The Death of Ethics
Ethics, or Morality, is something only people have – and is one of the things that make us human. And should be one of the things we cherish the most.
But we do not – and seem to regard any discussion of this problem, as an abstract argument that does not involve us. Without being aware of it – we have lost much of our humanity!
I have said this many times, to no effect. People do not seem to care if they have become less human – in fact, I think they consider this an improvement. They have become better than human – by incorporating the latest technologies into their personalities.
This is inevitable, we have often adopted the latest technology, and made it part of us. The first technology being our human language – an awesome development that made us capable of including many other technologies – some good, some bad.
How can a technology be good or bad? By its effects on us. We should carefully consider if any technology is good or bad, before adopting it. But we do not – a successful technology is simply one that is irresistible – and we adopt it without thinking. about how it will affect us.
Only after it becomes powerful, we might think about dealing with its effects. Although by then, it may be too late.
Take, for example, America in the 19th Century – and the invention of the Penny Press. Anything could be printed – for a very low cost. And the public prefered scandalous subjects that entertained them – without making them think. There was better writing – by the American Transcendentalists, for example – but the Mass of the People were not interested in them.
No one took a look around them – and remarked on how decadent the people had become. They just rushed into the Civil War, instead. If Americans been capable of rational, humanistic behavior – this would not have happened.
Fast-forward one hundred years, to the middle of the 20th Century. When we were overwhelmed by another technology – Television. I can remember this well. The result was another society – under the control of another technology, they could not resist. This was followed quickly by the Computer – that in the form of the smartphone, was irresistible. This was Heaven on Earth – in the palm of your hand!
No one asked if all this was good for people – they were not capable of asking such a question. People had vanished behind more important things – that were definitely not people.