Essay PreviewMore ↓
As technology increases do the morals of society degrade? This is a very scientific question to ask about quite an emotional subject. A scientist would ask for a set of data correlating points of increasing technology with corresponding points of moral standards. The brutal truth is that you can't know. No one can be certain about the moral standards of a people at a certain time in the past, let alone the present. And how do you face a period of time when the technological standards and ideas actually fell in relationship from the previous time period. Did their moral standards improve? I doubt it. Arguing for the code of chivalry and the honor of knights falls apart when you look away from fairy tales, that and the fact that most of the population of Europe was peasants, anyways. But seriously, a person really can't know. The only problem technology brings forth is that people can find a more efficient way of getting what they want. Because after all, isn't that all human nature is? And morals are defined by human nature. So if one person wants to kill people, technology will aid that person in doing so. Of course there's a monetary price to that technology, so you'll be able to kill people only as efficiently as your budget constraint allows. However, it's still not that hard or expensive to buy a gun and shoot someone. What I'm leading up to is that technology does not affect the morals of a people. It affects how efficiently they can carry out their goals, not their goals directly. Of course you can say that the possibility of doing something creates a desire to do it, but is someone going to commit genocide if they don't want to kill a single person in the first place?
Technology does not affect people's morals directly: it allows people to follow their nature (to carry out their goals) more efficiently. Henry Ibsen gives the best argument for this case. In his play, An Enemy of the People, the mayor of the town, Peter Stockmann, only wants what is best for the town and his public image. His brother, Dr.
How to Cite this Page
"Technology and Morals in Isben's An Enemy of the People and Freud's Civilization and its Discontent." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jan 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Science, Technology, and Human Values in Sigmund Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, Henrik Ibsen and Arthur Miller's An Enemy of the People, and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five Technology has advanced to the point where it touches our lives in nearly every conceivable way-we no longer have to lift a finger to perform the most trivial tasks. The wealth of information and science we have learned in the last few centuries have made our lives easier but not always better, especially when concerning civilization as a whole.... [tags: Slaughterhouse-Five Essays]
1094 words (3.1 pages)
- The comedian Bill Cosby once said, "Civilization had too many rules for me, so I did my best to rewrite them." However humorous of a statement this is, it was not that unique of a concept. Diverging from society and creating new laws is not a concept created in recent-time. Several people have created new societies, such as the Puritans, who wished to achieve religious freedom in the United States. A modern-day example of the creation of new civilizations was the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Literary Analysis]
1622 words (4.6 pages)
- Society has imposed the thought that technology kills creativity for decades. It’s as if the more they grow in ability to produce, the more they think it leads to laziness and lack of skills. When factors of laziness is pushed together with technology, a contradiction is introduced. Laziness is in fact the enemy of the creation of technology, so how could it be the ally to the use of technology. The amount of work it takes to invent and create something that the entire world processes and use on a daily basis will take equal amount of work for the consumer’s to understand and accumulate the new information and use it to their advantage.... [tags: Creativity, Idea, Originality, Art]
1351 words (3.9 pages)
- The play An Enemy of the People focuses on the truth and how different characters reveal their feelings about it. Each character is motivated by different things so act in a certain way. Therefore they end up in conflicts due to their opposing views about the truth of the Baths. For example, the Mayor acts the way he does because he’s motivated by money. Doctor Stockmann tries to expose the truth because of his concern of the public’s health and because he believes he’s doing the right thing. Katherine supports Doctor Stockmann because she’s motivated by family and loyalty towards her husband.... [tags: Enemy of the People Essays]
721 words (2.1 pages)
- Innovation, every organization wants it, but most cannot grasp proper change. In fact, more than two thirds of innovative efforts fail. Look at corporate giants like Kodak, Blockbuster, Motorola, Toys “R” Us and Yahoo. Every one of those companies where paramount, dominating their market and somehow they all lost their edge. Why. Because of disruptive internal culture. Culture is the foundation to being innovative, but it can be an opportunity or a culprit. When the culture is correct then an organization will have a culture of innovation, or what we call an innovative culture.... [tags: Organizational culture, Organizational studies]
1129 words (3.2 pages)
- In this paper I will talk about the topic that technology will eventually destroy the entire civilization, since people are greedy and the revenge of nature. After reading Spiritwalker, the first thought that came to my mind was whether or not humans will be destroyed by technology. Different people have different answers. Technology's advantages and disadvantages are a subject of constant discussion. Those who are against technology have the opinion that technology harms people and will ultimately ruin human civilization.... [tags: Cause Effect Technology]
1723 words (4.9 pages)
- Science and Human Values in Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents Throughout the centuries, society has been given men ahead of their time. These men are seen in both actual history, and in fictional accounts of that history. Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, and even Freud laid the framework in their fields, with revolutionary ideas whose shockwaves are still felt today. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and so society has also possessed those how refuse to look forward, those who resisted the great thinkers in science and civilization.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1409 words (4 pages)
- Religions, Morals and Civilization Since the dawn of man, people have had their own forms of religion. Be it simple ceremonial burial or complex blessing rituals, each person had their own way to explain the wonders of nature like, how did we come here and what our purpose here was. Another thing that each individual person had was their own morals. Morals are what define a civilization. Labels like peaceful or barbaric are put on different civilizations because of their morals. The morality of each civilization defined their religious beliefs.... [tags: religious beliefs]
1114 words (3.2 pages)
- An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen An Enemy of the People deals with the extent to which individual desires and beliefs are compromised by society. In particular, the play focuses on the ways in which an individual can be ostracized by the society he is trying to help. One primary message of the play is that the individual, who stands alone, is more often "right" than the mass of people, who are portrayed as ignorant and sheeplike. Isben who turned atheist during his encounter with Georg Brandes, presents many Christian values in ‘An enemy of the people’, and religious references.... [tags: Enemy People Henrik Ibsen Essays]
868 words (2.5 pages)
- This essay gives an overview of early civilization in China and the different periods within this era. Also, it includes political and cultural pursuits of the people within this time period and the struggles of the Asian peoples and their religious beliefs and community uniqueness and differences. Early on we see the emergence of civilization in China, where relatively isolated within geographical barriers, China’s early civilization developed with little contact with other cultures. During the Neolithic period, peoples living in environmentally distinctive zones—the Yellow and Yangzi River Valleys—mastered agriculture, animals became domesticated, the production of ceramics became more ela... [tags: Civilization in China]
2056 words (5.9 pages)
- Values and Technology in Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and Beckett's Waiting for Godot
- How do We Define a Citizen ?
- Critiques of Ernest Hemingway's Novel, Death in the Afternoon
- Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms Receives Positive Criticism
- Childhood Influences Impact the Writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Fitzgerald Flapper
Neither character stands on solid moral ground. Peter doesn't want to start a panic, or burden the tax payers further to finance rebuilding the springs. His town is just now gaining recognition and prosperity because of the springs, and he doesn't want to destroy that prosperity (or his, for that matter). But he would rather that people be poisoned for a few years than take the consequences of admitting to the truth. Dr. Stockmann may appear to stand on high moral ground, but even though his ends are moral, the audience learns his motives might not be. The audience can relate to his want to not poison people knowingly and deems that a worthy cause of good morals. But his strong foundations are shaken, especially at the end when Morten Kiil, Dr. Stockmann's father-in-law, points out: "Millions of tons of water come down that river. How do you know the day you made you tests there wasn't something unusual about the water?" (113) This shows that Dr. Stockmann jumped to the conclusion that the water had to be the cause because the results of one day's testing showed what he wanted them to. This means that he used technology to achieve his goals which were aimed in moral directions, but his motivation was tainted. At the same time, however, it must be noted that Kill's tannery technology was poisoning the river and making people sick, which is morally wrong; whereas, Dr. Stockmann's technology showed the water was tainted and needs to be fixed, which is morally good. Peter uses the technology to gain his town fame, while poisoning visitors, which again is morally wrong. This is the clearest example in the novel of how technology can be used for either good or bad; people make that decision, not the technology.
In Sigmund Freud's, Civilization and its Discontents, Freud analyzes different reasons as to why man is unhappy. In part three his book, he discusses how man has come to still be unhappy even during his technological advance over nature. I'm not so much concerned with whether or not Freud thinks man is happy, although he does state a good point about knowledge of prior cultures of man: " It seems certain that we do not feel comfortable in our present-day civilization, but it is very difficult to form an opinion whether and in what degree men of an earlier age felt happier and what part their cultural conditions played in the matter" (41). I made a similar assessment dealing with morals-that it's impossible to know what the moral standards of man in ages past were. As I said before, I'm less concerned with the happiness of man than the morals of man, but Freud is not altogether silent on this fact.
Freud doesn't directly talk about basic moral standards as much as he talks about man's drives. Man's drives, such as sexuality and aggressively are talked about and explained in Freud's book as an inherent part of man. On page 73 he talks about how ancient man was free to enjoy his natural drives, but gave some up to enjoy some security. This shows that mankind has had the same drives since ancient days. The drives of man directly affect his goals, i.e. the (human) nature of his actions. If the basic drives of man have not changed over time, then the basic goals of man have not changed over time. That means that human nature hasn't changed, and if human nature hasn't changed, man's morals haven't either. Therefore, technology has increased, but man's morals have remained the same.
Ibsen and Freud provided two key elements: one, that man uses technology for his own goals; two, that man's drives haven't changed since ancient times. In the series I stated in the prior paragraph I linked man's drives directly to both his goals and his morals. Through the views of Ibsen and Freud, we see that technology is only used to achieve the goals man has set (not to create them), and that man's morals were in place to form those goals before the technology even existed.
Ibsen, Henrik. An Enemy of the People. Toronto: Dover Publications, Inc., 1999.
Freud, Sigmund, Civilization and Its Discontents. Translated and edited by James Strachey. New York: Norton, 1961.