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In one sense, technology is definitely progress—that is, our survival, our procreation, our environment, our health are all improved by technology, so we can say that our survival as a species has improved since cave-man days. The first “weapon”, whether for protection or for hunting, was a technological advancement. The summary proof of this kind of “advancement” is longevity—up several decades since medieval times. On the other hand, technology also threatens to end us as a species—nuclear power, global warming, invented viruses, pollution, etc. Every technological “advance” brings with it some “retardation”. Take, for example, the Interstate system—it made travel and transportation of goods easier, but it also broke up the extended family unit and contributed to the decentralization of business. But the real question is “What do we mean by progress?” Spiritual progress? Social progress? Intergalactic progress? etc. What is the human goal, if any, and who determined that? And what is a “set-back”? World wars? Nuclear bombs? Perhaps after addressing these questions we can determine whether progress is being made, and whether technology helps or hinders it.
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