Science, Technology, and Human Values Essay

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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. Ibsen, Freud, and Vonnegut argue that human values have not kept pace with knowledge's unceasing expansion, which has become an anathema for the individual person and deleterious to society's delectation,
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Ibsen unmistakably contends that this is distressing and disastrous. A return to strong ethics will prove to be a superior salvation for society rather than new and enhanced technology. Dr. Stockmann claims that "you are fighting for the truth [...] and that makes you strong" (124). Indeed, the truth will save lives and is better for all regardless of a temporary monetary forfeiture. Ibsen would prefer civilization to be morally robust with antiquated technology over a privation of man's ethos.

Sigmund Freud would be quick to agree that technology has not been a panacea for society. The underlying principles in Chapter III of Civilization and Its Discontents were a hotly contested topic in the online discussion. It is debatable as to whether Freud wanted a return to the days sans advanced technology but it is obvious that he is mostly displeased with how scientific improvements have influenced our lives. The author asserts that technology can never be a nostrum for humanity because it is not better than "the superior power of nature, [nor improves] the feebleness of our own bodies [... or] mutual relationships of human beings" (37). Freud finds it important for us to realize where our limits are defined so we can use this knowledge to create a happier society-but a perfect society will be eternally out of the question. If individuals had control over their aggression and weren't so obsessed with sex, it would lead to a better-off world
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