In a series of blog posts I’ve been sharing the nine truths of technology we teach campers. Truth number five is:
New technology gives us new choices we never had before.
New technology continually gives us new ways to solve problems. For example, robots are increasingly replacing the skilled hand of the surgeon to help reduce the risk of complications and recovery time after surgery. Many of the problems we face in our generation—pollution, ever increasing amounts of plastic waste, energy consumption—will surely be answered by new technologies just waiting to be developed. But with these new technologies come new choices we have never had before. Here are some examples:
Technology has the potential to be used for good or evil, depending on the choices those using the tech make. For example, Facebook and other social media sites connect people from around the world and keep people in touch that otherwise would have simply gone their separate ways. But social media is also often used to bully, degrade, or insult others. How you use social media is a choice. Or what about ultrasound technology? Ultrasounds allow us to see unborn children in their mothers’ wombs, helping us catch problems before the baby is born and saving many lives. But some parents, when alerted that their child will be born with a disability, chose to end their child’s life before he or she is born. Ultrasounds give us a choice.
If technology gives us new choices, how can we know what to do? After all, the Bible doesn’t tell us what to do about cyber bullying or ultrasound results. This is where knowing our Bibles is so important. God’s Word gives us principles—such as the value of all life and mandates to use our speech in a kind and uplifting way—that we can apply to new situations. If we don’t know what God’s Word says, we likely won’t make decisions that honor Him. We need to be actively reading His Word so that we know what it says so we can make wise decisions in regards to technology. As it says in 1 Peter 1:3, God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Even though these technologies and choices are new, God has given us everything we need to know to make wise and good choices in His Word. We just need to read it!
If you have a science or technology minded young person, I encourage you to consider Camp Infinity. At our unique camp they will learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) through hands-on activities and will also learn a theology of technology to help them navigate the changing world of tech in a way that honors the Lord. Learn more at CampInfinity.com/camps.
I’d like to acknowledge John Dyer and his book From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology from which I gained the insights for this series on Truths of Technology.