Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Too Much Technology?

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), the eponym ...Image via Wikipedia
Bevil Bramwell, OMI, has a very interesting column that appeared Sunday on the Catholic Thing web site. Here’s an excerpt:

Thomas Aquinas makes a striking comment about imagination: “because a man seeks to occupy a higher grade as to accidentals, which can increase without the destruction of the subject, he can also seek a higher grade of nature.” Here is the heart of the problem: for all its usefulness technology is accidental, peripheral.
Yes, I too appreciate twenty-first century medicine and the car and other technological gains. But that is not the real business of becoming more human. It’s telling how many people show an odd identification with Steve Jobs. The BBC calls it a cult. Some people built their lives around Apple technology. This is not like a locomotive driver whose life depends on the locomotive. The driver still produces useful services for society. But those in a cult? Not so much. The focus of the Jobs cult seems not the great spiritual struggle, but simply a fashionable way to fill time, to connect with people who are not here (perhaps while not connecting with people who are here), to get caught in the flow of facts and not to achieve real knowledge.
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It ties in to something I’ve felt for a long time, that technology has become for many people a means of escape from real life.

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