Is technical progress also a human one?

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What does human progress mean in times of technical progress? Is human progress still possible at all?

From being at the mercy of nature and its phenomena, we humans have become the rulers of the earth through technological progress. And what do we use this power for? We are destroying our Mother Earth with it. We evaluate the wonders of nature surrounding us solely according to the degree of usefulness for ourselves. Technical progress in itself is neither good nor evil. But we implement too many possibilities of technology without thinking about it. Meanwhile, the consequences of our actions are again turning against humanity. Climate change, with extreme weather patterns and phenomena, shows that the idea of control is an illusion. Pope Paul VI summed this up well back in 1971: "The most extraordinary scientific advances, if they are not accompanied by genuine social and moral progress, ultimately turn against man." It is now time for technical progress to be followed by social and moral progress, developed into a new ethic of solidarity among people and with nature.



Thousands of inventions have led to the huge range of goods offered in today's supermarkets. Technological progress. But is it also human progress if I have to collect all the goods myself in a clumsy shopping cart? And not speaking a word to a single person? And when I no longer receive my favorite chocolate because a computer has calculated that it doesn't generate enough sales? And what if in the future I pay by reading in the prices with my cell phone, thus putting the cashiers out of work? And what if the wholesaler knows my shopping habits better than I do and thus steers me? And what if global markets are the real beneficiaries of technological progress? Is that why the weekly markets are popular again, because you are greeted and served there, have the vendor right in front of you and even get to know him over time? I think that is only (psycho)logical!



With technology, we can now do almost anything, but there is one thing we cannot do: stop it. It is unrealistic to think that people do not need technology or that they will one day turn away from it. The changes it has already brought about in our lives are too drastic. It's not as if we can't control the extent to which we consume technology. I can choose whether I go for a walk in the woods without my cell phone or whether I watch TV at home. It is a pity that technology is often used to the disadvantage of mankind and not to its benefit. Nevertheless, the advantages it brings us are immense, if we only think of medicine. Thanks to devices like the telephone or an X-ray machine, people can be saved. I am very grateful for technical progress and try to consciously distinguish between addiction and sensible use. It's certainly not always easy to find the right balance, but that's not only the case with technology.



Technical progress is a fact. Now the question: is there progress in terms of humanity? I state: Either people abolish slavery, put women on an equal footing with men, organize school for all, or they enslave, humiliate and mistreat women, exploit children, wage war. Obviously mankind does not have it easy with us humans! According to Darwin the strongest survive. But what is to happen to the weak? Are they, like the drones in autumn from the beehive, thrown out? It is probably not meant in such a way. Self-love and charity should be connected. But how do I succeed in this as an individual human being? And how does our society achieve this balance? I take a look at the Bible. In Apostle Paul, I read that there is a struggle for the heart of man. Man can only choose good or evil under a certain condition: He must accept his dependence on God and ask him for his help

Bruce Jacobs

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