Technology is natural.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Share the Warmth, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Okay, got into this discussion with my friends. Some of them didn't agree....


    I think we can all agree that technology is a neutral concept and is the result of the human imagination, correct? It is neither inherently good nor evil.

    However, technology is the product of humanity and humanity is an animal and a part of the biosphere. So if technology is a human invention, is it not "natural"?

    Just as deer will continue to overpopulate and devour all the food sources in an area (and die out) if their numbers aren't checked by predators, man is also capable of trampling other lifeforms with his technology (pollution, deforestation, etc). The destruction of ecosystems is not unnatural in and of itself, as even geothermal activity and weather changes result in such things.

    The difference between deer and humans is that we can understand advanced concepts of ecosystems and of a global biosphere and understand why it's important for ourselves and for this earth we've grown to care about (compassion!) to make an effort to prevent the extinction of any individual species, no matter how unimportant they seem at first glance. Animals cannot understand this concept and for a deer the last remaining blade of grass will be consumed like any others. Likewise, we can understand how we are polluting our environment, the ramifications of pollution, and the fact that we have the choice to do something about it.

    So why not use technology and why not call it natural? Why the adversion to it? Technology is just a product of human imagination and free-will interacting with the natural resources of the planet, correct? So it must be a natural thing then.

    Something to discuss at least.
     
  2. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed & Confused Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator

    If we define technology as the application of scientific principles to supply the wants and needs of individuals or societies, it is indeed neutral as the wants and needs can be for constructive or destructive purposes; depending on your view point.
    Certain "animals" also use technology, here is one example:
    http://users.ox.ac.uk/~kgroup/tools/crow_natural_history.shtml
    Anything that exists is natural, as it exists.

    An ecosystem is an ecosystem. Unless everyform of life on Earth dies, some type of ecosystem will always exist. Does it matter to the Earth if it is the ecosystem that we choose?
    I think this is due to Thomas Malthus' old doctrine that the human population was expanding expotentially and there would not be enough to go around for all. So the politians directed most science into warfare ( us againest them), thus giving it a bad name.

    A good book to pick up about this is R. Buckminster Fuller's Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.
     
  3. snake sedrick

    snake sedrick Banned

    Technology begins with the first stone tools. It seems to be a thing which is intrinsic to the human race.

    I just don't buy the argument that technology is 'un-natural'.

    Many of our current technologies will need to change and adapt, but I think as long as we're here on the planet, we'll have technology.
     
  4. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    yes it is in out nature to inovate and create. of course it is perfectly natural to do so.

    what is not natural, or at least not required by nature, is to be careless with our doing so. to have values and beliefs that ignore and even encourage ignoring the consiquences of that carelessness.

    we are the most instinctively creative species on our planet, though even there, by no means the only one that actualy does so. just the only one that so completely surrounds itself with its artifacts as to be able to loose sight of the reality of its still being a part of everything else.

    the extent to which we create and use tecnology has had effects that would not otherwise in nature have occured. to me, this is what people are refering to when they talk about not seeing tecnology as natural. so in that sense both ways of looking at it are true.

    i think the question that is important, what maters, is how we use tecnology, our values and priorities that determine that. i think there are a lot of toys and tools and comfortable ways of living that we could have without destroying nature's ability to make possible our own existence, which our carelessness and shortsightedness is doing. i mean i don't think there's any way we can forever get away with being careless and thoughtless beyond our own comfort and pleasure and that of our own species.

    i think if we want there to be a future for humanity, we are going to have to bring our tecnology and our use of tecnology in line with what is compatable harmoniously with how nature works.

    this is an engineering problem with an engineering solutions that is opposed by politics and ignored by belief, and the science confirms this, that if it weren't for certain political and social momentums, would be fairly streight forward to solve.

    there's no engineering nor scientific reason we can't stop using combustion to generate energy and propel transportation. reduce our consumption of forrest products and how we extract them, or even reduce our overall fertility as a species, though physiology is of course somewhat more complex then even the most sophisticated robotics.

    shortsighted emotional attatchment to the culturaly familliar is the obstical to these things, not our having figured out how to flake stone knives and have since gone on to invent guns that we don't need, and refrigerated trains that perhapse we do.

    =^^=
    .../\...
     
  5. Fallout55

    Fallout55 Banned

    Yes!

    The deer have a check they will starve if they grow to big in numbers

    Humans think they are imune to this because of technology but we cant continue forever and someday we will be killed or ballanced by our check.
     

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