Apple and Eve: Revering Technology as God
Thesis: Throughout history, religion and technology have opposed each other, but today, they may be merging.
I. Technology/science vs religion in history
A. Church generally opposed technology/science
1. Forbidding teaching evolution, etc
B. Ouija board: explaining supernatural phenomenon with science
1. Debunking myths, explaining it through psychological terms and analyzing through technological tools
2. “Ouija boards work on a principle known to those studying the mind for more than 160 years: the ideometer effect.” (McRobbie)
II. Technology is now playing God
A. Always watching us
1. Apple and facebook lawsuits, listening to us through our phone
2. Embed a link
B. Some degree of blind faith and trust
1. We don’t know if there is a God, we don’t know exactly how our technology works, yet we continue to use it
2. Cryonics: tiny chance of it working, yet still they tried
C. Our hope for immortality through afterlife replaced by hope for immortality on Earth
1. “In a culture that places a premium on the graceful acceptance of death, the couple faced a wave of hostility, tempered by sympathy for Kim’s desire, as she explained it, ‘not to miss it all.’” (Harmon)
III. If we did turn technology into a religion, why?
A. When technology debunked many religious aspects, why do we then make technology our religion?
1. Human desire to have faith and seek larger meaning
a. “People want to believe. The need to believe that something else is out there is powerful,” he says. “This thing is one of those things that allows them to express that belief.” (McRobbie)
2. Need to be in control, have some control over fate, be more than other animals
B. Modern self-obsession, or perhaps all there is left to explore is our own minds
1. “UBC’s experiments show that the Ouija could be a very useful tool in rigorously investigating non-conscious thought processes.” (McRobbie)
C. Ever After- a sort of complacency in believing we can escape death
1. “Once again, the project of dismantling existential borders emerges from the alignment of technology (however one defines it), dollars, entitlement and irrational optimism—manifest destiny, you might say. The notion that it’s our duty to surpass the physical self complements the canards of abundance and exception that plague an (over)ambitious mind.”
2. “Belief in approaching immortality, like a belief in the Rapture, becomes ideology, a single-issue political party.”
3. “It’s well worth noting that even as we pursue these new frontiers in research, we harbor an inborn revulsion toward “unnaturally” prolonged life: from do-not-resuscitate orders to horror films about various undead, avatars for endless, thoughtless consumption and want. Zombies and vampires, creatures sustained by unspeakable parasitic means: they’re us without the luxury of finitude.”
Conceptual Question: What is it about the modern age and human nature that makes people want to turn technology into a religion?