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.
After watching the Eyeborg Documentary, I thought, as probably many who watched this video, that technology is a wonderful tool. Just look at those disabled people and how robotic prosthetics have allowed them to live nearly normal lives and look at the lives we will save with tools like the fireman’s heads-up-display(HUD). How could such technology threaten us with the loss of our human dignity?
Looking at the video again, we see that these prosthetic technologies are ever more closely imitating and more closely integrating into the human body. Because of this fact, the idea of merging man and machine, to the point of being unable to distinguish man from machine, becomes tenable. From this idea naturally springs the question of whether man is a machine.
Those who hold that technology proves man is a machine and applaud and encourage the use of technology as shown in the Eyeborg documentary often call themselves technocrats. They defend their claim using known facts of human biology, modern technology and the history of technological development. With robotic prosthetics, they point to functioning non-biological limbs and organs replacing non-functioning or improperly functioning biological ones. With the brain-machine interface, they point to how we observe how the world is perceived through the biological and non-biological systems and these perceptions can be manipulated much like information is manipulated in a computer. Because the mind can be effected through the manipulation of the brain, technocrats claim that the mind is caused by the function of the brain.
At this point, the technocrat turns from the facts of human biology and modern technology to the history of technological development. The examination of this section of the argument will happen my next post.