Technology and Moral Progress?

Posted: April 23, 2014 in World On The Edge

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Recently, I was asked by  my eight year old granddaughter to speak to her Elementary School class about the Past as I had lived it. It was fun to tell the children about those things I’d enjoyed when I was their age. Then, being a writer, I mentioned  how the world before computers had once caused me to use a typewriter.   One little girl raised her hand and asked,  “Did the typewriter have a SEND button?”  I had to laugh, answering that the only SEND button we had was through an envelope and stamp.

But oh,  things have changed today, haven’t they?

Most all of us embrace the idea of a changing world. And we have surely have it. What a world we live in! Technology, Knowledge, and Communication at our fingertips. But is it a better world?

Most people believe that progress lies in the possibility of a better world, if not in this life then in the next, in which all wrongs would be made right. This is set into the human heart as HOPE, one of the three theological virtues.

It is natural to question the ethical progress of our world as well as its technological progress. For many, constant and rapid change is often a source of threat, anger, and resentment. Many have lost jobs with the advent of technology, and are forced to re-invent themselves–not necessarily a bad thing.  Still, some of us, especially as we grow older, look back and idolize the past. But the past isn’t where we live.

Yes, many of us worry about the plight of our world today. After all, through the media we’re constantly confronted with daily doses of violence, starving children, families broken by war, slavery, torture, exploitation and other horrible happenings. We need to remember that events like these have happened throughout human history. Still, our job as human beings is to go forward. To progress in every way– not only technologically, but morally as well.

The single quality that allows humanity to over come what seems to be unbearable—in the news and in our personal lives– is the promise that, in the end, life will be better. This promise of progress in the human condition is embedded in our hearts by our Creator.

We want a modern world, but do we want to see an honorable, more virtuous world, too? Do we  want to see a world brimming in Faith, Hope, and Love?  To have it, we must first want it badly enough to live those virtues in our own individual lives.

So, how do we create a better life in a world where things are done so easily for us through technology, that we might forget our own personal responsibility for moving life forward?

We start with ourselves. And we really cannot sit back and wait for others to do it for us. Whatever we do for ourselves impacts us, those we care about, and literally, the world, in  a much  more emphatic way than technology ever could.

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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