Skip to main content

The Moral Limits of Technology

I recently read (and reviewed for a magazine) a book by Michael Sandel, What Money Can't Buy, where he argues that the relentless march of prices in our lives has led to erosion of social assets / goods that money simply can't buy. The result is that as a society, we are all becoming poorer for it. We have shades of similar posturing in this observation by Robin Mansell on technological progress: 
In the Internet age the trend is to rely too much on technological progress and too little on social values. The consequence is that the monitoring of online behavior is being extended further and further into the private domain of citizens lives. Citizens are entitled to a world in which the benefits of digital media and information are not outweighed by the harm of increasingly intrusive incursions into their virtual and ‘real’ lives. The challenge is to imagine how governments can privilege democratic rights in the face of the seductive attraction of superfast computing and sentient software in their efforts to make citizens safer and encourage respect for copyright law.
The challenge of course can't be answered objectively in the absence of objective social values. If those values are being eroded, it is not obvious on what basis government is able to make trade-offs on the appropriate moral limits of technology. The other problem of course is that as technology becomes more dominant it comes to shape the very make-up of governments we have. One only has to only glance at the American presidential elections to see that as politicians come to shape technological policy, they are also simultaneously been shaped and defined by it. The government is very much a moral prisoner of technology as everyone else. It is not the Saviour we need.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world

An Empty Page

I am nothing without you I am not ashamed to say But sometimes still I doubt you along my way I am nothing without you An eagle with no wings If I forget about you, I lose everything My heart is an empty stage O let your play begin My life is an empty page for you to colour me with your love It’s such a common feeling to be misunderstood But from you there’s no concealing You know my bad and good So I am not pretending my story never fails But I have already read the ending And your love prevails My heart is an empty stage Let your play begin My life is an empty page for you to colour me with your love The words are from Jonathan Veira’s song Empty Page one of the tracks off ‘ Rhythms of the Heart’ album. I like his music, especially this song. Sadly, I couldn’t find the lyrics online, so I had to write them down word for word. I have had this song for many years and it has always spoken me at many levels.

God on the Brain - A Review

A Christian understanding of human nature holds that human beings are made in the image of God. As His image bearers we are created by God with an immaterial soul that survives death. This soul comes with the capacity and moral inclination to know and relate to God. All of this means that for Christians how we regard the relationship between the soul and the brain matters because it affects the validity of the Gospel.  The good news of Jesus presupposes some fundamental things about our human nature. It assumes that we are moral beings who have fallen off an objective moral standard and in need of forgiveness. It tells us that death is not the end. We must one day give an account. Most importantly, Jesus who is fully God and fully man is our only hope for life with God.  This good news of Jesus has become increasingly challenged by a materialist worldview of the brain led by secular neuroscientists. They argue that science and faith in God are opposed to one another; religious belief e