Philosophy and Philosophers
Informative Speech

Technology is to the service of the Man or its destruction?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2008-08-13 21:07:08

Let me guess -- English is not your first language. It is the

phrase 'the Man' that intrigues me -- it is perfect, and yet I have

never seen it before. I have seen 'the tiger' and 'the elephant'

and 'the crocodile', to name but a few species, but never before

'the man'. Congratulations! I shall use it myself henceforth.

Before I answer this question, I will say that what follows is

not universally accepted. The currently most powerful man in the

world, the President of the United States does not accept it, for

one. There are others.

When you ask "Is technology in the service of the man, or its

destruction?', I will assume you mean 'high technology' or 'modern

technology'. I have to assume that, because up until relatively

recently the man has been very successful on this planet, rising to

be its most powerful mammal (I deliberately exclude reference to

insects, bacteria and viruses in making this claim). Technology has

been the most useful process available to the man in achieving this

position since time immemorial.

But more recently technology has been key in giving this mammal

the means of damaging the planet, and the means of its own

destruction. True, it had earlier destroyed other species by

extinction -- this was achieved by hunting, by removal of living

areas, and other unintentional means. Once not long ago the man had

the power to deliberately make the bacillus that causes smallpox to

go extinct, but in the event it decided not to.

Powers such as those described below have never been available

to the man before. It is unlikely (but not impossible) that the

man's extinction would be deliberately sought using these powers,

but it is worrying to note that species extinction has happened

unintentionally in the past. Another worry is that such powers have

never been available to any other species on Earth either (at least

that the man knows about) -- this is something new. Therefore there

is no possibility of studying this phenomenon.

I will call technology since the start of the Twentieth Century

'modern technology', or MT for short.

MT includes not only weapons of mass destruction (WMDs to give

them a more fashionable, less terrifying, name), but also the means

of changing the Earth in such a way that it will warm

uncontrollably. These are the dangerous powers, the ones that can

cause the man to go extinct. Of course MT also includes much else

that seems good, as well, including the Internet by means of which

you and I are now communicating. However no amount of good things

can justify extinction, so we may safely ignore them in this


Can MT be the cause of the man's extinction? The answer is "yes

it can".

And it will if the man does not recognize this quickly enough.

It is already too late to avoid some damage from one of these

powers. It is happening already in destructive weather changes.

Global Warming is proceeding at a rate never before seen in any

evidence available to the man. Not only the man, but the tiger, the

elephant and the crocodile may go too.

ANSWER Guns don't kill people, people kill


ANI Answer Too much of anything is a bad thing.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.