Since the beginning of recorded history, two opposing thoughts regarding human progress are visible :
- Human progress is towards development, things are becoming better. Most of the scientists since Newton till date are more or less subscriber of this ‘faith’. Technically, this is called ‘telos‘. Engineers and technologists subscribe to this faith more unconsciously as otherwise they will not be able to bring the next improved version.
- Human progress is more complex and not linear and not towards any ‘development’ – human stupidity increases with human intelligence just as an amplifier amplifies both signal and noise.
But we ask : How to live our life in the best possible manner ? Science and Technology cannot answer that because this is beyond their scope. For science, every new theory transcends the previous theories. Technology, especially the technology of our times is so interwoven with business that it is impotent to be sufficiently critical of its own ‘course’. Hence history of technology is the history of dominant idea / power of that period. Technology is a slave of power in all its forms and a demure and obliging hand-maiden.
Five hundred years back, Rene Decartes visualized human being fighting with Nature and winning it. The win came but what a sterile victory of bitterness it has been !
The same cannot be said of a question like : “How should I conduct my life?”
Only Philosophy deals with this question and this question is a hall mark of human species.
Today, philosophy is important because of all sciences and technologies, it asks : ‘Should I join facebook ?”
The answer is not important or not even relevant. The question is important and this habit of mind is what philosophy teaches us.
In certain circumstances, this question may save you