No Such thing as a Cure All

Johnston and Huesemann would be very critical of the argument laid out by Douthwaite. Both are hesitant of using technology as a cure all citing issues of nature and society as reasons why technology can’t fix it all. Huesemann argues that nature can’t adjust as fast to the ever-changing landscape that technology creates, “Biological evolution is a very slow process. It has taken more than 3 billion years for life to evolve from single cell organisms to the myriad of complex, multi-cellular plant and animal species found today.” (Huesemann) Technology moves too fast for nature and we are actively hurting nature because it can’t move at the rate technology can. He makes the same comparison regarding global warming, humans are affecting the environment in a way that it can’t adapt and react to. It’s causing permanent damage that will not be undone. Johnson makes the argument that most technological fixes focus on fixing for the “greater good.” (Johnson 53) Engineers can’t possibly take every single person in every single situation into account when attempting to fix an issue so they instead try and help the most people they can. All issues of a technological fix have cultural, ethical, and political dimensions. (Johnston 52) Both Huesemann and Johnston have striking critiques on the idea that technology can fix everything, both feel key parts of life are left disenfranchised by the idea of a technological cure all.

The real problem that can’t be considered when attempting to come up with a technological fix is that not every problem affects every person or every facet of society. The idea that most technological fixes being utilitarian is somewhat true. Scientists want to help the greatest amount of people as possible. These negative repercussions can often be felt by the minority or by things that don’t matter to the people coming up with these fixes. Johnston states that decisions can often times come down to what will have the greater corporate, economic, and consumer benefits. (Johnston 52) No, unintended consequences can’t prevent us from finding fixes. As a society we can’t just become stagnant and not try and progress forward in a technological manner. I don’t believe there to be something that can be beneficial to every single facet of society and the environment. It’s also in our nature to keep exploring and advancing and we won’t stop doing that.

One thought on “No Such thing as a Cure All”

  1. I really enjoy your point of view. I have never thought of technological advances through the utilitarian perspective, and I didn’t realize that we can definitely be leaving a minority behind. I would be curious to see your thoughts on the nature perspectives brought up by the other two authors, and even how that would work within the utilitarian viewpoint. I appreciate your ability to weigh both sides of the argument. I find it really intriguing and I agree with your point about not believing in just a technological fix but any cure-all at all. I think it is a good argument. So many solutions to problems can be situational and affect so many people in different ways. It makes sense that there is no one way to solve every complication we have.

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