Technologically Man is a Giant, Morally a Pygmy

Technologically, man has made tremendous advances. From the humble beginning of the last century, we have come to the stage where we have invented and built so many tools with the Industrial Revolution that it threatens our existence like an atomic bomb.

We cannot deny that technology has immeasurably improved our quality of life. A trip to any part of the world now takes only a few hours by plane, whereas doing so would previously have taken many years. We communicate with each other with increased ease and efficiency. All it takes is pressing a few buttons and we can talk to almost anyone anywhere in the world. A flick of the TV button brings us news, sports and entertainment in gorgeous colours. Modern cooking methods don’t leave nasty messes behind. For those who are even lazier, fast food is always available about twenty-four hours a day.

Modern computers have infiltrated every aspect of business, governments, and even homes. City traffic is also computer controlled. Therefore, it applies to many other things for which computers are almost indispensable. Computer failure also means that whatever system it controls fails. The computer has become almost completely powerful. This is our dependence on it.

In combat, our technological expertise has given us super-efficient weapons. Instead of swords and spears, we now have machine guns, heat-seeking missiles, cruise missiles, jet fighters, and other means of murder and mayhem. Our ability to kill and destroy is frightening. We have become so strong that the possibility of completely killing ourselves is very real indeed.

In light of this possibility of self-destruction, we suddenly find ourselves at our most vulnerable and unwilling. We neglected our core selves as we created ourselves millions of tools to fulfill our dreams. We can build machine guns that fire a thousand rounds a minute, but we don’t take responsibility for our creation. So these weapons fall into the hands of terrorists and war mongers. What are the consequences? Death and destruction on an unprecedented scale are now ravaging the people of this world. Few are brave enough to stand up to this scourge. Manufacturers make a profit from weapons. Armies use them to destroy each other, but hardly anyone does anything to stop it.

We let our creations rebel. In the name of class, creed and religion, we plunder one another with the most powerful weapons available. We kill innocent people without blinking. We are not morally better than stupid animals.

In the short span of the first eighty years of this century, we experienced two world wars and countless other wars. Millions of people died as a result. However, the wars continue unabated. Some men opposed this madness, but like those before them, they were killed, pushed aside, or simply forgotten. That is why many of us today, including so-called world leaders, remain silent and allow the violence to continue. Some even pursue it aggressively.

Industrialization has brought us many benefits. It also brought environmental tragedies. Air pollution, marine pollution, acid rain and other types of threats could one day destroy our existence. Yet few of these polluters are willing to face the facts and do something concrete to end pollution. They are more interested in making a profit. They don’t want to spend their ‘hard-earned’ money on cleaning up the environment. Let someone else do the dirty work. This is their moral responsibility.

There are crimes against ourselves and mother earth in other areas as well. We take land from the sea, we level mountains and we tear each other apart. We do not know how to live in peace and harmony with each other. Nobody wants to be responsible for that. We have no moral courage. Einstein once said that there is “perfection of means, but a confusion of ends”. We have the ability to do great wonders, but we do not know how to use such talents responsibly.

So we continue in confusion, committing all kinds of crimes and blaming each other for them. Now is the time to take responsibility for our actions, strengthen our moral courage, and make the world a great place to live.

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