Technology and Gabriel Marcel

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Technology and Gabriel Marcel ABSTRACT: I present the arguments of Gabriel Marcel which are intended to overcome the potentially negative impact of technology on the human. Marcel is concerned with forgetting or rejecting human nature. His perspective is metaphysical. He is concerned with the attitude of the "mere technician" who is so immersed in technology that the values which promote him as an authentic person with human dignity are discredited, omitted, denied, minimized, overshadowed, or displaced. He reviews the various losses in ontological values which curtail the full realization of the human person in his dignity. The impact of technology leads too often to a loss of the sense of the mystery of being and self, authenticity and integrity, the concrete and the existential, truth and dialogue, freedom and lover, humanity and community, fidelity and creativity, the natural and the transcendent, commitment and virtue, respect of the self and responsiveness to others, and especially of the spiritual and the sacred. Thus, the task of the philosopher is to be a watchman, un veilleur, on the alert for a hopeful resolution of the human predicament.. Technology as the ever-present dynamic factor affecting our daily lives and transforming our contemporary civilization could be described as the rationally created artificial world of learnable operational rules, methods, recipes, and skills furnishing a complex of universally available standardized means used automatically to attain predetermined goals in any variety of endeavors with more mastery, more efficiency, more productivity, more predictability, more durability, and more practicality. (1) Technology, under all its forms, dominates every aspect of our lives by making it possible for us to manipulate any physical or mental activity dealing with domestic, social, political, economic, medical and aesthetic concerns, facilitating means of transportation and communication, enhancing conditions of work and play, and helping in harnessing the forces of nature and in transforming raw material. (2) The advent and progress of technology as it becomes a global all-encompassing phenomenon appears to be both a blessing in the way it improves the human condition in its efforts at coping with life and the world and as a tragedy in its destructive outcome as it is affecting the physical universe and impacting on the future of humanity. (3) It lessens the hardship, the suffering, and the despair in the face of overwhelming odds in mastering the universe and achieving chosen goals and enhances self-mastery, higher achievements and hope in performing essential tasks and chores demanded or chosen for survival or human flourishing.

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