Mixing technology and religion-A A +A
Sunday, August 19, 2012
WHY do we witness widespread enchantment with technology and at the same time a world-wide resurgence of religious fundamentalism? We shouldn't assume that the rise of both is simply coincidence. Instead of presuming that the education and training behind science and technology should always result in more religious skepticism and even a bit more atheism, we should wonder if perhaps empirical observations are actually disconfirming our ideas. Atheists are often ready to criticize theists for failing to deal with evidence that doesn't meet expectations, so let's not fall into that same trap.
Perhaps, there are religious impulses underlying the drive of technology, which has characterized modernity — religious impulses that might affect otherwise secular atheists, too, if they aren't self-aware enough to notice what's going on.
In this way, unnoticed premises or attitudes will prevent technology and religion from being incompatible. Perhaps, technology itself is becoming religious on its own, thus also eliminating incompatibilities.
Both possibilities should be explored and I think both are occurring to varying degrees. Indeed, I think that both have been happening for hundreds of years, but the clear religious foundations for technological advancement are either ignored or hidden away like embarrassing relatives. The enthusiasm so many people have had with technology is often rooted — sometimes unknowingly — in religious myths and ancient dreams.
This is unfortunate because technology has proven itself capable of causing terrible problems for humanity, and one of the reasons for this may be the religious impulses people are ignoring.
Technology, like science, is a defining mark of modernity and if the future is to improve, certain elemental premises will have to be identified, acknowledged, and hopefully eliminated.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 20, 2012.