Sunday, March 15, 2009

Technology and the Garden

There seems to be a fear of technology among some people. Movies are full of science-gone-wrong. The birth of science fiction, according to most, is in the very fear of science itself: Frankenstein.

Science is seen as unnatural, something we can't control and will never understand. The dinosaurs break out of 'Jurassic Park'; the cure for a disease becomes a killer virus in 'I Am Legend'; robots we build to help us end up hurting us in 'Tron', 'I, Robot', all the 'Terminator' films, etc.

Where does all this fear of knowledge come from? My first impulse is to assume it is an innate fear of failure, but this is an insecurity of the individual. I am unsure this would manifest itself in the societal psyche so aggressively if it were merely collective uncertainty.

Then it occurred to me that we in the West are exposed to a story from an early age that teaches us to fear technology. It is a story that is meant to make us avoid tasting of the fruit of knowledge. When we are told of Adam and Eve's eviction from Eden, we are told that the snake's luring words and promises of knowing God's secrets is the prime sin of mankind.

Perhaps this is why some believers are so vocal when it comes to opposing risky technological advances. However, it is apparent that people know better, especially in times of despair. In the end, the person having a heart attack does not call their pastor first; they call 911 to be taken to a hospital. It is technology that people turn to in their darkest moments of fear. Even when death creeps up on those who claim to believe in heaven, they still want to stay here. This evident doubt gives me hope that those who believe aren't as dumb as they want to be.

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