Technology The Adversary Of Virtue

Sep 18, 2011 by

Reason, which guides our action, is an art that requires contemplation, deliberation and conclusion. Put into practice it begins with asking the right or important questions and ends in virtuous action. These steps require time and leadership. Sometimes, technology advances faster then the process needed to ask the right or important questions. Questions such as should we be using our minds to advance technologies that do not improve our the understanding of our purpose. Not for the purpose of a better life, but for a life well lived. There is a difference. A better life commonly means the acquisition of more creature comforts or a faster way to obtain information. But for what purpose?

The rapid unchecked advancement of technology is motivated by enlarging profit, not doing “the good“. The latest invention or discovery can bring sudden and enormous wealth. It is a powerful passion that is an expedient way to seduce those who govern themselves on principle to abandon them in quest of money’s magical powers. In reality it is expedient in more than one way. It brings instant gratification, but because it is not well thought out it brings costly ramifications to society. Jobs are the first casualty. I recently entered a fast food establishment and found that I could either choose a machine to take my order or the normal counter worker. This machine probably could do the work of one person, possibly more, but at what cost. I understand that it may replace the worker, but would also create jobs for repair technicians. The ratio is not equal. One machine will take the place of several people, but it will only take one person to monitor and repair the machine. Counter workers are the representatives of the business. They are the face of the company and make the first impression. A good employee can bring in repeat business as well as provide personal attention to the customer. Can a machine do that? Furthermore, the jobs that are being replaced are tried and true entry level positions for our young people to earn experience and perfect their work skills. Employers want employees that can interact in a positive manner and problem solve. This face to face interaction is what builds communication skills that keep people connected and caring.

Technologically advanced societies require managers instead of leaders. Technologies machines need nothing more than regularly scheduled maintenance to keep them functioning. A manager’s main concern is to use machines in an efficient way to make profit in the most expedient way. It takes no interpersonal skills to interact with machines. You cannot lead machines. There is no investment in their future as good citizens or good people. People are only valued as consumers. Managers produce a herd mentality, a flock of “sheeple“. An economy cannot grow by simply creating a shallow consumer culture. It only flourishes when people are able to fulfill the highest levels of their abilities. This life well lived is more meaningful.

A virtuous leader understands the difference between a better life and a life well lived. A true leader asks the right questions and then provides the vision and direction resulting in encouragement and example for virtuous action. It is driven by the idea that our actions are only worthy if they produce a community that strives to do “the good” by working towards fulfilling the principles of equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The virtuous leader uses technology not to replace people, but as a tool to aid people in achieving “the good of the community”. Technology has value only if virtuous people use it wisely.

1 Comment

  1. Lot

    “People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.”

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