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Monday, December 10, 2007

"Thinking Critically and Christianly About Technology" by Ken Funk

In the September issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, there is an interesting article entitled "Thinking Critically and Christianly About Technology," by Ken Funk. (Volume 59, pp. 201-211. The September issue should appear on-line in a few months.)

Funk presents three principles to guide us in our use (or not) of particular technologies. These are as follows:
Principle 1: Technology ought to facilitate and not hinder our communion with God and the fulfillment of our moral obligations to him. . . . Principle 2: Technology ought to facilitate and not hinder the preservation of human life and improvement of human welfare . . . and the fulfillment of our moral obligations to people. Principle 3: Technology ought to facilitate and not hinder the preservation of the natural world and its order and integrity and the fulfillment of our moral obligations to God's lesser creatures. (p. 203)

He goes on to say that establishing principles isn't enough, and suggests that there are some subtle dangers in the use of technology. (204-6) Some of these are:
Technology's ambivalence. The use of technology to accomplish some good almost always also brings about evil.
Concentrating on secondary things, such as increasing the speed of transportation, or Internet access, rather than on the good we originally sought to accomplish. Perfecting the technology becomes an end in itself.
"The Illusion of Human Sovereignty." (p. 205) Technology gives us a lot of power that we didn't used to have. We think of ourselves as being in charge of our own destiny, which is a serious mistake.

I think Funk has said some important things.

I previously posted on "Technology: Some biblical basics."

Thanks for reading.

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