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Quest to Play God

The obvious and laudable ideal of technology is rational effort to better the general human condition. Technology promises a modern materialist path toward salvation and heaven on earth. It is safe to say, however, that it has failed in this promise for all but the privileged few. While technology serves power, and promotes the welfare of the few at the expense of the many, the hubris of the technological enterprise is not fully accounted for by “rational” self-interest. A deeper, darker, and more passionate motivation underlying technology, to put it bluntly, is the quest to play God. If new technologies fail to meet genuine human needs, it may be because that is not their real purpose. Avarice, power, and even altruism play their parts, of course, in driving invention. But what consistently, if unconsciously, directs much technological development is the ideology of transcendence.

RELATED TAGS: [technological ideal/salvation, goal/promise of technology, technology serves/and power, quest to play God, altruism, ideology of transcendence, consumer religion, religious idealism, technology/religion and materialism]

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