Readings in the Philosophy of Technology Ch. 12-16
The main point that stood out to me in Jonas’ “Technology and Responsibility” is that Earth’s resources are limited, and for once we are starting to realize this. He says that there is a, “critical vulnerability of nature to man’s technological intervention—unsuspected before it began to show itself in damage already done” (177). This knowledge has forever changed the rules of ethics. I believe this idea directly relates the theme present in all of the readings thus far, that we need to think about what technology is doing to us. If we sit back and allow technology to lull us into an ignorant bliss, before we know it we will find ourselves using up all of our resources necessary for survival without a plan of action.
The next section by McGinn compliments this section well, as it discusses our overzealous attitude towards technological progression. For example, the use of silicone breast implants has been criticized by many as a cause for several medical consequences. The point being made is not that technological advancement is the cause of these problems; it is the rush for profit and lack of patience in these developments that is to blame.
We no longer live in a world of bottomless, endlessly self-replenishing resources. We now possess the awareness of our rapid (and accelerating) depletion of natural resources previously thought to be limitless. This knowledge has forever changed the rules of ethics. Never before has the earth required our concentrated efforts to address its needs. We now contemplate the damage done in the name of human civilization.
This paper argues that in the context of an ever more potent technological arsenal and an ever increasing number of individuals who have access to its elements and believe themselves entitled to use them in maximalist ways, adherence to the traditional notion of individual human...