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Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
#1
Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
By technology I mean the knowledge to manipulate nature to achieve some desirable end. I do not mean scientific knowledge in general. Descartes said we would become the 'masters of own destiny'.

The obvious plus, I suppose, is medicine. An effective painkiller for surgery is only about 150 years old. Antibiotics less than a century. Imagine getting appendicitis before all that. In WW1 at least they had ether if your leg or arm had to come off. But a gut wound meant you were likely to die from infection. In the US Civil War they cut off limbs while you were conscious. Yeesh!

On the other hand some of the intended and unintended 'benefits' of technology threaten human extinction and have already caused death and suffering on scales previous generations could not imagine. In purely economic terms parts of the world have been lifted out of poverty. Capitalism is sometimes praised for this. But the benefits we enjoy today have been built on the backs of people who lived lives of child labor and back breaking work in industry for poor wages. Unintentionally we have changed the environment so that the future of humanity is in doubt.

Overall, would you give up the benefits of technology to avoid it's negative effects?
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#2
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
No.

To give up technology is to say humanity does not deserve to be allowed to lengthen its existence in this universe by its own powers
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#3
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
Technology is neither good or bad, humans are the ones whom use it so it depends on how we use it.
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#4
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
When used wisely, technology is the only thing that gives us any kind of edge over large predators. When used poorly, it blows up entire cities, causes the extinction of other species, and turns forests into deserts. We can't afford to give up technology, but we can afford to learn to use it better.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

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#5
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
(June 22, 2019 at 9:16 pm)Brian37 Wrote: Technology is neither good or bad, humans are the ones whom use it so it depends on how we use it.

That's perfectly true. Is there reason to think humans are suddenly, or in the long term, going to give up nuclear weapons and other weapons that, if used, would kill everyone on Earth? Is Peace and Love about to break out anytime soon? I have zero confidence in politicians coming up with a way to deal with climate change. Some people used to think that moral progress went hand in hand with educational or technological progress. The history of the 20th c. put an end to that idea. 

Of course, technology can't be stopped but it strikes me that being 'masters of own destiny' is a bit of a cruel joke. Taking into consideration the interests of past and future generations, the latter of whom may not exist, I would change history so that the technological explosion had never occurred. As an individual your lifespan might be forty, if you're lucky, and you'd spend it farming or something but humanity as a whole would be better off. 

The only way out I can think of is genetic manipulation so that humans are not quite so short sighted and murderous.
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#6
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
(June 22, 2019 at 9:45 pm)ColdComfort Wrote:
(June 22, 2019 at 9:16 pm)Brian37 Wrote: Technology is neither good or bad, humans are the ones whom use it so it depends on how we use it.

That's perfectly true. Is there reason to think humans are suddenly, or in the long term, going to give up nuclear weapons and other weapons that, if used, would kill everyone on Earth? Is Peace and Love about to break out anytime soon? I have zero confidence in politicians coming up with a way to deal with climate change. Some people used to think that moral progress went hand in hand with educational or technological progress. The history of the 20th c. put an end to that idea. 

Of course, technology can't be stopped but it strikes me that being 'masters of own destiny' is a bit of a cruel joke. Taking into consideration the interests of past and future generations, the latter of whom may not exist, I would change history so that the technological explosion had never occurred. As an individual your lifespan might be forty, if you're lucky, and you'd spend it farming or something but humanity as a whole would be better off. 

The only way out I can think of is genetic manipulation so that humans are not quite so short sighted and murderous.




I am certainly glad I have a computer instead of having to hand a parcel over to a guy in a stagecoach and horse. At the same time, while we invented cars greedy oil companies to this day keep the world addicted to what is harming our planet.

It isn't an either or thing for me. Can humans do better? Yes. Will we? That is a different story.
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#7
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
You wouldn't even have a stagecoach if we gave up technology. Maybe not even a horse, or paper. You'd have to walk, and then tell the person, then hope that person remembered everything you said.
Poe's Law: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

10 Christ-like figures that predate Jesus. Link shortened to Chris ate Jesus for some reason...
http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-chris...ate-jesus/

Good video to watch, if you want to know how common the Jesus story really is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50

A list of biblical contradictions from the infallible word of Yahweh.
http://infidels.org/library/modern/jim_m...tions.html

Reply
#8
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
I think I live in a sweet spot. All the benefits of technology but very few of the downsides. I'm not likely to be alive when the worst of the environmental catastrophe hits. I suppose some disastrous war could start just about anytime. Past and future generations...?
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#9
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
(June 22, 2019 at 8:30 pm)ColdComfort Wrote: By technology I mean the knowledge to manipulate nature to achieve some desirable end. I do not mean scientific knowledge in general. Descartes said we would become the 'masters of own destiny'.

The obvious plus, I suppose, is medicine. An effective painkiller for surgery is only about 150 years old. Antibiotics less than a century. Imagine getting appendicitis before all that. In WW1 at least they had ether if your leg or arm had to come off. But a gut wound meant you were likely to die from infection. In the US Civil War they cut off limbs while you were conscious. Yeesh!

On the other hand some of the intended and unintended 'benefits' of technology threaten human extinction and have already caused death and suffering on scales previous generations could not imagine. In purely economic terms parts of the world have been lifted out of poverty. Capitalism is sometimes praised for this. But the benefits we enjoy today have been built on the backs of people who lived lives of child labor and back breaking work in industry for poor wages. Unintentionally we have changed the environment so that the future of humanity is in doubt.

Overall, would you give up the benefits of technology to avoid it's negative effects?

You are posting this question using a device based on technological development, on a board which only exists based on technological development..

Just exactly how thick are you?
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#10
RE: Technology, Good or Bad Overall?
(June 23, 2019 at 12:57 am)Abaddon_ire Wrote: You are posting this question using a device based on technological development, on a board which only exists based on technological development..

Just exactly how thick are you?

Yeah. I'm using technology to raise a hypothetical question about the net benefits of technology. What's your point again angry internet user?
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