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The Role of Technology in Society - Reading Response Paper



EssayChat / May 24, 2018

This week's reading inspires many different thoughts about how change and the role of technology in society changes how people change. This seems almost counter intuitive. People change because of cultural forces defining the environment. Culture changes because people act upon it and tell each other what to value? As individuals, we teach children what they should understand about the environment and its conditions but also, what to value and how to respect others as a reflection of cultural beliefs? From the environment people learn how to behave and if conditions in the environment are bad in terms of economics, people will behave in ways that allow them to survive? The reading ignites many questions and when one sees that it was written by Brooks in 1973, the reading also allows one to think about how long technology has been a part of change and social behavior, even social identity. So it is fair to say that individuals have the power to change culture as much as they have power to change the conditions that shape the present culture in which one lives. As the person changes, so does the environment but in reverse. If the culture changes, then person changes.

Technology RoleThe concept of change and how value systems remain a core device to assign worth and position in the culture is of interest when one starts to think about how important or valuable technology has become to defining conditions for the environment. Brooks argues that technology may be giving mankind too much power to control nature and how the human race evolves. This type of progress and focus upon implementing innovation into the environment and daily life to offer solutions to life's larger challenges such as the treatment of cancer or infertility may be allowing too much focus on technology as a core value for social behavior. What does this mean? Brooks understands how wondrous technology can be in possibly answering 'what ifs' and while there is uncertainty, risk in today's environments, there is too much placement on technology providing the answer but yet, some individuals may not have a choice if they want to survive. Still, should not nature be included in the solution and the technology to play God may be crossing some moral line for some cultural value systems to accept? Yet, one can argue as a collective socio-culture, Western culture is focused on the telecommunications part of technology that it is possible individuals are missing out on nature. They expect the technology to nurture culture and allow for breakthroughs but yet, not every individual can participate. Some technologies still lack access to entry and exclude the lower class because they do not have the ability to afford the treatment.

So, while technology may be allowing people to live longer and create more integrated lives in terms of convenience and sharing information, these types of environmental conditions only exist if an individual has the tools and access to the technology. Part of the issue here is the lack of balance between nature and nurture where the technology has greater value and one can argue this means that people have lost their ability to connect in the natural world so that they can nurture their children in a way that makes the world a better place to live. One can argue because of technology, the environment creates too many gaps between people between 'haves' and 'have nots' and that values are distorted.

Work Cited

Brooks, Harvey. "Technology and values: New ethical issues raised by technological progress." Zygon 8.1 (1973): 17-35.


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