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Does technology ensure progress? Essay

In this essay I will argue that technology does not ensure progress. The first main concept that needs to be clarified is ‘technology’. This paper acknowledges the concept ‘technology’ as being the application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives. The other key concept ‘progress’ in this essay is defined as a steady improvement, as a society or civilization. I am arguing that the concept of technology does not ensure the concept of progress because there are certain technologies that have hurt society in various ways. Furthermore, not all technologies ensure progress.

Scientists have created various technologies for various reasons. It is evident that not all of these technologies are for the steady improvement of a society or civilization, but rather for personal gain. If a certain technology was invented to give a farmer a greater yield of crop, but this particular technology leads to the death of an ecosystem, then it is not progress in the sense it brings steady improvement to a society or civilization because it destroys the delicate balance of life and its biodiversity. The loss of biodiversity will hurt civilization in the long run because the foundations of life depend on it.

Some people may think that certain technologies are the correct path for humanity, but certain technologies can manifest into things that people do not expect and hurt society by doing so. For instance, if scientists could predict that aliens would take over the earth if they invented a spaceship that could reach them, even though the scientists had not planned on finding earth invaders; surely they would have thought otherwise. This is an extreme example that has obviously not happened, but the birth of atomic energy is an example of technology that’s intended purpose of giving houses and industries power manifested itself into a bomb for the military. Some may argue that the atomic bomb ensured progress for the American’s and allied forces, yet surely the Japanese society where the bomb was dropped during the Second World War did not find progress with this technology because it killed many innocent people and destroyed infrastructure.

Certain technologies are seriously destroying the natural world. This ultimately does not lead to the improvement of a civilization, but rather is causing it harm. If technology keeps generating harmful gases and toxic chemicals which poisons the earth, then it is of no good to civilization because humans need to earth to survive.

Some readers might object to me answering that “technology does not ensure progress”. Perhaps they believe if it wasn’t for technology humans may never have succeeded in being a dominant figure on earth and we would never have evolved enough to even ask the question in the first place. There are animals that are stronger, bigger, and faster then humans and external elements that can kill humans at ease, so by humans using technology to build defensive mechanisms or shelter for warmth it has ensured human survival in a world that can be unforgiving by natural things. If my concept of technology remained the same (the application of science, especially industrial or commercial), but the concept of progress changed to (development or growth) then one could answer ‘yes’ to the question; “does technology ensure progress”.

This is evident in the manufacturing sector of our society where technology has enabled humans to build factories and warehouses to ensure development and growth of economics. The same could be said by keeping the concept of technology constant, but changing the definition of progress to (movement, as towards a goal). Scientist’s movement to create technology can be motivated by achieving goals. For instance, a certain product has to be on the market by a specific due date, otherwise the project will be terminated, so by scientists using technology and ensuring they get the job done they have moved forward and reached a goal.

It is apparent that there are particular technologies that can help humans build a better society by keeping us warm and ensuring food to survive. However, certain technologies have manifested through the evolution of man that have unquestionably uninsured the progress of humans because it has brought harm to civilization through destruction and death. Perhaps scientists and the general public need to think long and hard about inventing certain technologies. This is all the more difficult because nobody can predict the future and certain technologies might seem like a great idea at the time, but turn out to be a serious danger to all life on earth. This paper by no means is an indicator of which technologies are good for the betterment of society, but hopefully it will open the dialog between people to ask the question; which technology is ensuring progress?

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