The Proper Use of Technology: Luddites

In the final argument of Joseph Ratzinger from the last post, many people might start claiming that technology is evil. The fact that technology seems to lead to a breakdown in man’s moral nature and a push toward totalitarian control often leads some people to the conclusion that technology should be either rejected or treated as a necessary evil. This rejection is present in certain segments of the environmentalist movement and is often seen in the push for organic foods. This rejection and resentment of technology, however, eventually becomes a resentment against humans and especially human freedom since that freedom allowed the development of technology. This resentment often leads to the idea that man is diseased by his mind and its freedom. But the view of man as presented earlier by Joseph Ratzinger, sees this rejection of man’s reason as another way of denying man’s nature. Technology, as it is not man’s salvation nor man’s bane, and yet can be used for either, must be a mere tool which man uses. This means that technology does not form it’s own philosophy, but rather it is philosophy that determines the development and use of technology.

The next post will conclude this series of posts, and will examine which philosophical foundation the development and proper use of technology should be based.

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2 thoughts on “The Proper Use of Technology: Luddites

  1. Stephen Herreid

    I recently had a talk with someone who believed man is diseased. I asked him for what his idea of man’s HEALTH might be. He had no answer. I wonder whether your use of the words “Salvation” and “bane” would be lost on someone like the gentleman with whom I spoke. Could you point to a parallel between those who reject man’s nature / freedom and those who seek to bring man to his destiny via technology? Are they basically just pessimistic v. optimistic complainers against nature and its God?

    Reply
  2. Jonathan Camara Post author

    There is a parallel. The luddites (Those who reject man’s freedom because he can create technology) wish to “save” the human race by ending man’s dependence on evil technology. The technocrats (those who “seek to bring man to his destiny via technology”) wish to “save” the human race by ending man’s dependence on unreliable nature. Both recognize that something is wrong with man and must be fixed. They believe the problem is man’s dependence on unnatural or unreliable things and the solution is to make man completely autonomous and independent, or, to use their word, “free” from those things.

    Reply

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