What is Technology?

Airing on
Probe Radio


July
9-13

Dr. Lawrence Terlizzese — Most people take a favorable view towards technological progress; new cars, cell phones and computers – what’s not to like?  They embrace technological innovation as a plus despite the suspicions of questionable things like cloning, genetic engineering and nuclear weapons. But what is technology anyway? Do we really understand this all-embracing phenomenon directing human history? We often take for granted that we think we know the answer when in fact the meaning of the greatest social mover of all times remains elusive. When it comes to defining technology we are beset with the problem of defining more than just a word, but a concept and whole way of life and worldview.

The typical definition of technology these days says technology is neutral, suggesting that technology is nothing more than tools that people use as needed. Technology is a means to an end and nothing more. All objects are separate and disconnected. They are neutral and value-free, right? Tables, chairs, and light fixtures have nothing to do with each other and express no values in themselves and are completely determined by our use. They are simply objects at our disposal and present no moral problems so long as we use them for good. We can pick up a hammer and use it, then place it back in the tool box when finished. The hammer has appropriate and inappropriate uses. Hitting nails into wood is one of the acceptable uses of a hammer; using it to play baseball is not acceptable.

Listen Now
Link to Transcript
(left-click to listen
or download)

 

MEET THE AUTHOR
Dr. Lawrence TerlizzeseDR. LAWRENCE TERLIZZESE

"Most people often think that technology means neutral tools that we use for better or worse. I wrote this program to confront that popular misconception with a more accurate definition of technology and the application of an ethic of limits. Most people do not understand that technology is really a system that we are losing control over."

Lawrence is one of our newest Probe Research Associates. He holds both a Th.M. and Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of two books, Trajectory of the Twenty First Century: Essays in Theology and Technology and Hope in the Thought of Jacques Ellul.

Email the Author


DIG DEEPER

Related Articles:

Don ClossonDoes the Future Need Us? The Future of Humanity and Technology
Just how human we can remain in the face of developing technology? Don Closson examines those concerns and provides a Christian response.

Dr. Lawrence TerlizzeseInto the Void: The Coming Transhuman Transformation
Lawrence introduces in-depth the myth of techological progress's power to return us to the Garden of Eden through the coming Singularity, the time when transhumanists believe that the merging of man and machine will reach its pinnacle, just as C.S. Lewis predicted.

Dr. Ray BohlinGenetic Engineering
Dr. Ray Bohlin, a Ph.D. with lab experience in genetic engineering, examines that subject from a Christian perspective.