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Technology and the Minds of Man - Essay Example

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Einstein's theories have made spaceflight, nuclear energy, and the discovery of universes beyond our own possible, but the question still haunts us; can an atomic bomb fall into the hands of a global tyrant. Today's technology has made it possible to peer into a man's life, follow his every move, create his most intimate moods, and build an offspring to his exacting specifications. Science can hold the keys to progress or build the doomsday machine. Still, the scientists have no obligation to assure that the science they create will be used responsibly. It is the citizens of the global community that are given the task to make an ethically sound decision. Science's simple goals are to discover and create, while it is society that needs to exert the cultural pressures needed to control our runaway technology.
The horror stories that relate to the egregious misuse of technology fill our headlines on a daily basis. The war on terror has been used as a justification for using cutting edge technology to spy on American citizens, as well as hunt down and interrogate the nation's alleged enemies. While the human intuition recoils in fear and disgust at the insideous use of science to interrogate prisoners, the argument in favor of it is neither new or without merit. Michael Koubi, a former chief interrogator for Israel's General Security Services, has for decades been, "experimenting with captive human beings, cajoling, tricking, hurting, threatening, and spying on them, steadily upping the pressure, looking for cracks at the seams" (Bowden). Sixty-five years ago pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly experimented with altering the moods of primates by implanting electrodes in their brain (Bowden). It has been widely reported that these technologies are currently being used to interrogate terrorists by the US government and its agents. Government secrets are often slow to surface, and they may have newer and more effective methods that are yet to be reported. Yet, Eli Lilly is not the morally responsible agent for the decision to put their technology to use on an involuntary human subject. Advocates point to the necessity of getting time sensitive information from a suspect, and technical interrogation is often helpful in saving thousands of innocent lives. Indeed, an educated person can make a solid moral argument for sacrificing one criminal's suffering to save thousands of blameless victims. However, there is a point on the scale of morality where we begin to fall down the slippery slope to anarchy and chaos, where we violate the humanness of mankind. Society, the government, and the law need to be firm, decisive, and ethical in their effort to control these centuries old urges, techniques, and strategies.
The use of technology is no more controversial than it is when it involves the sanctity of the human body. Medicine can transplant vital organs, regenerate body parts, and sustain life well beyond the natural term. Today, medical science has almost made it possible to order a baby as easily as we order a cheeseburger at a drive-up window. Genetic manipulation will soon offer people the opportunity to select a baby's most detailed traits such as hair color, musical ...Show more
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Watts' quote from over a century ago illustrates our fascination with the rapid movement of science and discovery, as knowledge is built exponentially and breakthroughs breed newer and more profound knowledge. Sixty-five years ago men stared in awe at the explosion of the atomic bomb and silently wondered what course this new knowledge would take…
Technology and the Minds of Man
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