Does technology diminish or enhance your humanity?
Answer: To the extent
that we are already “human,” in the best sense, does technology either
enhance or diminish our humanity. It is clear that modern technology,
which has developed largely from the practical applications of science
to facilitate everyday living, is a marvellous set of tools and skills
that may be used, as in medical science, to enhance and prolong life,
to produce labour-saving devices, and to augment human comfort and
But it is only too obvious that not all technology has been used for
peaceful purposes. The destructive power of conventional and nuclear
weapons, poisonous gas and the possibility of horrific germ warfare are
spectres that continue to menace the present and future of humanity.
The well-organized 1994 Rwandan genocide of an estimated 800,000 people
was executed mainly with older technology — machetes. The Internet can
connect long-lost relatives, facilitate research, or incite jihadists,
or feed the perverse appetites of pedophiles and erotica addicts.
The technological developments that occurred in the 20th century,
including the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, the television,
the Internet and the cellphone have contributed largely to the
globalization of our planet. McLuhan’s “global village” has by now
shrunk to a neighbourhood. Communication technologies have largely
favoured the development of a global consciousness which allows
individuals, peoples and nations in all parts of the globe to interact.
“We are all connected.”
The question becomes, then, how can we enhance our humanity to ensure
that technology serves higher purposes? We should never be fooled into
thinking, no matter how much we may justly admire the marvels of
ever-unfolding technology, that it holds the key to the solution of all
humanity’s problems. To do so, would be to create just another idol
with feet of clay.
Faith and religion have decided roles to play in the enhancing of
humanity. In this regard, Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) has revealed: “In
truth, religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold for
the protection and welfare of the peoples of the world …. Should the
lamp of religion be obscured, chaos and confusion will ensue, and the
lights of fairness and justice, of tranquillity and peace cease to
shine” (Tablets, p. 125). -