Idolism: Technology

Can I actually write about this? I have more questions than answers, especially since I’m afraid that I am more guilty of this than many.

And yet, I can say this with certainty: our Western world (and probably most of the rest of it, but I don’t know it well enough to say much) has been steadily exalting technology to the place of deity. Whenever there is a problem, we have this automatic assumption that some combination of new and existing technologies will be able to save us.

For instance: cancer and AIDS will be cured, we’ll develop warning systems to protect us from natural disasters, and various machines will ease our manual labor and possibly give us a life of unending leisure.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that we’ll have to rape and pillage creation to do so, possibly undercutting the ability of the earth to sustain our lives. Also, we’ll wind up working longer and longer, while disassociating ourselves from the relationships that matter most in order to gain the world. Technology moves from our slave to our enslaver faster than we realize. If you want to think about who’s running the show here, try going a day without electricity.

Now, I’m no Luddite. I use technology every day, and I don’t think that it’s inherently evil. It’s just not inherently good either. It is made and used by imperfect people for imperfect goals, and it’s going to cause a lot of good and a lot of pain. Because I spend so much time here, the internet is an excellent example. It is making all kinds of information and interaction possible that would not be otherwise. It is also making it increasingly popular to fool ourselves into thinking that we have meaningful interaction through blogs, message boards and myspace. I believe that this is insufficient, considering that Jesus himself became incarnate amongst us.

So, I’ll wrap up this rambling post. Technology is a tool that we too often wind up serving. But we are to have only one master. Jesus, help us to renounce all masters that are not you, so that we may truly confess with our lips and our lives that You are our Lord.

3 responses to “Idolism: Technology”

  1. I don’t think there’s any better example of faith in technology than the push for “renewable”, “green” energy. I’m always reminded of Kunstler’s blunt (is he capable of anything else?) statement that no amount of alternative energy will enable us to keep running what we presently do on oil. Yet the greater public, at least in the west, myself often included, puts their hope in technology to save us from our irresponsible industrial-age living, from the perils of climate change/global warming and the looming threat that our affluent, luxurious party can’t last forever.

  2. Great example bro. Technology has caused our problems, yet we somehow believe that it’s going to solve them too?!

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