In the 21st century, we have a technologically advanced modern society, with dazzling new gadgets and apps from various companies, packed to the brims with various nifty functions that appeal to each and everyone of us like sweet tantalizing ripe fruits on the trees. But, are the trees an innocent apple tree or the proverbial Tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Garden of Eden? In this age, the amount of electronic products might threaten the very idea of being human. We now have bionic body parts, bionic blood, and matrix like programmes that might allow downloads of skills and robots that do things faster and more efficient than us. With such inventions, how do we continue defining what is human and what is technology?
The inventions of bionic body parts bode well for those that are disabled as such inventions embody a hope for them to be whole and well again. With bionic arms, the handless can grasp and hold. With bionic legs, the legless can walk, run and jump. Meet Rex, a bionic human with functional heart, lungs and eyes. Through him, scientists have proven it is possible to reproduce two-thirds of human parts through bionics. When used this way, such bionics might seem innocent and even beneficial, but with a closer look, one can find flaws and problems in this. There has been issues of bionics performing so well, they out-perform human body parts. That, of course, is a given, as bionic body parts aren’t bound within the limits that bind human body parts. That is a good thing, but, there are concerns of people purposefully amputating their fully functional body parts to receive these super limbs to be better than the average man, just because they can afford it.
This is of course a serious moral and social issue as it would be just wrong for a person to trade in his human limbs for a better set of bionic limbs like they are spare doll parts, worthless and unimportant. And this might also lead to social problems as only the rich would be able to afford these expensive technological marvels. If this were to happen, what if one day, a man has all of his body remade to bionics, and only left with his brain. Would he be considered a human, robot, or freak? This threatens humanity as if this was allowed to fester like a sore, it would lead to the entire world turning into robotic humans, abnormalities in nature.
Not only that, in the move Matrix, the characters are allowed to download various skills and ability at a thought. This is of course, desirable as people would instantaneously have skills they need without taking time to learn them, increasing productivity and efficiency. While this technology is still being researched on, if one day, this product became reality, we would be able to do anything we liked at the touch of a finger. As Don Williams, Jr. American Novelist and Poet once said, “ The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.
Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”, if skills and abilities was allowed to be earned so easily, then the idea of being human, being able to strive, to work for what you think is important and beneficial for you, is defeated as we would get to the destination without the journey, and we learn nothing about ourselves. We would get skills without knowing how to apply them. What would happen to humanity at that stage? Our brains would regress due to the lack of stimulation. That would make us no better than animals.
But people would say that science has helped us a lot through inventions of robots that help us with menial tasks that are repetitive or require great precision and skill to achieve better results. This might be true, but over reliance on such robots would lead to the unlearning of such skills, making us no better than slaves to the robots which possess the skills that we once had but forgot.
So whenever scientists discover another new way to make a bionic limb, or figure out how to program Matrix technology, or make more robots, they should exercise more care and thought on the repercussions their discoveries might make on the rest of humanity, as it might severely change what humans are and what we do.
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