humanity is bound to any and all things that propel the ‘idea’ lifestyle.  Historically it seems that the greatest civilizations have impacted the world with far reaching concepts and theories on what an idea or perfect life would be like or how it should be lived. In many of the technological advances it seems this idea is still present.  This seemingly unattainable specter of a ‘better’ life plagues humans and has driven mankind to dizzying height of achievement and depravity. This confronts directly the role of morality and advancement in the human psyche.  As the Sophists proved, just about any argument can be made with logical justification.  But in many cases it is one based in the principle of the act and not on the benefit of the action. However as we advance with our technology, and our technology advances with us, should we let the efficacy of something supersede the ultimate outcome?  Are there times when the need for progress or advancement should be avoided because of the potential disastrous effects of the introduction of this invention to modern society?

The appeal of the glass world Corning has suggested bares underpinnings to the desolation of the world Forster gives a brief glimpse of.  So the true question becomes when has this idea of technological advancement gone so far as to actually strip humanity of the very vices and processes that make us the most human.  It then becomes this allegory for how humanity must develop its on moral compass especially when it comes to the advances and benefits of technology that can some times seem to take the idea of morality being religiously based out the equation.

Historically religion and the idea of God had been the main mitigating factor in the decisions of humanity regarding right and wrong.  In fact many of our laws reflect ideas from Christianity. Yet in our world there is a different form of ‘religion’ developing that concerns the preference and in some cases worship of science and specifically technological advancement. 

Transhumanists seek to expand on what they feel like is a ‘flawed’ design that humanity currently finds itself in.  The idea is to eventually beat death and transfer consciousness from one shell to another.  And while this sounds like a fascinating concept, how would the long term impact affect what is viewed as human and what is not. As with all forms of change there is a population that will condemn it and there is a population that will embrace it. The true aspects of right and wrong then become not matters of group conscience but matters of choice and letting free will remain the aspect of human nature be the most respected.

If technology advancements can continue to respect individuality our moral compass will never truly be compromised. It’s only if we move towards a course of likeminded thinking without room for experimentation and growth that we will potentially suffer dystopian controlling nihilistic advancement as opposed to open beneficial movement towards a more utilitarian and equilateral society.

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