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Man and Machine: A Biblical Look at Present and Future Technology with C. S. Lewis Chesterfield Presbyterian Church January 9 – February 20, 2011 Andrew.

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Presentation on theme: "Man and Machine: A Biblical Look at Present and Future Technology with C. S. Lewis Chesterfield Presbyterian Church January 9 – February 20, 2011 Andrew."— Presentation transcript:

1 Man and Machine: A Biblical Look at Present and Future Technology with C. S. Lewis Chesterfield Presbyterian Church January 9 – February 20, 2011 Andrew Shaw

2 Man and Machine: Course Description "In our world," said Eustace, "a star is a huge ball of flaming gas." "Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of." In this quote from Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslans reply to Eustaces statement is also the reply of Gods Word to every effort being made to reduce Man – and therefore treat Man – as nothing more than a biological machine. In this class we will look at those technologies that have and will impact our very humanness. C. S. Lewis will be our constant companion as we develop a Biblical Theology of Technology.

3 Man and Machine: Themes 1.Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration 2.Imago Dei and Incarnation 3.Taking, Making, and Faking Life 4.Technology (Technique) a)Biotechnology b)Reproductive c)Biomechanical 5.C. S. Lewis a)Narnia Chronicles (1950 – 1956) b)Space Trilogy (1938 – 1945) c)Abolition of Man (1943) d)The Great Divorce (1945) C.S. Lewis

4 Man and Machine: Outline A.Man and Machine: Theology of Technology B.Man is Master of the Machine C.Man Uses the Machine to Master Others D.Man is Mastered by the Machine E.Man is Nothing But a Machine F.Man Must Become a Machine

5 Man and Machine: Definitions Technology Technology is anything with a physical manifestation (and a praxis) that allows someone or something to transcend some limitation to reach a particular goal.* Technique The application of technology and the trust/faith in technology to answer all of Mans questions and to solve all of Mans problems. *Paul Grabow, An alternative to instrumentalism:Technology as a form of transcendence, International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society 4:3 (2008). Large Hadron Collider

6 A. Theology of Technology Aldous Huxley Whats the point of truth or beauty or knowledge when the anthrax bombs are popping all around you? That was when science first began to be controlled – after thee Nine Years War. People were ready to have even their appetites controlled then. Anything for a quiet life. Weve gone on controlling ever since. It hasnt been good for truth, or course. But its been very good for happiness. One cant have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for… Call it the fault of civilization. God isnt compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. (Mustpha Mond) Brave New World, 1935

7 A. Theology of Technology Neil Postman Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, 1993 Technopoly is a state of culture. It is also a state of mind. It consists in the deification of technology, which means that the culture seeks its authorization in technology, finds its satisfactions in technology, and takes its orders from technology… Those who feel most comfortable in Technopoly are those who are convinced that technical progress is humanity's superhuman achievement and the instrument by which our most profound dilemmas may be solved. They also believe that information is an unmixed blessing, … [and] offers increased freedom, creativity, and peace of mind… In particular, Technopoly flourishes when the defenses against information break down.

8 A. Theology of Technology God (personal) (infinite) man chasm chasm man animal animal plant plant machine machine Pollution and the Death of Man, 1970 Francis Schaeffer We are not threatened by the machine as modern man is, because we know who we are. This is not said proudly, but humbly and reverently; we know we are made in the image of God. We reject an attitude that makes our integration point downward.

9 A. Theology of Technology Technique – " "the totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency in every field of human activity." (p. xxv) * A Critique of Technique 1.rationality 2.artificiality 3.automatism 4.self-augmentation 5.monism 6.universalism 7.autonomy Jaques Ellul * from The Technological Society, 1964

10 A. Theology of Technology Technique Biblical Truth Anti-technique God is.

11 A. Theology of Technology (1) Rationalism Scientism Systematization Programmed Rational/Spiritual Ruler/Creator Irrationalism Mysticism No Restraints Spontaneous God is not. (There is no God.) (Anything is God.)

12 A. Theology of Technology (2) Artificiality anti-Nature Virtual Reality/Nature (Gen. 1:1) Cultural Mandate (Gen 2:26-28) Naturalism Pantheism Back to Nature God is not good. (God goofed – Man can do it better.) (Only Nature is good.)

13 A. Theology of Technology (3) Automation Efficiency Self-directed No choice Sovereign Love Biblical Faith/Hope Chaos Unpredictability Undirected No Accountability God is not sovereign. (God is not in control.) (God is out of control.)

14 A. Theology of Technology (4) Self-augmentation Solves all problems Conquers all Stewardship Anti-technology Luddism Primitivism God is not transcendent. (God is not big enough.) (God needs our help.)

15 A. Theology of Technology (5) Monism (one-ness) Assimilation All-encompassing cog in the machine Covenant/Community Personal uniqueness Independence Isolationism rage against the machine God is not immanent. (God is not personal.)

16 A. Theology of Technology (6) Universalism Uniformity Totalitarianism Unity in Diversity Individualism Nonconformity Bohemianism God is not triune.

17 A. Theology of Technology (7) Autonomous All-sufficiency Automatic Sacred True Freedom only within Gods Sovereignty Anarchist Self-sufficiency Indeterminacy Sacrilegious God is not necessary. (God is irrelevant.) (God is gone.)


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