‘It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.’ – Albert Einstein
I thought that the best way to understand such a topic would be to ask the most obvious question. What is humanity? The dictionary states humanity to be the human race, human nature and of being humane and benevolent. It is, however, a controversial topic as to whether or not we can lose our humanity if it is, in the end, human nature. In this day and age it seems as though we are going through a technological revolution. We are so driven by technology that most people cannot live without it. While Einstein was referring to the nuclear physicists when he made this statement the question still lingers in the mind of many human beings?
Will technology ever surpass our humanity? War is a product of civilization, where we strive to survive. It is how we choose to survive, however, which is questionable. I think that in times of war one is severely tested and that this is when some lose their humanity. War has been around since the beginning of time, and though the occurrence is the same it is the revolution of technology, which has made each war different. The revolution of weapons is one of interest, where people once fought with fists there was a true interaction with the opponent.
Where each person could feel the pain they inflicted on each other. Then came the small hand-held weapons such as spears and small knives, these took away from the feeling of the fight whilst still inflicting the same, if not more, pain. The revolution carried on for years, passing through the phase of swords to the phase of the bow and arrow. This, in my opinion, is where technology had started to deteriorate our humanity. While before you had to face the person you were about to kill, bows made it unmistakably easy to shoot someone with out having to look at them.
Although this took away from the brutality of hands-on fighting, it also took away from the feelings one should go through after killing another human being. The revolution went from bows and arrows to guns, to cannons and to tanks. It went from tanks to bombs and then to nuclear bombs. Each time the weapons advanced, the more people man had the power to kill. While the people of a country are living in slums and in famine, the government uses its money on weaponry, and we are forced to question the ethics of it all. Sydney J.
Harris once said, "The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. " This goes hand in hand with a quote from the prolific graffiti artist Banksy; “I see humans but no humanity. " Although there are many aspects, which contribute to the infallibility of Einstein’s words, there are many aspects to which technology contributes to humanity in a positive way. If we did not develop we would not have any of what we have now. The development of technology has improved the lives of many people because of medical research.
We developed from using salt to preserve food to refrigerators. Technology has helped with the efficiency of industry and globalization and while technology has been used for destruction it has more so been used to save peoples lives. From the use of medicine to the use of seismographs, "Necessity is the mother of invention" as Plato once said. I, too, believe it is when people become desperate that we invent and discover new things. Although there are many things which give and take away from our humanity I think one should always keep in mind the balance of nature.
That for every wrong there is a right. "Every positive value has its price in negative terms... the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima. " as Pablo Picasso once said. We cannot, however, condemn the entire human race because of a few hundred thousand people in the world, when there are seven billion others. Mahatma Gandhi was one who said, "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ” I, therefore, believe that technology has not yet surpassed our humanity, but this is not to say it will not in the near future.