Sunday, August 15, 2010

Would Jesus own an iPhone?

I was recently asked:
In what ways is a technology good or bad from a Christian perspective?
How should we approach the development of technology?
The pace and scope of new technological developments presents many ethical issues. Sometimes it is claimed that technologies such as internet, stem cells, drugs, in vitro fertilisation, nanotechnology, ... are so far from the culture and world of Biblical writers that we are in a moral vacuum. I agree we are in a "different world" in some sense but we are in the "same world" of human sin, aspirations to bless, greed, desire to heal, idolatry, love, ego, .....
Hence, I strongly disagree that the Bible is not adequate to address these issues.

I have found a helpful way to see this is to view money as technology. The Bible says a lot about money. It is intrinsically neither good nor evil. It can be used to bless others. It can facilitate an orderly and prosperous society. But,
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

1 Timothy 6:10
I am hard pressed to think of a technology which is intrinsically good or intrinsically evil. The key issue is one of attitude. What is the ultimate purpose of it? Do people worship it? Can they not live without? Does it lead to greed and injustice? Is it used to heal and or bless?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ross,

    Can I suggest that the iPhone is, in a sense at least, intrinsically good?

    It is the demonstration of humanity's mastery of the world which it was instructed to achieve, and one which benefits people.

    I'm just trying to move away, a little, from the description of created things as neutral and only the different uses of them as either good or bad.

    Can you see where I'm coming from?