Can Technologies determine modern social customs and ethics?

Essay by fir999 May 2003

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After industrial revolution, the second technological revolution, and more recently, digital revolution, technology nowadays is enjoying such a high level of development and is keeping its blinding pace to evolve forward. Manifest as the groundbreaking breakthroughs engendered by technology are, people are inclined to favor that technology are juggernaut in reforming any aspect of our society, social customs and ethics included. While admitting the unstoppable force of technology in transforming or determining outlooks of science, business, researches, archaeology, entomology and endless others, I insist that the relationship between technology and social customs as well as ethics is not the case according to people's common sense.

It is more patent when the issue comes to social customs. That is, the influence between technology and social customs is mutual, rather than unilateral. Evidences are conspicuous. Before 20th century, the notion--women should stay at home, nurturing children, caring for elders--is so inveterate that deny any tentative attempt to change it.

However, technology made the miracle. People's nonsensical conviction is completely changed after the ablution of Industrial Revolution. As a result, many women commence their resplendent career in factories, companies, governments and the like. Up until now, the function of women in society is indispensable. Nevertheless, there are cases that technology are influenced or determined by social customs. In some Native American clans, technology's utilization and influence are curtailed by those people's long-entrenched customs.

However, referring to ethics, technology can hardly exert any influence upon it, not to mention the trend to change it. Conversely, technology is, from time to time, influenced or steered by our entrenched ethics, however disinclined it is. Why? Simply because ethics is the prerequisite of our surviving and essence of our thriving. It would be preposterous to fancy that by the influence of technology, heinous criminals...