How much potential does technology have to give us paradise on Earth? Are we heading towards a Star Trek Utopia or a terminator infested and war-torn nightmare.
I enjoy hearing about new technology. I like to see how technology improves peoples lives. I also enjoy hearing about things that are simply cool like bringing an asteroid into orbit around the moon. That's cool. But of course there is the flip side where technology destroys life from things like war, mass surveillance, drone executions or pollution.
Vehicles are a great example of how technology can be difficult to classify. What is the actual benefit? Thousands of people die every year from accidents, 30 000 a year in the US. Each of these people leaves friends and family behind who are now left to deal with the loss. Though many die, many more are injured and live the rest of their lives with pain and disabilities. I feel sorry for these people but I also feel sorry for the people who cause the accidents and now have to live with the memories and the guilt. I get angry sometimes that people treat driving as inconsequential but the reality of the dangers is difficult to fully comprehend. Apart from the damage, there is pollution, noise, loss of space, more disconnect in cities, etc. It's clear that arguments can be made for both sides.
My mom suffers everyday because she was t-boned by an older lady who changed her mind when coming to a red light and ended up running it. Hearing about the potential for self driving cars now gives me hope that much of this damage to society can be prevented. The total amount of pain that will be prevented by this one technological advancement boggles my mind. News like this makes me think that we may have hope but ultimately I believe that without Jesus, our corrupted human nature will ruin the benefits of what technology brings us.
Corrupted human nature is capable of destroying everything good and only true religion is capable of dealing with our own natures. Business, politics, religion, education, and every system that is necessary for a healthy and functional society can and has been corrupted by human nature, diminishing their potential benefits to our lives. The OT law was there to show people their true natures and the will of God but the people of that time had found a way to twist it to accommodate their own evil desires. They eventually used it to justify killing Jesus which was a perfect demonstration of how far people had fallen.
Technology has enormous potential to make our lives better but this depends on our own moral condition. As much as I look forward to self driving cars preventing thousands of deaths, I wish that we didn't need it to do that. I wish drivers had collectively adopted safer driving practices out of concern for others. Waiting for technology to save us from ourselves is a never ending practice in futility because there will always be a new responsibility with each technological advancement that we need to adapt to. There will always be an opportunity for us to practice selfishness or selfless love. I believe that that is the purpose of our being here right now. Earth is an opportunity for us to choose what is universally right.
Genesis 11 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
I believe that God slowed humanity's technological growth because it would have lead to our destruction. We weren't ready for the responsibility. For thousands of years humanity was pruned and conditioned to be better prepared to deal with technology. This made us able to withstand the pressures of technological life but we were still far from where we should be. We were simply at a point where we wouldn't annihilate ourselves.
I believe that the book of Revelation foretells the culmination of our decisions and shows the final showdown between the followers of Jesus and the world. I believe that technology will lead us to the brink of destruction and Jesus will return to bring an end to the corruption that has brought so much pain. Daily people choose to do what is wrong and these choices culminate in the systems that we see destroying life. We like to blame the individuals that we can identify as responsible for evident problems but ultimately it takes a lot of conditions for evil to be able to flourish.
So to sum up, technology is great but should never be seen as a substitute for the selfless love of our neighbor. We should make changes today that lead to a better life for those around us instead of waiting for the looming technological advancement that we think will do the same. I believe that technology has a major role in our future but that we can't make it without a close relationship with our creator.