Will Science and Technology Destroy Human Civilisation?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Mind Over Matter, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    I think I smell a troll.
     
  2. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    One of the main problems with everyone having their way, replacing actual science with individual opinion is this: a whole lot of problems in science have one exact answer. (some have two, three, whatever). If ten people give ten opinions of what the answer is, and none of them are right, what's the point? What I'm getting at is: to take an anti-science stance, believing that it's a position against messed up scientists, isn't even close. What the objection is, is that the objectors don't like that the question had an exact answer, and that they were simply wrong. It doesn't require arrogance or oppression to come to this conclusion...really, you just need a little logic.

    I can't recall any incident in which Science did anything adverse to me. I'm still exercising my free speech, I'm still free to invent the next better-than-sliced-bread mousetrap.... I just know that if I go to a science board and start posting bogus information, I'm going to draw heat. But I would expect that, so it doesn't bother me.

    My question is this: once public opinion became so easy to read, what exactly happened next that created this backlash? Is it because people are finding out that their individual ideas of reality are wrong, and it runs them hot? That doesn't even make sense. Anyone interested in the world around them should want to know where they may have made a mistake, so they themselves can get closer to their own truth.

    It makes no sense. :shrug:
     
  3. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    974
    What really I was trying to say is that science has promised us a lot of things, but unfortunately, a little of this has happened.
    Also, science may not have done everything wrong, but it does one thing continually wrong: It forces people to adapt to new innovations and creations in technology. Why?
    Also, it's not that they care about how to feed the world it's simply a matter of egoism. I personally disagree that competition is healthy, why there are so many sick people, than?
    It's because of stress of the competition, and the competition means the most adaptable and the most successful will succeed others are thrown away like garbage.
    Also science should not be the puppet of the profit and multinational companies, it's simply wrong.
    I know that you will disagree with me, but that's the way how I see it right now.
    Who know maybe in the next 5 years I will totally change my opinion about this.
    I wouldn't be surprised. And I never said that my opinion is right, I still have some doubts about what I'm saying.
    Cheers.
     
  4. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    @Gravage --

    You're entitled to your opinions no matter how wrong they are.
     
  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I usually think of science as a field. So I don't see it as a promise-maker. Mostly I see a mountain of explanations, free for the taking without my having to start from scratch every time I want to figure something out. I think science instills hope. Maybe when hopes are dashed, people feel betrayed by science. But I don't understand that, since it's just a field.

    Most of the lofty promises about how great things could be, from my perspective, seem to come from science fiction.

    On the other hand, most of progress as we know it seems to have its roots in scientific discovery. So even looking back, the record doesn't show that human civilization is wiped out by science, but that it moves ahead, grows and builds on foundations.

    That being said, I would have to acknowledge that many cultures have disappeared in the wake of scientific progress. For example, James Watt's steam engine can be attributed to the rise of locomotives and the industrial age. But along the way, indigenous Americans were decimated, and many of the cultures were entirely wiped out.

    I don't think this is what the OP is alluding to, nor do I blame James Watt for genocide of Native Americans. So I'm left in a quandry what it is that feeds the anti-science agenda (not you specifically, but at large).

    Do you mean science does that, or companies that make consumer products? You could say Bill Gates forced crappy software on the world, but he had Steve Jobs as a competitor, offering alternatives. So market demand seems to have driven it. People were willing to take the crappy software, just because it was an open system (once Microsoft starting publishing manuals). This is not a very good example, since the kind of science involved is merely tedious programming. The advances of science are seen in the phenomenal growth of functionality of hardware, a growth that involved the actual application of math, chemistry and physics.

    When you say it forces people to adapt, here again I think that's a reflection of market demand and the ways entrepreneurs rushed to stake their claims in the gold fields they saw opening up. There was a surge in demand for standards so that individual suppliers could plug in where ever a shortage of technology existed, and then build it out, and not have to worry about incompatibility. Maybe there are some standards that you think are too intrusive. I'm actually not sure what you mean.
    I'm not sure who you mean or how you perceive a general sense of egoism. Again you may be merging science and industry, and the industrial profit motive, and calling this one thing, "science". If that were the case, I would tend to agree with you. But pure science, from my perspective, is by definition altruistic, merely because it seeks to understand and solve problems. Invariably these will include the pressing problems of the day, including questions like misery and starvation. For example science addresses how to teach miserable farmers the basics, like irrigation and crop rotation. Part of the underlying altruism is to show the world that these people are trying, they just can't make it on their own. That's just one specific example. As far as competition being healthy, and people being sick: here again you seem to be talking about business competition. I'm not sure whether you are talking about sick people or a sick economy, but we already know it was unethical financial practices that caused the meltdown, not science. As far as human illness, unless you rely entirely on folk medicine, you will probably benefit from medical science, which has nearly cured so many diseases once thought fatal, that it almost seems miraculous. I wouldn't find any fault in science for that reason alone.

    Because of science, or because of business competition (capitalism)?
    But the reality is: some of those starving people you were thinking about are now working as scientists because they escaped misery and flung themselves into a rigorous course of study, and took the first job they could find. The rest of the scientists working in industry are looking out for their families, paying their way, and staying off the public dole. And they may not have any ethical beef against their employers or even feel like puppets. I suppose their are disgruntled employees everywhere, so I'm sure you could find a lot of this in industry. But I don't see a tendency for science to surrender itself to industrial overlords. To me it looks more like symbiosis. Many of those industries fund huge R&D projects (in part because it's tax deductible) and this builds their core competency, and improves their viability. Some amazing technologies have come out of this, sometimes as a matter of internal R&D, and sometimes as matter of funding the universities. In either case, it clearly shows that the master is also the servant of the slave.
    In five years this conversation will seem like ancient history. Cheers.
     
  6. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    I just read your post here, mostly when I'm talking about science and high-tech's bad side is that thing you mentioned selling Iphones, Androids and similar stuff. For example, I read in the news that one Chinese gave his kidney just to buy Iphone 4.
    That's horrible. I would never risk my life/health for some high-tech garbage.

    The other part I disagree, multinational companies cannot sell their patents and products unless scientists who work in them invent them. However, we have some scandals from companies like svine flu incident-this one comes on the top of my head right now.
    Personally I think if the scientists know what implications their discoveries will bring, than they should quit to work in that company if they know what would company do with their patents and inventions, because if they continue the company will use it for their own interest and not help humans, but use technology to rather control what humans do it.
    Yes, scientists are equally responsible as multinational lunatics.
    The reason why I think the science and technology would destroy human civilization is because they will do some experiment and the result of that experiment would not be predicted in their equations. There is also sick ambition to do whatever it takes to succeed, that's not different than managers in multinational corporations who would do anything to achieve their results. We're playing with things thinking we can control them, but it's just matter of time when will something can and will eventually turn against us (turn against scientists) like a boomerang.
    Science and high-tech and scientists as well are slaves of the profit, not the vice versa. If scientists know what would their discoveries/inventions bring and they know that companies and governments and military would use their inventions to achieve their own selfish goals, than scientists are no different than politicians CEOs of multinational companies.
    So, yes scientists are equally responsible as well as politicians, and all rich people for putting this civilization in chaos-great knowledge means great power, great power means greater responsibility, but scientists/politicians as many other rich people obviously have great power but without any responsibility.
    They should quit the job if they see where is all this going, after all they are smart and wise enough to find another job, however there are always hyper-ambitious evil scientists who would anything to succeed in their jobs, no matter what cost civilization pays.
    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  7. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    @Gravage --

    So your problem with science and technology is not, in actuality, a problem with science and technology but with society and human nature. Gotcha.
     
  8. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    You're right, I was wrong the whole time. The scientists suffer from the same "genetic syndrome". Now, the question why is such a human nature? Is it because our prehistoric genes?
    Or simply the hunger for energy/survival?
    Or both or something else?
    I still need to read books of Jared Diamond and Joseph Tainter, to see what they are saying in their analyses.
    Cheers.
     
  9. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    2,274
    @gravage --

    Regardless of the cause, your problem, as you've attested in your posts, still lies with how people use technology and science, not with the method or the results of that method. Hence my statement.
     
  10. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    Scientists are the blame, primarily, if they are really human and want to save everyone they wouldn't be doing this for money for someone like government, corporations and etc. because they know that their inventions, science and technology will always be used in wars and for controlling the nations, on other wars for evil things and evil plans that government, corporations and others have. Scientists are basically hypocrites.

    We will eventually hit the progress trap, and we're not very far away from this upper limit.
     
  11. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    2,274
    @Gravage --

    Everyone has to eat. Are you saying that scientists shouldn't provide for their very human needs?

    Thought experiment time!

    Let's say you're a smith back in the fifteenth century. Someone comes to you and asks you to make a sword for them, claiming that it will only be used in self defense, so you make him a sword. Turns out he was lying and used the sword to assassinate a nobleman. Are you responsible for the death of that nobleman(because you did make the sword)?

    Let's say that you own a gun store and a guy comes in and you sell him a gun(following whatever legal guidelines there are to the letter). A week later this guy's son steals his gun, takes it to school, and kills thirty seven children and eight teachers. Are you responsible, as the man who sold the gun, for the deaths of those people?

    What hypocrisy have they committed? If it's not hypocritical for your average joe to work for a profit then how is it hypocritical for a scientist to do so?
     
  12. Gravage Registered Senior Member

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    974
    Yes, but why I shouldn't be independent of them, why I should not have my own garden with my own seed.

    Yes, you're, indirectly, but yes, there is no such thing as responsibility, and because of that none has the right to carry a gun, like he or she wants.

    Because they say they are going to save the world/civilization, from what I see they destroy the world/civilization.
     
  13. Intersect Registered Member

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    Depends on anthropocentrism,posthumanity,transhumanism in singularity and if it complements and not antagonizes the user/users..

    A society defined historically by culture,religion,inovations,traditions is constantly changing destroying old ways rebuilding and restructuring their collective ambitions..

    also the world's countries all do not think alike this collective thought applies to those respective countries not the worlds total population,there's a margin of distrust of outside country's,power plays etc

    this leads to competing companies who supplies the demand for tech, say china cheaper then japan supplies cybernetic brain implants,say china is shoddy and its bioproofing of brain interfaces causes brain cancer and has back doors built in yet japan is clean of these issues and even has proof of this made available to public over trust issues did this by law

    Lets say intelligence is heightened an people remove their old cybernetic and replace it with a customized designed version that they know all that goes into it they built it particle by particle flashed its firmware and its safe then where is the danger or similarity to those larger companies?

    (btw im not saying there is no danger just thinking alternatively)

    Life has its risks just look at hunter gatherers,how people choose those risks is up to their sapience to desire..

    It would be hard to pin everything on an all encompassing threat risk of antagonizing that people would demand,but not unthinkable..
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    7,524
    ( . . . he says as he posts on a free instant worldwide network that contains nearly the sum total of humanity's knowledge.)

    ?? No it doesn't. You are free to not use the Internet, for example. You are free to take a bus instead of a plane. You are free to mail a letter instead of send an email. You are free to decline an MRI scan when you are injured. You are free to not use cellphones or antibiotics or ebooks. Etc.

    Because we are all mortal. Looking historically, though, we are in general healthier than we have ever been, and our problems are due to our own bad choices (obesity) rather than availability of food, clean water etc.

    In other words, your great-grandparents were going to get sick and die early no matter what they did. You have a choice.
    Today you can work at a McDonald's, do almost nothing and get paid for it. 200 years ago if you did that you would quickly become dead.
     
  15. sculptor Registered Senior Member

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    philosophically:

    We are exactly who we should be doing exactly what we should be doing.
    Bipedalism, hands free to develop tools, tool use altering the mind so we could build more tools to build more tools,
    Science, society, polity, philosophy, religion, imagination, etc... are all part of our developmental package.
    All are of use.
    Every living thing of this biom has a relation to every other living thing both genetically and symbiotically.
    For lack of a better phrase, as we evolved our energy use, we have evolved to become the "lords of fire", and now we are looking beyond that tool use into it's effects on the rest of the biom, and that is as it should be.
    Some tools, we will and do discard as we evolve our culture, science, society, polity, philosophy, religion, imaginations,etc... some, we'll keep until our hard wiring changes into the next evolutionary step, and some will be with us as long as we avoid extinction.
     

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