Technology and the Shaping of the iMagination
In an article published in 1969 entitled "In Defense of North America," Canadian political philosopher George Grant opined: "We live in the most realised technological society which has yet been; one which is, moreover, the chief imperial centre from which technique is spread around the world.... Yet the very substance of our existing which has made us the leaders in technique, stands as a barrier to any thinking which might be able to comprehend technique from beyond its own dynamic."
I want us to consider why Grant might have said this. Why would we want to “comprehend technology from beyond its own dynamic”? Why might the “very substance of our technological existence” stand as a barrier to doing so? The answer to both questions, following the thought of Martin Heidegger, is that our tremendous skill at developing and deploying new technologies has distorted our imaginations in such a way that we are no longer able to see our world for what it truly is, that is, as an amazing gift. Failing to apprehend our world as a gift, furthermore, we also fail to understand ourselves, and that our principal task is to give the world back to God in thanks and praise.
Craig Gay lectures in the area of Christianity and culture, directs Regent’s ThM degree program, and edits Crux, Regent’s journal of Christian thought and opinion. Read his full bio.
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Regent College Chapel