The Decline of Society is mainly due to Technology

Rob Banks

Pelican
How about a church? Society is fractal, the difference is scale. Scale up the church and you have your model. Even RVF serves as an example of a technologically-advanced society with proper controls. We're Christians and we're using computers and the internet to talk about God, Christ, and things of that nature. We're not exchanging naughty pics like so many other communities on the internet do. Are we sinning by using RVF?
OK, but how many people are using the Internet to talk about God, and how many are using it to darken their souls? There is no comparison.

And, also, and perhaps more importantly how often is the Internet used by those with power to control society, but in the wrong direction (an example of this would be the mass data storage which is then used for all sorts of nefarious purposes)?

Again, there is no comparison.

How do you suppose we go about changing it so that more people use the Internet to talk about God, and less people use it for bad things?

There is no way to do this, outside of a Nazi Germany-level of regimentation and control. And even that would not work, because it would be conquered by Liberal powers (Nazi Germany itself is a perfect exame of this).
 

Elipe

Ostrich
Protestant
OK, but how many people are using the Internet to talk about God, and how many are using it to darken their souls? There is no comparison.
The Internet doesn't darken your soul, your use of it reflects the dark state of your soul. To our God, committing adultery with 1000 women is as bad as committing adultery with one. The scale or intensity of the sin doesn't change the fact that it is still sin, and the Lord will forgive you in both cases.

And, also, and perhaps more importantly how often is the Internet used by those with power to control society, but in the wrong direction (an example of this would be the mass data storage which is then used for all sorts of nefarious purposes)?
This is not an argument against the Internet, in the same way that the early 20th century Soviet Union is not an argument against government. The application of a thing is not the thing. The Soviet Union had nearly total control over its citizens, and it did this without the Internet.

How do you suppose we go about changing it so that more people use the Internet to talk about God, and less people use it for bad things?

There is no way to do this, outside of a Nazi Germany-level of regimentation and control. And even that would not work, because it would be conquered by Liberal powers (Nazi Germany itself is a perfect exame of this).
By spreading the Gospel. The only way you will ever fix this world is by converting people to Christ. Everything ties back to Jesus Christ. This is why as Christians, our prime directive is to make disciples of every nation, every tribe, every tongue. Righteousness can only exist in Jesus Christ, never apart from Him.

Arguing over worldly things is completely moot. In the grand scope of things, you don't change anything by banning technology. It is not what goes into a man's mouth that makes him unclean, but what comes out of his heart.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
By spreading the Gospel. The only way you will ever fix this world is by converting people to Christ. Everything ties back to Jesus Christ. This is why as Christians, our prime directive is to make disciples of every nation, every tribe, every tongue. Righteousness can only exist in Jesus Christ, never apart from Him.
And you think it was merely coincidence that atheism, lack of faith, and sinful attitudes and behavior have grown and spread tremendously as a result of technology?
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
The Internet doesn't darken your soul, your use of it reflects the dark state of your soul. To our God, committing adultery with 1000 women is as bad as committing adultery with one. The scale or intensity of the sin doesn't change the fact that it is still sin, and the Lord will forgive you in both cases.
I'm not saying that you specifically (or anyone else, for that matter) are sinning by using technology.

I am saying that technology leads to -- and will always lead to -- a more sinful and less holy society, regardless of what you yourself do on an individual level.
 

Elipe

Ostrich
Protestant
And you think it was merely coincidence that atheism, lack of faith, and sinful attitudes and behavior have grown and spread tremendously as a result of technology?
The development of technology, as a consequence of the scientific method, accelerated due to the presence of Christianity. Christianity made the development of science as an institution possible. In that light, your error becomes apparent: technology is not the direct cause of atheism, for then we must conclude that God directly caused atheism by blessing us. Now, why would God do the very thing that works against His purpose - reconciling the world to Him?

The answer is simple. God blesses people, and then people become hard of heart and arrogant because they begin to incorrectly ascertain their material wealth to themselves rather than to God's blessings. Thus, technology causes atheism in exactly the same way that an ancient Mesopotamian farmer becomes an atheist or pagan on account of God blessing him with a large flock of cattle.

God blesses people because God wants to show us that He loves us and that He appreciates our obedience, our love, and our faithfulness. Yet, God does this even knowing that blessing us materially tends to lead to hardness of heart. He knows that when He gives us comfort, we falsely claim it is our confidence. When He gives us wealth, we falsely claim that it was by our skill that we became rich. When He gives us wives, we become drunken adulterers.

Yet, He doesn't simply just allow us to suffer on Earth for our whole lives. He could've left Job destitute, but He didn't. He blessed Job ten-fold over what he originally had before he was afflicted.

I am saying that technology leads to -- and will always lead to -- a more sinful and less holy society, regardless of what you yourself do on an individual level.
No. Technology produces wealth, which is what leads to more sinfulness and impiousness. Yet, piety is an important element of what produces wealth, as piety brings God's blessings, which causes one to become wealthy and thus more liable to impiousness. The obvious conclusion is that if we can couple wealth to charity, then we can and ought to couple technology, a driver of wealth, to charity and holy ministry.

Also, I was personally visited by Jesus Christ Himself, who told me to become a computer scientist. God is not a Luddite.
 

Blade Runner

Hummingbird
Orthodox
You are technically correct (individual level) but empirically incorrect (what we see regarding "humanity"). That's the impasse here. As I said before, it is God's providence to allow demons to tempt us and do all manner of evil crap in the world, or convince humans to do such things. Just as it is rather arbitrary to call it "blessing us" when tech helps us materially, because he's "blessing us" by allowing us to be tested by demons, to show our mettle and love, discipline, etc in a similar way. I don't have a problem with any of it and I am not blaming anyone nor am I excusing anyone. I am OK with reality and accept it, and I accept it that God has deemed this OK in the meantime.

I'm just saying, we are who we are, God knows that tech eventually would lead us to the mark and transhumanism, or whatever is going to happen, and he's fine with it and so am I. But let's not talk about it as if it is good or even amoral on a population level (it clearly isn't, mine and others points here) since we all know where it is headed and we know the story. I am content and appreciate the joy I've gotten out of some things in life that perhaps have led me astray otherwise (material benefits) but have this awareness that while they may be a "blessing" if looked at in a certain light, they can easily looked at as curses too. That's all.
 

Elipe

Ostrich
Protestant
God knows that tech eventually would lead us to the mark and transhumanism
Correction: God knows that the prince of this world would use technology, like he uses everything else, to lead us to the Mark and transhumanism.

The fact that the devil uses something does not make that thing inherently evil.
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
The problem with technology is that with all things in the world it gets corrupted at some point. It gets steered by those who have the power and influence to steer it and sadly we know that the direction things are steered in is not one that is beneficial for us. Besides the obvious control mechanisms that technology provides for, and that we know of, imagine the possibilities they already have at DARPA and their other secret technology research agencies which are decades ahead of what we know, I think that the most destructive element of modern day technology is its distraction. It's wired in such a way, psychologists heavily involved, that it is as addictive as alcohol or drugs. It limits the attentionspan through continuous beeps, red colors and limited timespans (tictoc 10 seconds), it feeds into pride and the willingness of aproval, makes people compare themselves continuously with one another, provides a status rat race and with the smartphone ensures you're never at peace. Imagine this for yourself, how often do you sit at a place without any technology bothering you, whether it is a smartphone, music, a laptop? Not much.
 

paternos

Robin
Catholic
Interesting thread.

I think technics. The machine. The system made the governmental power grab we have seen in the 20th century possible. Declining power for the individual, church and increasing power for government and their protected servants.

Even without bad willing actors technology changes the world.

Because of the invention of the steam engine factories were built, the factory worker developed.
But also in management, because of writing, paper, an archive, it is possible to run an organization with 1000s of people.

What every technique does is that it creates a shift of power. Techniques where many are able to use it, for example a paper and a pen, we can judge are more or less beneficial to all. Also no big power shifts. (extra power to the individual)

What's happens though with new techniques, is that large power inequalities are initially created and more important these inequalities are protected by the state in the form of monopolies. Think about the AI and search engine knowledge Google has patented or recipes of medicine.

Look at the size of the tech, health and media companies is our economy:
ddd.png


You could copy Google search on a hard drive and start a new Hoohle tomorrow. Governments though protect this copying. Same for medicine. Pfizer sells medicine for 100 dollar / month, which could be produced for 20 cents / month.

There is mutual relationship between business and government. I see government as a contrrolling mafia protecting some companies while hurting others.

If we would take away the patent monopoly, Microsoft, Google, Netflix would drop in an instant.

Companies that keep us warm (energy), give us steel to build (utilities), give us food (farming) had their monopolies taken away with globalization, hence their decline. A drop in prices, fierce competition and pummeled by environmental laws.

The crooks are protected, tech, pharma, banks, entertainment. People sometimes use arguments that without protection it wouldn't be made. That's nonsence. Any generic medicine maker has the machine to make the "expensive" cancer treatments for a fraction of the cost.

Monopolies make money, not hard work.

So my conclusion is that technology is not perverse in itself, it's because we have a mafia leading us that protect some companies holding these monopolies on technology. Currently the tech & medicine industry is an extortion racket for small businesses and people paying their government enforcers well.

And if we think which techniques government are using today, which they forbid to be used by the public under the disguise of safety is a large power grab. There are people who can go through through all internet traffic" to keep it safe". The government knows what is in all bank accounts and will tax you automatically. The government uses cameras on the side of the road to send automated fines if you go over the speed limit. And the power grab shows in the stats. The 20th century was one big government power grab.

2880px-Government_Revenue_and_spending_GDP.png


What we see is a tyrranical power structure in which big tech, medicine and government are in a mutually beneficial relationship. Which we see reflected in the market valuations. This though is not value of course. This is tyranny.

It's the fruits of your labor stolen and pumped into an ever increasing global government and big tech, medicine being the well paid and protected servants of the emperor. The scraps are for the rest of us.
 
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Viktor Zeegelaar

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Internet gives the opportunity to poison the well everywhere. You can reach every person on earth without having to do anything, perfect efficiency. This drips through in all countries also conservative Islamic countries, Egypt apparantly is the biggest porn consumer. Moreover when people learn English they get directed to Western MSM outlets so it all drips down.
 

Towgunner

Kingfisher
Technology and the decline of society? Hard to deny when you look at it. Today, there's this orgastic attitude about "innovation". There's this prevailing belief that innovation can only be good, so, more and more and more. This suggests a certain kind of prerogative that undergirds all of this, namely, technology for technology's sake. That's the crux of the matter and, therefore, for everything. This isn't surprising. The human element is very relevant here, namely the usual drivers such as ambition, greed, pride etc. That prevents our so-called overlords from adopting the alternative prerogative, which is "technology for the sake of humanity".

Said tech overlords will quickly respond with their predictable overtures to "humanity". Yet, what about the "humanity" for truck drivers? Or, for that matter, any of the thousands of unskilled and skilled jobs that will be automated in the near future? They'll just retrain. Ha, easy for a silicon valley billionaire to say that.

Automation is where this prerogative matters most. You see, a technology for technology's sakes persuasion has no regard for the millions of people displaced by "innovation". Alternatively, a "technology for human's sake" persuasion would look at technology for what it is, a tool. Instead of creating self-driving vehicles with no need for humans a properly curated technology would use it to make the job of a truck driver better. Imagine that.

Edward Teller was a pathetic man. He's brilliant and fascinating but he spent his later life defending himself, muttering the same thing over and over again - "I created the hydrogen bomb because of the search for scientific truth". He probably mumbled that until the day he died. You see, no care or concern whatsoever for his fellow humans or the planet, just "scientific truth" or technology sakes. And that's where that prerogative leads too.

Today the stakes are just as high, in fact, higher. Never mind nuclear fallout, most people will not be employable. When you go down this rabbit hole it gets dark and dark real quick. 7 billion people on the planet and counting. The vast majority will have no productive purpose and this isn't decades away this could happen in a matter of years. Heck, there's a chance the tech already exists and "they" are holding back. Dark. But, now there's a strange pandemic and these untested vaccines. Darker still. Oh, and there's a "justification" to eliminate most of the living human population, oh and darkest of all, the people in control are psychopaths.

K. We need an entirely new way of looking at things. We can't stop the technological development but we can reallocate it and that starts with a totally new understanding of technology and its place in society, specifically, technology for the sake of people first. There is no other choice because the alternative is massive systematic genocide on a massive scale.
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Society before big tech. I see so much more authenticity and realness. Humanity, excitement, genuine joy, adventure, spontaneity, interest, curiosity, aliveness, uniformity, union. People were just meeting, talking, being people. Compare that with a train full of smartphone zombies. People looked and acted like people back then, something that is very rare these days and sometimes unimaginable.

 

Rob Banks

Pelican
We need an entirely new way of looking at things. We can't stop the technological development but we can reallocate it and that starts with a totally new understanding of technology and its place in society, specifically, technology for the sake of people first.
Replace "technology" with "communism/socialism" and you've got the ideology of the modern Bernie Sanders supporter.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
@Towgunner, let me ask you this:

If God, for most of human history, ordered that men would be subject to nature and live in harmony with nature, and not seek to rule over and conquer nature,

AND

you correctly recognize that man's attempt to free himself from being subject to nature (and, by extension, God) through technology has indeed led to many problems,

THEN, why do you think God would now lift the requirement for man to be subject to nature and live in harmony with it?

Why do you think that THIS TIME it will work?

You correctly see technology as the problem. But your answer to this is "technology is not the problem, its current management is the problem. If only we had better people in charge of the System, it would work."

Instead of acknowledging that the only way for society to reconnect with God is to reconnect with God's creation -- i.e. nature -- first, by abandoning (or at least greatly reducing) its use of technology and returning to more natural ways of living.

That latter conclusion is quite logical and intuitive, given that we already know technology is bad and separates us (as a society) from God. But it is uncomfortable because, well, it forces you to envision a life without modern comforts.

So instead, Christians will keep spinning our wheels to try and find a way to have our cake and eat it too; to keep Christ AND modern comforts.

It will never work.

---

You do a good job listing all the obvious bad outcomes technology causes (automation and displacement of workers, hydrogen bomb, etc).

But in reality, these are modern media tropes.

While it may be true that workers are being displaced and nuclear weapons kill a lot of people, far more destructive are the spiritual effects technology has on people.

Cars, trains, and planes that allow us to scatter our families and our peoples across the globe, breaking apart kinship ties in pursuit of economic opportunity or some other non-spiritual purpose.

Computers that allow for things like porn, online dating, videogames, TV, movies, all of which are degenerate, and all of which we do not need.

Guns that are (correctly) referred to as "the great equalizer," meaning that hard work and swordsmanship is no longer required skills for men to learn. Any out-of-shape, unhealthy, and obese person can buy a gun and feel empowered and protected.

This allows you to feel more empowered, but in reality, the government will always have bigger guns than you do. You will never stand a chance against the state if push comes to shove.

Modern music. I don't think I even need to go into detail about that one.

I mean, it is mind-blowing that people can hang out together and spend the ENTIRE TIME talking about "hobbies" that are limited to modern movies, music, and sportsball, and ZERO TIME discussing things that actually matter (i.e. God and spiritual matters).

What would Medieval Christians thought if they saw this?

I assume they would probably laugh to prevent themselves from crying.
 
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andy dufresne

Pelican
Other Christian
Just saw this video and didn't know where to put it. No need to watch the whole thing but it shows how feckless weak barely beta males are pretty good at completely wrecking society.

Somebody like this guy would never exist in another time in history. He's bear food.

 

IM3000

Pelican
On the topic of Ted K. There is a very interesting documentary about him and, by extension, the beginning of cybernetics. The filmmaker is a East German Artist who got fascinated by Ted's life story and started a penpalship with him. It's not an easy watch but worth it.

 
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