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Technology and Christianity

Claudia Miclaus Jan 23, 2019
Great constructive ideas may become destructive, and freedom can lead to a new kind of bondage when used with the wrong purpose.
In his initial state, man did not need any technical equipment or technology. From a believer's perspective, man was endowed with great spiritual powers, which enabled him to act in an efficient way towards creation.
Christ himself, who restored man to his primordial state, was an accomplished Man, healing diseases, resurrecting the dead, calming down the wild forces of nature, without using any technology, only His spiritual power.
St. John Chrysostom said about the first men, who were dressed in raiment of light, like Christ on Mount Tabor, because the first man did not have any needs, and was free from the compulsory use of crafts and technology in order to face the challenges of existence.
But after the fall, in His great mercy, God did not allow the traits of the divine disappear from man. On the contrary, He gave us the possibility to use technical means and tools, to act from the exterior over nature in order to ensure his survival.
The same John Chrysostom, also called St. John Golden Mouth, said that after man's falling into sin, the technologies developed progressively on earth and that through them the constitution of the world is being administered.
At the same time, they represent means on man's new way towards God. Although technology can be seen as a consequence of man's walking away from God, it can be also appreciated in a positive light as it can be regarded as meant to contribute to the transfiguration of the world in Christ.
Christianity frees man indeed from the slavery of natural or cosmic laws, of the myth of eternal return, which dominated the mentality of ancient man. It is true also that science in itself, as a rational means of explaining phenomenon and natural events was developed in ancient Greece.
But the spirit of the ancient Greek, for instance, manifested itself so brilliantly in asserting theoretical issues, being enamored with the world of ideas; this spirit did not penetrate into the material world.
To ancient Greeks, only slaves worked, so work was despised by the high society. Also, ancient pantheistic religions prevented man from liberating himself from the determinism of natural laws.
This freedom came to man through Christianity, through the faith in an eternal God, transcending the world which was created out of nothing, and Who gave man, created in His image, to rule over the earth, or in other words to spiritualize and humanize creation and nature according to Christ's face which transfigured in Him both man and cosmos.
If it wasn't for Christianity to set the ancient man free from the burden of superstitions promoted by the pantheism of ancient religions, humankind would not have known the enormous technological progress which is known today. Unfortunately, our contemporary world seems to forget this fact.
We are threatened again by this danger of pantheism which can turn man into the slave of natural laws. We all agree perhaps that during the Enlightenment period, due to the science and technology promoted by this age, humankind progressed in various ways.
During this time, man became able to rise towards the planets in our solar system and even beyond it, to contribute to improving man's living conditions and reducing suffering, to enter the world of microcosms and to discover that the visible world is based on the relationships among the unseen particles.
Also, to allow workers to have more time for cultural preoccupations, to increase the degree of socialization and to democratize society, and also to lead to what we call civilized world. The history of civilization is in fact a history of technology. That is because great inventions have had a considerable influence on the evolution and progress of mankind.
The thing is, technology indeed comes to satisfy most of man's needs but as sort of side effect, it also increases and entices human needs in an infinite number. Thus, our contemporary man is a lot more dissatisfied than man from other historical epochs.
Nowadays, we all seem to rush to satisfy our material needs and tend to become slaves to consumerism and advertising, which increase the number of man's material needs to almost desperate proportions. These also lead to man's separation from God, from any spiritual values.
Technology was also largely used for destruction, if we come to think of the atomic bomb and the famous historical episodes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
People seem to create and to invent in certain areas with the inspiration and diabolical domination of an evil genius. And the purpose seems to be only to destroy what people have worked so hard to build for centuries on end.
Progress and technology are good when used to mankind development and that is what God also desires. He desires people's good but when achieving it without God's values, it becomes very problematical ending in wars and death.